Saturday, October 15, 2011

15th October

Oh dear, down to earth with a bump. The sense of loss is once again quite overpowering and although I’ve kept myself purposefully busy, tears are never far away. It’s understandable really, having lived and built a home and family in the same house for over 32 years which is filled with so many memories. I spend most of my time in the front room which was remodelled after Jane died and so I have no memories of her in it. It’s all my own design and that helps. I’ve used her artwork to decorate the walls as I like it even though it’s all work that she has not hung for a long time and probably never would have again. But hey-ho it’s my choice now! This is one of her smaller oil paintings from many years ago…

But I did manage to overcome a major hurdle this afternoon. I mowed one of my lawns for the first time this year. I persuaded my son to paint a shed whilst I did this job, which he would normally do. Sounds nothing I’m sure, but for a number of years the garden was really Jane’s thing, although I’ve normally done the heavier work. It’s also where we spent a lot of our time, relaxing at every opportunity. In a sense for me it is almost as challenging as digging into the contents of her wardrobe or bedside drawers or that most personal of places… a woman’s handbag. There’s where I find Chanel No 5 or Estee Lauder White Linen, and despite spending the past 40 years feeling uncomfortable at a Debenham’s gift counter, I have no use for them now. I can’t face making decisions about getting rid of her stuff yet but that doesn’t stop my house from needing work on it. And Jane was always my working partner, helping me finish decorate in the early hours when we had young children, and in later years being patient with my need to visit every DIY store to cover all options and then carefully explaining why showroom fawn is not the colour we should use. And it’s only now that Jane has gone that I fully appreciate how much she did. This evening my son decided we should have a vegetable stew to warm us up, and neither of us could remember how Jane transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary with her experienced use of spices. It’s not just Jane as a person we’ve lost, it’s also all the little things that only she knew about that are now gone forever. But seasoning, some garlic and a stock cube got our meal at least pointing in the right direction. Though we still can’t remember if she used chilli or paprika or cayenne pepper or… I’m not really ready to be on my own am I?

Genesis 2:18 ‘Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”’ (NLT)

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