I decided to clean out an old bin in the pantry today.  It was filled with receipts that I have put off filing.  Without thinking, I started to sort the receipts by date.  If the slips were dated after 9-6-05, I threw them away without care.  If I noticed any purchases made before Shawn died, I neatly stacked them on a separate pile. Without consciously trying, I knew exactly what I was doing.  I needed to see what was important before death.  What did we buy?  What was worth spending money?  Where were our values? 

I was particularly interested in the receipts from August which was only weeks before Shawn was killed.  How could he have known that the camera part he bought at National Camera Exchange 19 days before his death would be the last time he ever walked into one of his favorite stores?  I bought brussel sprouts 15 days before the accident.  Who buys brussel sprouts?  Now I remember we were trying to eat healthier.  I served them with fish one night.  I hope he liked it.  He said he did.  Now I wish I would have made beef stroganaugh instead, one of his favorite meals.  On that same grocery stub it lists four small cartons of half and half creamer.  It was on sale.  Shawn loved cream in his coffee.  I don’t buy creamer anymore. 

There’s a receipt from a convenience store dated exactly one month
before he died.  The out-of-state location wasn’t familiar to me until
I remembered that week we were on the last vacation we would ever take
together.  The slip isn’t itemized.  I wonder what we bought.  I know
he got me a coffee cooler during one of our stops.  I remember liking
how he always thought of me.  I remember that was one of the many
things I loved most about him. 

Twelve days before he died we bought egg noodles.  Shawn had made
his famous chicken noodle soup with a variety of vegetables from the
farmer’s market.  I loved his soup creations.  He used to cook without
a recipe.  He loved to experiment.  We froze bags full to last all
winter long.  Shawn would never see snow again.  He wouldn’t celebrate
Christmas with us.  He would never eat this batch of soup he made. 

The week before he died he put gas in our car and the receipt is
neatly initialed “SBS” meaning he had tracked it as an expense for the
month.  There is a collection of Menards receipts stapled together.
The day before he died he made a return with Jordan.  This was a
significant trip back then because he had just finished our basement, a
project that took much energy and effort.  Now the trip is more
significant because it was the last trip he made with his son. 

I am done cleaning the pantry for today.

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