It took seven years for the words to come more slowly. Muddled in fog, the memories pull my tongue back into my mouth, trying to make full sentences when the dryness comes at the beginning of March.
There are still words for the sadness and they are taking longer to take shape this year. In the stretching of letters into sentences, my brain seeps into places we used to live together. So much has changed.
This week we both sized up my baby’s car seat and moved down her mattress in the crib. We put up baby gates and took down too-small jackets into the basement. They told me this would go fast, and again, as the fog of new parenthood has lifted, I find myself bouncing up and down to catch up with her growth.
However, a familiar front has rolled in, bringing in old stagnant air of grief, and as the mixing air swirls around us, pushing the blur of her infancy into, well, the past. I can’t believe we’re coming up on a year of baby, and seven years without Dad.
Life happens as we live it. In the bouncing up and downs there’s now wine at the grocery store, cookies with crumb baked in, and baby babbles on the monitor as we wake up in the morning. There’s the ache of not knowing a parent as a friend, of watching others grow and wondering how we ever moved so far in different directions. There’s the putting on of his old sweatshirts and slippers, fingering tears in the worn brown sleeves, as you sit and you watch, chest upon knees, as the grief fog returns.
Seven years, and the words have slowed. The settling, the acceptance, the stillness of grief’s truth, all beautiful things.
Every once in awhile, I’ll ask readers and friends to do something kind in honor of Roy. Sometimes I’ll ask on his birthday. In other years, the day of his death. This week, please commit a random act of kindness in his honor. Buy the person behind you in the drive thru’s coffee. Send that card you’ve been waiting to send. Thank a nurse. Bring donuts to work. Clean up your socks even if you don’t want to.
Please email me or tag me on social media when you do and we’ll create a little bit of sparkle on a real sad Saturday. Do something kind. Help the fog lift. Make memories of Roy into beautiful things.