A few weeks back I dropped a glass on the kitchen floor. It broke into pieces, some large, some small. I immediately picked up the larger pieces and then got the broom, swept the mess up and put it all in the garbage.
Later, on another visit to the kitchen, I looked down and saw a fairly large piece that I had missed. Picked it up, into the garbage. That night as I was rummaging around for something resembling dinner, I found another piece. How could I have missed it? After picking up, sweeping up, and then finding additional pieces?
I find now that my entire life is that way. I find stray shards. Remnants. Tiny little memories of her from time to time. Some of that is inevitable living in the same house we shared for 17 years, living the life that we shared for 29 years. It’s not like I’ve gone through some sort of purge. Things are still largely like she left them, not quite as neat, but mostly the same.
This Friday I spoke with our daughter. She had found one of her Mom’s hairs on a jacket she got out to greet our first fall cold front. The next day I found one on my fleece pullover. It was March when she made the decision to avoid the clump by clump falling out and asked us to buzz her head. So no hair since March. It’s almost November. Yet we still find those remnants of her presence.
It’s the little things like that. A strand of hair. The smell of her clothes in the closet. A faint whiff of her perfume in the bedroom. The sight of her Aggie ring on the dresser. I suppose that over time those things will stop happening. We lose a little more of her with each passing week.
But one little memory like that brings forth a flood of others. As Aves and I talked about the hair the conversation turned and we remembered her complete and total lack of ability to keep a secret. We plotted a surprise 21st birthday party for Aves. It was to be a total secret. Kim made it less than 48 hours before telling her. She was afraid that Aves might think we weren’t planning anything or had forgotten. She was the same way with presents. She would buy something early, be unable to keep it secret until the birthday/holiday, then give it early. Only to then worry that she needed to get something else to give “ON” the holiday.
So bring on the shards. Bring on the remnants. It only hurts for a minute and then the door opens on a lifetime of fantastic memories. And in the memory there is comfort. In the memory there is peace. In the memory she is forever smiling, forever well, forever with us.