I went to bed last night knowing that today would be the 27th, eight months since the accident. I know I’m not exactly attracting readers to my blog by writing more about grief; I told myself – once a week at the most – but I can’t do anything else today, I just can’t.
Thanks to my phone chiming at 4:30 with a text from a wrong number, I woke from a bad dream and crawled out of bed. Wrapping a sweater tightly around myself, I crept downstairs and hit the button on the coffee maker. Mercifully, I had set it up the night before. Now I’m sitting in my favorite spot, coffee next to me, a heavy weight on my chest.
Yesterday I was looking through pictures for a post as Eby peeked over my shoulder. He saw a picture of Kalkidan and said, “I wish we knew that Kalkidan was going to die so you wouldn’t go and it wouldn’t happen.” He paused and I put my hand on his arm, “Or maybe you could wait 20 minutes, then she wouldn’t die and be buried under our tree.”
“Me too, Ebs,” I said, “Me too. I wish we could change everything about that day.”
Glancing back at the pictures, he said, “Can we still hang her ornaments on the Christmas tree? And can we give her a new one each year too?”
“Of course we’ll hang her ornaments, and if you want to get a new one for her, we can do that too.”
That afternoon I came home from an appointment to find the house filled with the smell of spices. Claire was cooking spicy fried potatoes, a recipe she and Kalkidan created and put in their cookbooks. Claire wanted to make something to remember her sister who loved to cook – and eat.
I called Kalkidan my “culinary genius” and we talked about the possibility of culinary school in her future. She was very interested, but only if she didn’t make it as a professional basketball player. She was holding out hope that her talent would make up for her height of 4’11”.
Today is all the more complicated because for the second time in eight months, I have to drive north up Highway 95, past the site of the accident. I honestly don’t feel capable. I told Russ that we need to look for an alternate route on Google maps – I don’t care how much time it adds, I just can’t do it today.
We are surrounded by memories of Kalkidan, which is wonderful and good. Yet grief pops up often; it pulls on us. Sometimes the sadness is almost sweet; we love her, we miss her. Other times, it washes over me like the wave in Hawaii that once caught me unaware, knocking me off my feet, and sending me tumbling in the sand.
Today is like that. Maybe I just need to cry hard – let it all out. It feels too big, too powerful, and I don’t want it to overwhelm me.
Oh friends, thank you for walking this road with me. Thank you for letting me pour myself out and put my swirling thoughts into sentences that come out my fingers. It helps me more than you can know.
This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.