Today has been quiet, allowing me to write more thank you notes, do a little laundry, clean some counters and catch up on the bills. I was in the kitchen when there was a knock at the door. It was the happy UPS man with a smiling box in his hand.
I was a bit confused because I have been on a no shopping binge since last month, so I knew it wasn’t for me. Unless someone had sent a gift?? Oh how I love surprises because it’s all about me ‘ya know.
I thanked the man in brown and headed inside to open the box. There was a book inside and it was wrapped. I opened the gift card and sucked in my breath.
“Merry Christmas Daddy. I love you more than sunshine and bacon. Love your girl Courtney.”
WTH…Oh…crap…so not what I was excpecting…so.not.
I gently placed the book on my husbands chair and headed into the kitchen. I needed to get away from that gift as fast as I could. I opened up the cabinet, grabbed a clean carafe, placed it on the counter and started slicing lemons for my lemon water.
The tears held right behind my eyes. I could do this. I could survive this moment, right here, and not give into the grief.
I remember the afternoon that my Mom and I went through Jerry’s wish list on Amazon while Courtney was sleeping. Christmas was fast approaching and I wanted to make sure he had something to open on his big day that we had chosen. So I scrolled, found one that looked good, clicked and forgot all about it.
It was apparently a pre-order, which explains it’s arrival today, four months after Courtney’s death. I continued to slice lemons and then I grabbed the filtered water to fill the carafe. That’s when I saw this…
54 oz marked clearly with a sharpie. This was the carafe I used to make her specialized formula during the last three months of her life. The hardest three months of her life.
well crap…crap…crap…the tears flowed.
Courtney taught us much about taking life one day at a time, staying in the moment fully and wringing every bit of life out of it. Here I was standing in the kitchen pouring water into a carafe and crying.
Seriously people…it was such a boring Tuesday and then whammo! I have learned many things in the past four months, the most important being to honor that wave of grief when it overpowers you. Fighting it is futile. It makes it worse.
So I cried, hiccups, snot and all. Finished the ugly cry, then had a little chat with Miss Courtney.
I thanked her for the little reminder that she is always with us, present in the little things and the big. I asked her to be with her Daddy when he opened his present. I knew it would be tough to see that message and experience the loss once more. Then I talked to Mother Mary thanking her for taking care of my girl until I can get home to Heaven to be reunited with her.
You never know when the day will throw you a curve ball. We have gotten really good at ducking and stretching ourselves trying to avoid a direct hit when those darn things are thrown, but grief doesn’t allow a ton of flexibility.
Hence the direct hit this afternoon. So the lesson for the day is to remain in the present, honor the grief when it comes and then have a Margarita or three.
Happy Cinco de Mayo,