Thursday, December 4, 2014

"...the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace"

It's grey today - both outside and inside.  And that's fine.  To be honest, Jill and I always liked the grey days...maybe me a bit more than her.  (The atmosphere created by the grey lends itself well to my musical tastes.)

But today feels different.  Maybe b/c I can't share my grey w/ Jilly.  Maybe b/c today I've embraced the ever-present lethargy that has waited for me to cave in for weeks now.  Maybe I'm just freaking tired b/c I delay going to bed alone at night.

Regardless, here I am.  I have a stack of things to tend to.  I need to get out for a run - fight the lethargy w/ mobile therapy.  But, the air around me feels just thick enough to keep me here in my room.

Many people play the WWJD card.  In my case, I often find myself asking, "What would Jill do?"  And not only that, but "How would she feel about what I'm doing right now?"  "How would she react witnessing me in my current state?"

And if I know my best friend, she'd tell me I'm where I'm supposed to be right now.  Don't try to do it all at once.  "Give yourself a break," she's told me time and again.  My pushback to her has always been that I don't need, nor do I deserve a break.  I'm not overdoing anything.  I'm not overtaxed.  Yes, emotionally I'm in a perpetual funk.  But, as anyone will tell me, I get to be right now.  I'm functional.  I laugh.  I love.  I'm just not at a comfortable level yet.  And maybe knowing that fact is part of this still-fresh battle.

Those of you that are reaching out to us - via text, phone, e-mail, etc. - are incredibly helpful.  To be clear, just the checkin, just the request to help is enough for me right now.  I don't need you to cook for us (right now).  I don't need you to fill out social security forms w/ me.  But, you're inviting Ro and me to do things.  You're not pushy.  You're just there.  And Jill knows this.  And she's smiling b/c she didn't want me to become a recluse.  Like Ro and me, Jilly is comforted simply by the fact that you are present in our lives.  And we all thank you for that.

So I'm slowly, deliberately reading a very short book that a dear friend so thoughtfully gave me after Jilly passed.  I was reading it this morning after I dropped Ro at school and one particular phrase struck me w/ such truth that I read it again and again and again.  The author is expressing all the ways in which he misses his deceased spouse and he ends his list with "...the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace."

That is it.

As a duo, then a trio, we did things.  We met people.  We went places.  But, it was the little in-between spaces, the spaces I (assume) no one posts about on Facebook, that were the richest parts of our coexistence.

Admittedly, Jill was clumsy.  On more than one occasion, she'd walk into a doorframe or bump into a table.  I'd hear it, turn my head.  We'd meet eyes.  She'd laugh.  We'd laugh.  I miss that.

Jill can't find anything...b/c she'll leave anything anywhere.  Invariably before heading out the door, she'll ask me where she left so-and-so.  "I don't know," was invariably my response.  Thus Jill's zigzagged hunt thru the house began again.  I miss that.

Each night before bed, Jill had to have the sheets and comforter just so.  The sheets needed to come out and fold back over the top of the comforter.  Why?  "B/c that's the way it's supposed to be."  It didn't matter if I was already in bed reading or sleeping.  She'd get in bed, lean over me, completely and intentionally disrupt me, and quietly repeat, "Don't worry, I'll fix it.  I'll fix it..." as she'd proceed to 'fix' the covers for us both.  It was a nightly occurrence that always irritated me.  This one - for whatever reason - I miss more than most right now.

"...the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace."

Humor me.  Stop for second.  Take a breath.  Look around.  Embrace the commonplace.

It may be common.  It's not forever.

All love,

J, J, & r

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