|Paige hanging out on the deck|
May sucked. So many things about it sucked that I can't begin to list them all. For starters, I gained back the four pounds I lost in April plus one more for good measure. Who knew that carbs count as a legitimate religion? (Let me know if you find a loaf-on-a-cross necklace 'cause I want one.) We're not talking sweet carbs, but stuff like crusty bread dipped in olive oil or bread dipped in hummus. Basically bread dipped in anything. And kettle chips with melted gruyere on top, each nacho-like layer drizzled with olive oil and hot sauce then pulled apart and generously loaded with French onion dip, clam dip, fiesta ranch dip or any combination of dip and hummus.
I want some now.
In addition to the carb fest, I've been very sad (which - hello - is why I needed the carbs in the first place). More sad in May than the first few months after Dad died, like it took this long to really sink in. Holding in the sad and functioning day-to-day takes a lot of energy, by the way. And grief shows all over me like a mask that I can't take off. Visiting the farm for the first time without him on Memorial Day emphasized the loss even more. From last Tuesday until this morning, I've been on the edge of tears constantly, had regular stomachaches, chest tightness and total exhaustion. I've had fears of dropping dead suddenly and then found myself wishing I would so I could stop pretending to be okay. In the middle of all of this, I was preparing a 1-hour presentation for a large group of regional health care leaders that I delivered on Friday. Apparently, it was the last straw.
Yesterday, I woke up crying and cried all morning as I sat on 'Squid,' the small patio at the bottom of our back yard. Paige sat with me, getting up occasionally to come lay her long nose on my leg before resuming her folded down position where she could watch every move I made. When I had cried all the tears I could possibly eek out, I felt almost paralyzed, like I'd had an out of body experience. The rest of the day was a fog, although B-man and I managed to clean out our dining room pantry. We put stuff on the table and floor so we could stare at it and wonder how in the hell we 1) accumulated so much stuff that we have never and will never use and 2) fit it all into this small pantry. As soon as we were done rearranging, I left B-man to box up the giveaways because I could no longer think and had to channel surf until happy hour. Thank you, God, for happy hour.
Today is completely different. Not great, just...new, I guess. My sadness has lifted some and I feel more ready to go on with life. This morning, as B-man and I were on the deck enjoying coffee together, I was thinking about the one year of grieving I have allowed myself. I almost felt Dad lean over and say to me in his gentle, reassuring voice, 'you know, Kate, you don't have to grieve for a whole year for me. Let yourself feel better now and enjoy the life you have.'
Maybe I'm ready to do that and maybe I'm not, but it gives me comfort to know that whatever I need to do is okay with him. We have plenty of bread and chips, just in case.
photo courtesy of B-man