It’s almost Christmas Eve. Pam sent me a honey-do list that magically popped up in the reminder file on my cell phone, deviously clever, that woman. I’m glad, grateful suddenly to have a list of jobs to occupy my mind.
Last night Pam and I took dinner over to my niece Christina who is home with a week-old baby girl. I was very excited to get to see little Evelyn. But right before we left Pam asked me to take the cooler out and put it in the back of the car. It was only then when it all hit me. As I unhatched the door to the back of the Pacifica, a flood of memories poured down upon me in an instant. For nearly two years, every Tuesday and Thursday night, I loaded up a full cooler of food in the back of this same car in preparation for our trips to bring dinner to Dad. I hadn’t done it since March, but the memory is still fresh and warm. Now I was bringing another meal and on this one I will pull in the same old driveway. But this time, someone else lives in Dad’s house. I’ll drive around back to Paul and Christina’s new place near the woods. I will glance in the windows of the old place while I drive by. I won’t be able to help myself.
It was great seeing the baby. I held her for the first time. She is beautiful. But I haven’t been able to shake off the grief that found me in my garage loading that cooler. It’s the strangest thing. I can go days, weeks even without thinking about it, but the smallest most inconsequential thing can unleash a torrent of sadness over me.