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.

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