Was yesterday really that different from today?
When I woke up yesterday morning I did what I do every morning. I stretched and yawned. I disturbed a grouchy growling dog as I got out of bed and slipped into my sparkly purple slippers.
As I passed by the faded, used to be white, little swivel club chair that we picked up at an auction 15 years ago, I lightly brushed Joe's gray and black scarf, which is now permanently draped over the back of the chair.
I scuffed my way into the kitchen, filled the teapot and waited for it to sing its one note teapot song.
While I waited for my tea to brew, Trader Joe's decaf green, I settled into my fireside easy chair and browsed around on Facebook and Instagram. I skimmed through my e-junk-mail, deleting practically everything along the way.
After tea, for me and coffee for Ross,we fed, watered and walked Rico.
Then, we went out for a bite to eat. I smiled and said thank-you to the woman who held the door for us.
After breakfast, we did a little Costco shopping. Customers were noticeably grouchy in the warehouse. There was a lot of impatient huffing and puffing. I heard a passing comment about "those people being so rude". I'm not sure if she was referring to a specific segment of the population or just the couple with the three rambunctious children.
One woman was darting in and out of the cart traffic muttering about how everyone should obey the aisle rules and "stay to the right!"
I was happy with the purchase of my large, gorgeous, fresh pine smelling $15.99 Christmas wreath, but I was glad to get out of the madding Costo crowd.
When we got home I passed the rest of the day with my knitting and catching up with Jen on an hour long phone call. Ross read through his 12 inch high pile of magazines and watched some History Channel or PBS WWII thing.
Oh, there are some slight variations to the way we spend our yesterdays. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to an Aerobics class. Some days we have appointments, sadly these days mostly medical. We might attend a weekly or monthly community social group meeting. There are occasional family visits or a rare get-a-way, but mostly our yesterdays are day in and day out reliably, peaceful routine days.
Today, though, is not the same as all of the other days. Today will always be different. It won’t ever be peaceful or reliably routine.
Today, I lingered in our darkened bedroom, uninterested in Trader Joe’s green decaf.
I briefly tried to talk myself into going to the Monday Aerobics class, saying, “But you’ll feel better. You know you always do.”
I knew, though, that there was no way I could muster a polite thank-you to the woman holding the door for me. I did not want to have to make my mouth curl into a smile, a smile I did not feel. I’m sure my arm would feel much too heavy to raise and my hand too clenched to be able to manage a cheerful wave to my Aerobic’s classmates.
No, today is the day, this fifth, 5th of December day, that I find the courage to rip off the bandaid of polite smiles and cheerful waves and expose the raw wound of my grief.
I will sit and stare out at the grayness of the day and feel all of the aches of my heartbreak.
I will wonder why it happened. I will question how it could be. I will shake my head in disbelief that he is gone.
I know I will never understand, for there cannot be any acceptable explanation.
After five years, the pain has not lessened. It's just that on all of the other routine and peaceful yesterdays, I have become more skilled at hiding the ache and suppressing the screams.
Joseph Christopher Deak, died on December 5th, 2011 of stage IV colon cancer. He was 36 years old. I am his mother.