I am having a friend over to bake so I thought it would be smart to maybe clean my neglected and for some reason always dirty kitchen. Is it just me or do people who really use their kitchens just never have a clean kitchen? I am not a pretty kitchen girl, I don't have a cookbook on an acrylic stand open to the same damn recipe everyday that I will never make but the photo is pretty, I don't have matching dishtowels perfectly folded over my oven handle, there isn't a vase of anything, and my cupboards are full of stuff I use often. I am not a great cook but I do a lot of cooking, my stove always has a pot of something on it, my oven is scary, and I love my basket full of onions, garlic, lemons, and drying herbs from the garden. The down side is that it usually looks like a bomb went off in here.
So today I decided to wipe the cupboards down, and mop the floor. I mop like they do in Mexico and I use a wet soapy towel. My feet have learned to move it around just the way I need it to, getting into the corners, putting more pressure in places that are little more grimy. I love the way the warm water feels, and how the large towel seems to erase a weeks worth of foot prints, spills, drip, drops, and proof that I was there.
Today is an ordinary day and mopping up an ordinary chore but today something happened, and it happens when I least expect it, I fell apart. I had my phone plugged into a speaker and I was playing a mix on Pandora. Songs came, I sang, some where songs I knew some new to me. Then "Somewhere over the Rainbow" by Iz began and I was transported to last days.
The first time I heard that song Stevie and I were in bed watching ER. Dr. Greene was in Hawaii with his family dying from a brain tumor, his daughter put headphones on him as he lay sleeping and whispered, "I remember" It was a baby song he sang to her, she wanted to let him know she knew he loved her and she loved him. He left his body as the waves crashed outside his window, as the breeze carried Iz's beautiful melody out of the television screen and into my heart, a heart that prayed that the girl next to me would always be next to me. I squeezed her hand, we cried.
A few years later that song would play in the room she lay dying in and later at her funeral. Today it played in my kitchen and I couldn't breath.
I hold it together day in and day out. I talk to my daughter on long walks, when I am afraid, when I just need to let her know I am thinking of her. I visit her at the cemetery. I dust her photo, kiss it and the smudge stays there until the next dusting. I do these things and tell myself, "she never left, she is still here, you just can't touch her and see her". But once in a while I am hit so hard and so unexpectedly that I am sure I will die from the grief.
I work through it, I sit down and cry. I talk to her, I pray to what ever god might be interested, I tell myself that she is waiting, she is waiting, she is waiting, somewhere for me.
I sit here in tears, today is an ordinary day but it is also a hard day, my heart is hurting in unimaginable ways. I am remembering things in snap shot and video clip; Her bald head on a pillow, the way she tried to tell me she loved me, reading to her when she couldn't anymore, laying in the tub with her, the time she fell off her bike and cut her leg, her curled up nursing in my arms as a baby. I don't want to forget any of it but it hurts to remember it, because she isn't here and I won't have anymore of anything...
It is almost seven years and you would thing some kind of magic would happen and faith would comfort me, time would erase all of this pain, I would accept this and that acceptance would move me from this place to the next, what ever that is. It doesn't.
I am not stuck in my grief, I live my life, I find happy moments, I celebrated, I stay busy. I do my best to keep my girl close but also understand that where ever she is she has things she must do to. That's how I do it, it isn't a cure it is a distraction.
Today will be an ordinary day, I will bake cupcakes, change diapers, pick Noah up from school, there will be homework, and dinner to make, laundry to fold, bills to pay but I will do it with a heavy heart, I will walk outside so my boys won't see my tears. I will look at this baby of mine and thank the universe for him for the ten millionth time and pray that he stay safe and healthy. I will look at Noah and see Stevie in him and think again how much she would have loved to know him now, he is just the kind of boy she thought was awesome. I will try to forgive Aly for not loving me like Stevie did and forgive myself because I stopped loving Steve the way I use to.
When the sky turns pink I will ask one more time for God to allow Stevie to come to me and tell me she is OK, to finally allow my heart some peace.
Then I will wake up and it will be an ordinary day again.