This individuation isn’t that easy. The separation from husband isn’t a cleavage; it’s no clean break. Imagine ripping a band-aid off your skin slowly, and you get the idea. We need to sort through our habits and our interpersonal relations to peel away the way he did things, uncovering the way we do things now, even if we are doing them atop a raw wound (such as it is).
Today I bought some new rakes. (In the summer purge I gave away or threw out the old rakes that had tines that bent and clattered.) But first I had to drop off son at his Sunday afternoon activity. I told him to run into the building himself. He resisted, insisting I accompany him. I can’t do that every time. The standoff led to my blood boiling and semi-shrieking outside the university gym. Not pretty, and reminiscent of the summer meltdowns. Yuck. He went on his way, and I went to a hardware store in the next town over, where I wouldn’t know anyone, and without looking the nice salesman in the eye, asked where the rakes are and bought two.
On the way back into town I stopped at my favorite retro grocery store and made sure to include horehound candies, an Appalachian remedy to soothe the throat that I’d scarred during said shrieking. I picked up daughter from friend’s house and found her scampering outside. She just ran down the driveway and into the car. Lovely. We retrieved son from his activity. He was in good spirits. “I was embarrassed when you yelled at me,” he said, with his equipment bag foisted over his shoulder. You and me both, kid, you and me both.
When we got home I whipped up some dinner sandwiches–local roasted garlic smeared on local heated-up bakery French bread, topped with a garlicky white bean spread and local wilted kale. Son was pleased, but daughter was outside raking leaves into a pile as tall as she is. I joined her and used one of the new rakes to rake the ivy. Piles and piles of leaves came out, and most of the ivy remained. Excellent new rake. I let the Saint Bernard-looking dog out, commanding, “Get daughter!” He ran right to the leaf pile and “rescued” her, just like old times. We tied him up to the rope swing next to the leaf pile, so he could enjoy the activity.
While out there with daughter, I decided that we should plant garlic. We have some bulbs from a farmer. Husband was working on garden beds the last day he was with us. Those beds have represented nothing but inexplicable trauma to me, and I have mostly ignored them and let clover grow over them this summer. They get full sun, though, and would be a nice spot. While raking, I ventured over to the compost bin, which I haven’t gone near since I stopped composting 4+ months ago. For all those months I’ve steered clear, figuring the rat(s) have taken over it. But nay, there’s nothing in there but rich, black soil. That’s it. We’re going to add it to the garden beds and make it a nice home for the garlic bulbs.
We can’t avoid him. He is everywhere around us, but he’s not here with us. He doesn’t protect us, he doesn’t help us. So we move forward. We do it by extricating him, peeling him away, then we replace it with whatever it is we are doing now.