It is sunny and bright outside today, although it is cold. The birds were singing this morning when I opened the door to let the dog outside. Sometimes it strikes me odd as to how life can be so normal and go on when a big part of it has literally died for me.
Last night my daughter stayed over for the night; by herself, without the baby. We watched a movie and talked. We didn’t really talk about her dad and his death, instead we talked about the things that are happening now, her return to work, the fact that baby is now a year old and that the year just flew by. That we miss her brothers, how nice it would be to have them closer. How important it is to have family nearby for her and me – my sister, Kevin’s sister – family. How nice it is to have our Sunday dinners.
This is something that I decided to keep on doing, having the family for dinner on Sundays. Usually the group includes my daughter, her partner and son, and my sister-in-law. It gives me a reason to cook, and it’s a nice thing to plan for. When I started these up again it was quite emotional; full of memories and connections. Since my daughter had moved out of the house about four years ago, we (Kevin and I) had started the Sunday dinner thing. After Kevin got sick it became even more important to us: him, me, my daughter, his sister. Every Sunday, even if Kev was too sick and couldn’t join us at the dinner table, I’d make dinner – sometimes we’d sit in the bedroom with him and eat by his bedside. He loved the company.
It was hard after he died, although we still had to eat obviously, there was no joy in sitting at the table. All it brought was sorrow. So I stopped for while. When I started again I decided to reconfigure the seating arrangement, and I sat where he always sat. Seems like such a small thing, but it was huge the first few times – to sit where “big Daddy’ used to sit. Now I sit there quite happily glad to see my family at the table, his table, my table, our table. Kev’s plate does not ever come out; years ago he had picked up a pottery plate for him and one for me, that’s something that I doubt I will ever be able to use again, but we’ll see.
As I puttered around this afternoon, getting the food into the oven to cook, seeing the bright sunshine streaming in the windows, it struck me again how life just keeps powering forward. I think about how I’ve changed in the past year, and how I am likely to keep on changing. How my whole family has had to adapt, and how we have been stripped down to the core emotionally and slowly been rebuilt – a little differently though, perhaps with more self-awareness, gratefulness and with simpler needs. It will be a year since Kevin died, 23 days from now (on the 29th of March), five days after our anniversary. I think I can safely say that week will likely be a bugger of a week.