Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Box

Another week has gone by. It was not a good week, nor, was it a bad week. There were some ups and downs, starting with the beginning of the week being not so good, ending with an OK. Just an OK.

I was going through some small boxes the other day, leftover from our move. It was things father in law had given us of his mom's. It was miscellaneous stuff. A pair of crocheted butterflies, some pictures and checkbooks. They were the carbon copies of checks she had written. They looked as if they were written yesterday.

I sat down and started going through those checkbooks. She had beautiful handwriting. I glanced at the date. It was in 1987. As I went through, I noticed her handwriting begin to wander all over the checks. The last entry was in 1991. The year she was diagnosed. I went back through the checks again. Those checks told a story. Her story of her decent into this madness. Her balancing of the checkbooks were so precise. In the beginning. Towards the end, there were crossing out of numbers all jumbled together. How lost she must have felt. And, suddenly, there were no more entries. There are still blank check checks left.

I put the books down and felt such an overwhelming sadness. For her, for husband. For all of us. I wanted to go back in time and tell her how much I love her and hold her.

I also came across a picture. A very old picture. It looked like she had cherished it for years. I had no idea who this man was. This man in the picture looked so familiar to me. As I was holding this picture, it was like this man was speaking to me. It was a picture of husband's grandfather. Her father. The one who was the first to get this horrific disease. He died when she was very young. She had this picture tucked away, all these years. The man staring back at me looks just like husband. The features are remarkable. Haunting. This man who has been gone for so many years seemed to speak to me. I found myself catching my breath.

I tucked this picture back into it's place in the box. As I was doing so, tears were running down my face. The box has been tucked away. I will keep her tradition of tucking away cherished things. I will honor her and her father. They were real people. They were loved. They will be remembered. Little did this man in the picture know, how, one day, after he was gone, after his daughter was gone, that his grandson's wife, while in the process of preparing for his grandson's death, would open this box and find this story.

And I mourn this grandfather. I mourn my mother in law. I mourn my husband.

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