This morning my wife is visiting with her parents-which is fine with me, except that they're both dead. It's been four months since her dad passed away, some months more since her mom died. Now in the midst of combing through old photos and letters, the two of them have returned and could be staying with us the whole week. Which is fine with me, except it'll require tremendous effort in my sweetie's heart for her to not circle the dark drains while they're here...and it'll be a frazzle in my head to think of what to say or do-more likely, what not to say or do. If I'm to be more or less invisible, am I being drawn into temporary ghost-hood by two people who I also loved?
My grieving isn't like my lovely brides'...mine is never compacted into a week or weekend, mine's always with me appearing volcanically in unexpected moments. Why should I have to pull off the highway to weep? Why should the scent of Old Spice aftershave be such a cold/hot lancet?
I believe it's the flag-case event that spurred her present dark condition. The folded flag we got at the cemetery had been placed in a lovely glass-faced display cabinet....all polished wood and bright brass hardware. An impressive relic of dad's duty, honor, country lifetime. It was probably knocked onto the floor by some rampaging puppy or cat and now sits in a pile-a little busted thing with it's little busted hinges and latches. The stars and stripes are dusted with tiny snow-like sherds of shattered glass.
Life goes on... I think I can find those cases on Ebay.
If dad and mom had been here, Neil would have shouted, "What in the hell was that?" Pat would have said-I really am not sure what she would have said- probably something like, "Ooooh! Well, we can fix that."
My wife is turning the corner on this event. I just heard her muttering a prayer, "Dear God, give me fresh eyes." I don't say a thing....her prayer is enough.