This weekend I was away, travelling to the US with my sister. This was something that I used to do before Kevin got ill; when the Canadian dollar was almost par with the US dollar. It was a girl’s weekend: me, my daughter and my sister. Off we’d go to Buffalo and shop until we dropped, or at least until I dropped. When we got to Buffalo yesterday it was remarkable how much had changed since I was last there. It had been two years since I’d done the trip, it surprised me when I realized how long it had been.
For this trip, my sister was meeting up with her fiance, and so we had separate rooms booked. The hotel was newly built since we’d last visited and very modern in design. I couldn’t help but think how much Kev would have liked it. If he had an opportunity to go away, even for a night or two, he was on it. This hotel was right up his alley, clean lines, linear patterns – very contemporary.
Saturday night as I got ready for bed, all alone in the lovely hotel room, I thought about our nighttime ritual; most couples have one and Kevin and I were no exception. For probably the last ten years of our marriage, once we were both in bed and settled in for the night, he’d turn on his left side and I would snuggle in behind him for a few minutes, then I’d kiss him three times on his right shoulder and roll over onto my right side. If we were having a disagreement, or I was for some unknown reason mad at him, I wouldn’t follow the pattern. I’d get in bed and just lie on my right side to go to sleep. Nine times out of ten, I’d win. He couldn’t stand the deviation from the usual nighttime routine. After a few minutes of silence, he’d use this bored voice, almost like I was a child, and say, “Whatever it is, you need to get over it.” Needless to say that would result in a fairly robust conversation and, again, nine times out of ten, we’d resolve whatever it was. Then he’d get his three kisses.
It is nine months and two weeks since Kevin died, and there are still so many things that seem to boomerang back at me. I know that things are gone and finished and can’t be anymore, but still they just hit me out of the blue. I cry, and I talk to him; sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Those lines come back to me even after he’s gone: “Whatever it is, you need to get over it.” Not this time, honey.