Happy memories!

Today was interesting! Instead of the usual pain of loss, happy memories were at the fore of my thoughts. Particularly, the playful way Kim would sometimes zoom in and give me a quick kiss and then back off and smile at me with a playful gleam in her eye. I miss that. And the sneaky hugs from behind when I’m working at the kitchen sink. It was nice that these surfaced, rather than the memories that trigger the “I could have been a better husband” introspection.

It was another “different” Sunday, as well. Kim’s dad is still in Florida, and our former neighbors had requested mass intentions for Kim at the 10:00 mass today, so, instead of going to 8:00 mass, we went to that one. I was surprised to see how much better attended it was than the 8:00 mass! In pre-COVID times, it was pretty well attended, but, I figured with the dispensation from the Archbishop, few would bother. It was heartening to see so many there.

After mass, we had a nice conversation with our neighbors and caught up a bit. A few “chokey” moments, but, in all, I was able to carry on a conversation with them regarding Kim and what transpired between April and December. It is starting to feel oddly rehearsed, though: that narrative. And I feel compelled to go through it. Maybe I’ve transitted to another phase of grief? It’s hard to say as, since April, I’ve been in all of the phases several times. Except for, maybe, anger. I never felt anger over it – though I was plenty angry with a couple of her doctors and with the conditions that the politicization of COVID had thrust onto us; just not with God or nature.

After that conversation, we went off to the cemetery to visit Kim. First, we stopped into the mausoleum to satisfy Jillian’s curiosity and then drove around to Kim’s grave. At first look, it appeared someone had stolen her grave blanket! Getting out of the truck for a closer look showed that the rotten cervids had flipped it over onto her mom’s grave. It only took a few minutes to set it right. A lot of fresh graves this weekend. Sad.

Then off to Grandma Sue’s for brunch with most of the gang – Jeanette and Vanessa were off to a pageant in Ohio, and Jessica and Noah are busy moving into their new house. Just Jillian, Chris, Tiffany, Kenny, Kelsie, and me – still a big bunch! It was a nice visit, and Grandma Sue enjoyed playing Uno with them for a few hours. Listening to them, in the corner of my memory, I could hear Kim joining in on what was one of her favorite things every Sunday – playing cards at Grandma Sue’s.

Upon arriving home, I reassembled the old Bowflex in the basement so Jillian can work out and, as Jessie says: I can get “rrripped.” Later an old friend – people I’ve known since four or five years before I met Kim, but haven’t seen in probably 20 years – called to offer their condolences. It was a nice conversation, and I managed through it without breaking down. Christopher bought a house around the corner and down the block from theirs. We’ll have to get together for a barbecue once the Wicked Witch of the Governor’s Mansion lets people live their lives without the threat of prosecution.

The weird ear thing seems to be escalating – the pulsing, rushing sound in the right ear is getting louder as this head cold progresses. No pain and my hearing doesn’t seem to be impacted. Probably being exacerbated by sinus pressure, which I have a ton of (no pun intended). I’ll be happy when someone can say “this is what it is, and this is how we fix it.” If not, I will still be OK with the added ability to take my own pulse without using my fingers to find it.

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