This past month I have felt extremes. Late in July, I had a week or two of almost giddy normality. The first week of August, before my birthday, I was pathologically depressed and anxious. That passed, but we learned about Mom's upcoming surgery, and the fears of losing another person dear to me resurfaced.
All in all, I'm moving on. We no longer spend the weekends half expecting Jolene to walk through the door. We have taken care of most of the details concerning her death. At times, I can say her name or mention her death without crying.
And yet ...
Grief tears through me with simple reminders. Last night, we ate at Chili's. Every time we go there, we can almost see Jolene climbing on the giant stone peppers at the entrance. But the real stinger came with dessert.
Colorado restaurants have introduced a new wrinkle to their menu--"mini molten lava cakes." Three of them. When I saw the platter, my first thought was "one apiece." I choked up. We joked that although there are three cakes, we would have argued over who ate which flavor. I still cried.
This morning, I was making sweet talk to our cat, saying "You're a beautiful girl, yes, you are." The memory surfaced how I would tell Jolene "You are my girl, you are my pearl, although you have no curls." Tears, again. Mom held me. "It still doesn't seem possible," she said.
I didn't realize how much I loved Jolene until I lost her. Oh, my girl. I miss you so.