Day 41 - All's Well
I skipped writing yesterday, and I only cried once. Maybe twice. I don't really remember. What I do remember is that overall, I had a good day. I had a good day today, too. What I wasn't expecting was to feel guilty for having what seems to be two good days in a row.
I'm sure that doesn't make a bit of sense to a lot of people. I was questioning what was wrong when I went a day without crying, like maybe I'd become so numb that I couldn't even feel any more. But today, looking back and realizing not crying might be a good thing, I keep thinking that I should still be miserable, not finding anything to make me smile without faking it.
I've also been trying to see what I did differently yesterday and today that has been different than the past few weeks that might have contributed to the better day. Both days, I did orientations for two new tech recruiters for my work and I am going to begin their training shortly. I also went out to dinner with Phil's best friend, Jeff, and his wife, Chris. I went over there for what I thought was going to be a brief visit that turns into almost 5 hours of talking politics, sharing memories of Phil and cussing him for being dead. The three of us have not ever hung out like that without Phil, and although we spent a lot of time talking about him, we still had a good time. Tears were shed, but we also got to just talk about him without so much pain.
I also have been making a good effort to keep my house clean and do something little each day to catch up on some of the things I neglected for the past 41 days. I have not made any effort to go through his things yet, and I don't expect I'll do that for awhile. I don't really know when, but I am guessing one day I'll just wake up and say, "Today's the day."
I still miss him like I am not whole. More than 20 years is a long time to spend almost every waking moment with another person, whether good or bad. We knew each other's triggers, too. If I was having a bad day, he knew it so quickly and: 1) avoided me like the plague; 2) went to Jeff's to blow off some steam; or 3) did everything in his power to make me laugh. Sometimes, he'd try to make me laugh, then avoid me, and if neither of those worked, he'd head to Jeff's. I don't blame him. I could be hard to live with.
But damn, so could he! Ask anyone who was closest to him what he was known best for, and they would more than likely come up with bowling, surveying, or SLEEPING. That man could sleep like no one I have ever met, and waking him up was almost impossible. But. BUT! If he wanted to go fishing or hunting, guess who could jump out of bed like his butt was on fire? And he would be out the door in less than 15 minutes, usually before 6 in the morning. On any other given day, waking him up was the bane of my existence.
He always apologized later. He hated being that way, and he knew he was a jerk when I was trying to wake him. Some days, if I was just too tired or didn't have the patience, I just had a cup of coffee without him, played on my phone for awhile, got a little work done, whatever. I just needed to adjust my attitude before even trying to get him out of bed. If that didn't work, I just let him sleep.
I said I wouldn't miss that, but the crazy side of me misses that part of our morning routine. I can't say I enjoyed it, but it was ours. For two decades. Now, I wake up (I still sleep with his picture on his side of the bed), get out of bed alone and figure out what I want for breakfast without having anyone to ask what they want. I'm not used to it.
Maybe that is the hardest part of this. Had we only lived together for a short time before he passed, we would still be in the honeymoon phase of our relationship. We wouldn't know each other's quarks or had time to develop our own routine together. It would be easier to get used to being alone again.
But after more than two decades, our routines were our ROUTINE. No plural. We were empty nesters for the first time, and it was nice to have the house to ourselves. We could be goofier with each other. We could be more of ourselves without having to worry so much about setting a bad example or cleaning up after kids, discipline, school things, and all that. It was just us, doing what we wanted, when we wanted, and how we wanted.
Now, it's just me. I was used to him, and that was a good thing. I was settled and comfortable in my life, and that was also a good thing. I wanted to keep it that way. We were still young and had so many more years we could just spend together being in love, just the two of us, in our empty nester house.
This wasn't how it was supposed to end.
But I'm learning to live with it.