I tried to use a coupon today that was nearly six months old. I had carried it in my purse all summer and then forgot about it after the accident this past September. As I handed my money and coupon to the clerk, he gently handed it back to me indicating, “Mam, I am sorry, but this expired last summer.” “Oh”, I sighed, feeling stunned at how time had tricked me once again all the while trying to act as if this was just a simple mistake. Not a grander mistake due to the fact that my husband had been killed and as a result my mind runs in varying patterns of functioning. I know this was just a silly coupon. This could have easily happened to me even when Shawn was alive. But, somehow now that he is gone, I am much harder on myself. I am frustrated with my lack of concentration and I am disappointed in my disorganization. And I want my sharp mind back.
I missed an appointment today. I have scheduled it three times and continue to miss it when the date arrives. I don’t feel like I am young and alert. I feel old and fragile and breakable and confused and scattered.
It’s hard to return phone calls. I am inundated with new events and appointments and social obligations. I am consumed with running my household, taking care of my children, organizing the events surrounding death that linger even months after the funeral and somewhere in this entire array I force myself to find time to grieve the loss of my wonderful husband.
I hate paperwork, sorting mail, sending mail, paying bills, getting gas, changing light bulbs, programming electronic gadgets, fixing broken toys. I was spoiled. Shawn used to do all of these things for us. Life ran smoothly with him. And even though I can do all of the above and I can learn to adapt, I am not particularly enthused about it. It is difficult to be motivated with things that aren’t enjoyable.
Yet, even in the midst of my self-pity, I search deep to hear a voice that reassures, “Enjoy what you have, even the not-so-thrilling parts. Your days are numbered and time is short, but life can still be good.” And I think back to the beginning of my day and I chuckle at the coupon that was expired and rejoice that I am still able to find a smile.