Dear Timmy Sean;
Sometimes it’s still weird. Sometimes I still have moments when I forget that you’ve died – surely we just had a fight, and you left? And eventually you’ll be back for some of the eight gazillion forks, or to tell me where you left the big rolling pin?
Other times it’s a different kind of weird; it’s like you were never here and I’ve been single since my divorce to The Training Husband in 1999.
“They” say that the second year is the worst. That you’ve come out of your fog enough to realize that your life will never be the same. I don’t know that I agree with that, really. I spent three solid months watching you die a little more every day – I knew my life was never going to be the same the moment I found you paralyzed on the bathroom floor.
I would say, if anything, the second year is – for me – about finding The New Normal. That the first year was about trying to cling to what had been normal, routine, “things I should be doing,” to hold onto absolutely any fucking sense of reality. And now the second year is about stepping a little bit away from that, wading a little farther out into the ocean, finding what my new normal is.
My new normal is every moment at home with The Dingus Sisters. They get along like I wanted Corwin and Lindy to; better than Bridgett and Corwin got along, even better than Heidi and Bridgett got along. They get along like Heidi and Flats got along, or BJ and everybody.
My new normal is a riding lawn mower (that you never wanted and my guy I do NOT know why because this thing is A W E S O M E like a hundred thousand hot dogs) and tools I need to do yard work and home maintenance.
My new normal is instead of waffling between feeding them and ignoring them, actually being able to rescue, socialize, and adopt out the stray cats who show up on our property (although there are much less of them with your aunt and uncle not leaving food scraps out on the daily).
My new normal is making changes to the house, inside and out, that make the place feel more like me and less like us. Which…. is both wonderful and confusing. I feel like other people might think I’m making too many changes for myself, erasures of you, too quickly. But. But you’re not here. We didn’t have a fight that we’ll eventually make up over. You’re not coming back. This is my place now, and I just can’t make it a shrine to you, even if other people think I should. I have to make it my house. My home. My safe space. My castle, my fortress, the place that heals me and renews me and calms my troubled heart. You’re here, in every part of it, even the parts I’ve changed. Because you’ll always be a part of me. Twenty years with you left an indelible mark, for all that we were having problems at the end. I still will wish every day that it could have been a different ending, that we could have worked things out. But we didn’t, and I can’t stop my life from continuing. I’m not Miss Havisham. I can’t spookily drift from room to room, just… waiting.
I have to step outside into the sun, and keep trying to find out what’s normal for me now.