I was teary off and on all day. Umm, on and on all day. Doing chores, driving Julia around to therapy, and cooking, I'd sing the single line -- I've been scared of changing 'cause I built my life around you -- and tears would come without further bidding. The main task of the day was cleaning out my closet and drawers. A task that has been on the list, the bigger list that almost never gets taken care of in the midst of stuff life heart transplants and death. We had talked about a grand clean out, a paring down, a releasing all the useless baggage that we accumulate for years without thought. All the stuff that we collected to live with, not because we liked that stuff for the most part but because we needed some stuff to sit on, to sleep on, to put out stuff in. And some of that stuff we moved from NYC to Bloomington to Indy to Madison. Some of it is still in boxes from the move over three years ago. Further testament to how unnecessary our stuff really is. But now, I have to deal with the stuff and our plan to get rid of it. Alone. And getting rid of stuff puts me that much further from David. But living in a house that is cluttered in a way that We had always talked about changing does not make me comfortable and happy.
Dammed if I do . . . and if I don't. Walking right through the muck of this day, this grief. Walking through without flinching or turning away. That is the work of the day.
And I have gotten rid of most of the clothing that is older than Cheshire!
And so, with all that baggage, I cleaned out my closet and cried. My heart cracked open and wide. I don't know whether I cried more when I sang, "I've been afraid of changing" or when I sang, "cause I built my life around you." Both and each.
How lovely to have had the chance to build my life around someone. Around David. How lovely to have had to give up some of what I wanted, to watch him give up some of what he dreamed. How lovely to compromise and to want some things and people and places together. How lovely to build that life.
And what I take from this day and these tears is the vow that if I ever get the opportunity to do that again -- build a life around someone -- I will do it better. Not that I could have improved in the way that David and I build our life around each other, but next time, I will not take it for granted. I will not take it as if it was due to me. I will appreciate such an opportunity every day.
In truth, for some time, I have been appreciating a whole lot more. Every day. Every smile. Every kindness.
I am watching "Eat Pray Love" tonight. For a moment, I fantasize that if I did not have Julia to raise, I could go to Italy, and India, and Bali, and eat and pray and love and recover from all the mourning and grief. Then, I recover from this fantasy, I see that I really rather be raising Julia than indulging in purely personal recovery, that if I ate in Italy I would be fat, that if I went to the ashram I would indeed get malaria from some mosquito, that lovely men at each stop would not fall over themselves to be in my company, and that I am where I belong.