A lot of the questions I ask myself these days start out this way: Why or why not?
Why do I pile things up on Steve’s side of the bed? In the past, it was non negotiable – he slept on one side and I slept on the other, like most couples do. Wherever we went, call us old fashioned, we always slept together in the same room, on our designated sides. Even if we were fighting or restless. Because of this ritual, I’m not ready to sleep in the middle and take his space. Not just yet, and maybe not ever.
Why not remove his toiletries? My first trip minus Steve, I had to remove all of his toiletries and “man” things from our pre-packed luggage. Yes, that’s right, there are a lot of us that do it – keeping seconds of the most used items packed in our luggage so we don’t scramble and forget things just before we leave on a trip. Now, what to do with them? I have double of everything: cologne, razors, toothbrushes, beard trimmers. But no Steve to use any of it. So now, it’s just sitting on his dresser. Why do I need double? Or why don’t I? Am I ready for it to just be singular? Am I going to look like a hoarder if I keep it? Not sure. So for now, I hold onto it.
Why celebrate? August 8th was our 22nd wedding anniversary – my first anniversary since he passed. I still celebrated. Why? Because I want to continue celebrating these moments with him, and not let go of the joy. And because life is still a gift meant to go on. Even though I didn’t go out to dinner or do anything special, it was still “our” day. I hesitated to remind our kids it was our anniversary – I hope they remember to celebrate special moments with their partners together – their first dates, their anniversaries, their birthdays and holidays. Because those memories are theirs alone and no one else’s. Even if Steve and I didn’t go out, we would remember these days and stop the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to enjoy the moment.
Why am I laughing or smiling after losing Steve so recently? Maybe because I thought of a memory that brought a smile to my face. Or just a distraction for a few moments that took me beyond the fact that he’s not here. Happiness can be a fleeting moment in time, especially when you’re grieving. So I take advantage of these happy or funny moments when I can. Besides – Steve loved to laugh. I like to think that now when I’m smiling or laughing, he’s still smiling and laughing right along with me.
Why not stop and enjoy the little things? I’m sitting on our front porch amid tornado warnings, and warnings of hurricane Henri… Why? Well… why not? This is what we did together. We wouldn’t let bad weather stop us from enjoying our nights on the porch. This was “our” time – listening to music, listening to the rain, watching the rain fall, watching the wind sweep through the tree branches. Sure, we’d get wet every now and then. But so what? Enjoy the wind, the music, the rain – at least for a short while. We would, of course, eventually scramble inside… we weren’t total idiots! But we still took the time to take in the little things – because you never know when those moments will get taken away from you.
Why or why not? I will always ask myself these questions, with Steve on my mind. Why would we do this or that? Why would we talk about home renovations we wanted to make? Why would we talk about our next adventure? Why would we make plans so far in the future? Well, why not? Because we should always envision a future – a trip down the road, plans that were talked about, even if they never come to fruition. The truth is I might never find the right answers to my “whys” and “why nots,” because sometimes there are bigger plans for us than the ones we make.