I had no idea that when I woke up this morning, I'd feel the feelings I experienced all day. When I went to my paper calendar, ready to turn the page to a new month, I couldn't do it. I couldn't turn the page. February punched me in the face and I froze. If I turned the page, I would see that it had been a year since I lost my Terry. Turning the page would make it real. I would have to admit that I'd been a widow for an entire year. So, I didn't turn it. I left it on January.
I thought about Terry for the rest of the day. I have been teary and sentimental and I don't think it will get any easier as the month goes on, regardless if I turn that page or not. Last year on this very day, I had only 20 more days with my boyfriend. I wish I'd have known that. Maybe then I would have been kinder. More patient. More affectionate. More.
Erika needed my help with Eloise today. I was more than excited to pick her up for a change of scenery...both for her AND for me. Yesterday, I took her to the mall and to do a little shopping. I wasn't sure where I'd take her today. When we got in the car, though, I had a yearning that pulled me to visit the cemetery. I honestly haven't gone very often. Mostly for special days or on visits with the family. So it was odd that I felt that need.
The cemetery was covered with snow. Here and there were headstones that families had cleared and placed flowers, plants, the usual. I felt guilty that Terry's remained under snow. I found it easily because I had marked the grave with an Oilers windmill from my nephew Taylor. It made me smile to see it poking out of the snow like a waving hand saying "here I am".
I carried Eloise over the snow and kicked off as much snow and ice as I could then set her down. I uncovered his name and missed him more. I didn't bother to uncover my name. That's just too weird still. I had El "help" me fashion two hearts out of snow...One from me and one from her. It felt very sweet to be there with her. When it was time to go, I picked her back up and started walking away. I told her to say "bye bye". She put her little hand in the air and waved and surprised me by saying "Bye bye, Pop Pop!" I stopped in my tracks. "What did you say?" "Bye Bye Pop Pop!" The tears came again. I'd never heard her say that before. I still can't believe it. We talk to her about Terry as "Pop Pop" quite often. But, how did she know to say it then?
I've resigned myself to allowing my feelings to manifest in any way they might during this month. I'm not going to stifle them. Sometimes I think that when I try to hide my feelings or say "I'm good" when people ask, that I'm only making things worse inside of me. I'm sick of being strong and acting like everything is moving along swimmingly. Yet, I suppose, that's who I am. I can't publicly mope. I can't publicly cry. Like Terry would always brag "You've got that strong Canadian blood in you!" I will just go on. I will pretend everything is fine. But somedays it tears me up inside.
I returned home tonight determined to turn that calendar page. When I stood back in front of it, I just couldn't do it. So, for now, I'll pretend that January has 32 days and hope that I can turn that page tomorrow.
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