I seem to be doing a lot of introspection these days. Of course, having temperatures over 100° and sometimes hovering about 110° makes staying in more of a necessity even if I really had somewhere I wanted to go or something I wanted to do. I feel I need to do some serious housecleaning, over and above the lick-and-a-promise I tend to do. I needed to get rid of some books that had been in boxes in my living room for the past 6 months or so. I need to look at where things are in the house and perhaps prioritize them a bit better so that things I will need in the next few weeks are on counters instead of in cupboards, in smaller containers, or with loosened or removed caps whenever possible. I am rearranging my life because I can control that, even if there are other things I can't control.
Today I find myself being introspective about anniversaries. There are specific dates on the calendar every year that make me stop and take more than a few deep breaths: the January day when I discovered my world changed forever with the death of my husband, the October day that I celebrate my son's birth, the November reminder of Mama's death (oddly enough, I can't remember the specific dates of the deaths of my two fathers), and the September date that marked my late spouse's birthday and also the anniversary of our marriage. That day is today, and it is always a bit of a hard day to get through in some ways. This year seems especially hard, possibly because of the upcoming life change I am going to undergo in about two weeks, but partly because I remember so many things I wish I had done differently, could have/should have changed, and the like. I can't change the past, but I can think about it and maybe use what I've learned to do better in the future.
Today as I was making a checklist of things that have to be done in the next couple of weeks, I realized that it isn't going to be easy not having another person around to help. Don't get me wrong; I have some wonderful friends who have offered to do whatever I need whenever I need it, but if, at 2am I need something done or want something, there's nobody there to nudge and say, "Sorry to wake you, but would you....?" Normally I don't mind living alone (well, as alone as I can be with four cats!) but this is getting a bit scary. Can't wash my own hair? Guess I will have to either wear it dirty (ick! ick!) or figure out a way to cope. I wonder -- would a backscratcher work with shampoo? Can't run the vacuum for a few weeks? I'll be neck high in cat fur! On my list is moving things around to where they are more a more convenient height -- the hummingbird feeder, the hanging plants that will need water, papers I've been accumulating in my file basket next to the desk, the pile of books I have on the desk that need to be put somewhere handy. There's only so much space, so how do I maximize it? Moreover, how do I do it so that I can get to it but the boys can't knock it off wherever I put it? Now there's a trick question!
The spousal unit would have been 92 today. Granted, at that advanced age he might not have been able to do a lot, but that's beside the point. He would have tried, and the try would have been appreciated. He probably would have rearranged things in a way that he felt was reasonable and logical, like he did that time he did my spices when he couldn't find the celery salt, but it might not have been to my liking but I'd have to accept that it was the gift he could give at the time (I didn't see it that way then). And he could probably still open my jar of peanuts or cook an Irish stew for dinner if I didn't feel like cooking. Today, I'd even welcome the mess he'd make on the stove doing that.
Tomorrow will be another day like so many since the day he passed on. Today, though, I stop, reflect, remember and even talk to him as if he were still here, at a time when I really need him to be around. And somehow, I think he is, even if it is just out of reach.