Last weekend, I spent the day boxing up most of Mark’s books, the ones that I know I won’t read. And, well over a year after I’d started the task, I emptied his dresser. Just a few t-shirts left there, plus his chemo hats, a few pairs of socks, a lock of his hair, and his chemo port. (Mark being Mark, he made the surgeons save it so he could have our artist friend Linda Noland “bling it up” like a medal for him to wear and show off. Linda, if you want it, it’s yours.)
The bedroom is recently repainted, antique blue, much lighter than the deep cerulean that was Mark’s favorite. The entire room is rearranged. The bed’s the same, but the mattress and the bedspread are new. There’s a new ceiling fan and light fixture. I found a crazy bargain, a posh loveseat for $27, and it fits this room perfectly. There’s different furniture in the living room too, and the whole room is oriented towards the east instead of the west.
Mark might like these changes but then again, I’ve not given him too much say. I am left to this place and it is left to me, my boys and me. I’m slowly making it into a place that fits the person that I am becoming.
As always, there are a dozen things left undone. There are closets to be cleared. Under-bed storage that needs to be sorted and tossed. There are prints that need framing and framed prints that need hanging. There are piles of paper to be sifted through, and paperwork to finish. My office is slowly becoming a boy’s bedroom, and I am only now beginning to create a writing space. The posh loveseat helps.
I recognize these as outward signs of inner transition. I see that I am slowly heading out of the doldrums.
Today, out of the blue, I was flooded with the memory of Mark and I coming home from our honeymoon to find that friends and family had decorated our apartment with the trappings from our wedding, including the huge garland that Mark had created for the ceremony, a circle of light that covered the entire living room ceiling.
I am brokenhearted; I am blessed. I am on my feet, for now. I am back on my feet.