Well, it happened again. I cried in front of an unsuspecting soul. Before I get into the why and where, let me just say, Grief is a bipolar bitch. She is! No other word for her. She takes me to the highs of doing something on my own, then slaps me down with another reminder Peter will never be with me again. I can’t keep up with her. I roll with it knowing the leveling out will eventually happen, but I don’t like the ride.
So yesterday, I had a furnace person come out. I know it’s a good thing to do a check-up on your furnace every year. Peter was the person to perform this – remember, brilliant mind – but since he’s not around, well, yeah, I had to hire someone. Before the man even came out, I knew there would be some ‘issues’. I saw the rust, and yes, the mold – thank you leaky humidifier – and I heard the rattling when it whooshed on. The unit is getting into its AARP years, so I was waiting for the bad news. He delivered it.
When he started to tell me all that was wrong including the rust, mold, and clattering, I cried. Right in front of him, I blubbered out how Peter died in July, he took care of all of this and it’s all too much. Poor guy. I wonder if he takes psychology classes with his furnace lessons. No matter. He listened and gave me advice on what to buy and what not to buy (he actually pointed me to the less expensive one).
I know I should get a second opinion, so please don’t advise me on that. The point is, whether or not I need a new furnace, this was another example of how Grief slapped me down with the umpteenth reminder or missing him. I miss Peter’s love language of taking care of things. I will no longer hear his language and that saddens my soul. Yes, it frustrates me and questions my strength having to face another thing on my own, but my deep despair is from the pure absence of him and his love. I will never have him back and that is what made me cry…in front of the furnace guy.
After he left, I got into my car and drove to Discovery – remember, it’s my new name for my apartment. Peacock feathers sprung around my seat as I thought how once driving downtown scared me and now was as mundane as a drive in the country. As I drove, I thought, you go girl. Look at you. I even took a wrong turn downtown, but my muscle memory from working downtown for so many years found my way to Discovery. How kickass have I become?
I was settled in, about to snuggle in for the evening, when I recalled these flyers up about a tree lighting event in the park by me yesterday night. I thought it’d be nice to be part of a neighborhood thing and maybe, may and be, get a little spark of Christmas cheer. I took a deep breath, got bundled up and gave myself a pep talk about doing this, stretching my comfort.
Now what happened next seemed like it could be out of one of my novels. It is unbelievable, but I swear on any and all bibles, it happened. As I am approaching the place in the park where the event is happening, what should be blaring on the speakers? Why, Blue Christmas! Oh sure it was.
I laughed. I just laughed aloud, and hard. I thought, of course it would be playing. This has been my life. I also saw Peter. His eyes got wide, a smile crossed off his face calling out those fabulous lines around his eyes, and he laughed right along with me. The song was in its last verse, but there it was, blaring out the lyrics I knew to be true “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue Christmas.”
When I found a place to stand near the playground, I watched parents with their kids in line to see Mickey and Minnie and other kids playing in the snow, playing on the playground, and drinking hot chocolate. I was the only one without kids or a partner and I thought, I wonder if people think I’m being creepy…especially after my belly laugh.
I asked a lady near me who was standing by herself while her kids pushed each other down in the snow, what tree was going to be lit. She looked at me like I asked where I can score some drugs, and said, “there is no tree. They light up the playground.” The playground? Then I remembered, I am in the city. I stayed for the lighting of the swings and the slide, then left, still kind of chuckling to myself.
So in one day, in ten hours, I went from boohooing in front of an unexpecting furnace guy delivering me bad news, beaming with delight in finding my way without fear, to guffawing in front of a bunch of strangers while a park was being lit up. Yes, I am emotional. Yes, you don’t know you can do something until you have to. Yes, I find humor in the absurdity of life. And yes, I experience all three. But, really, since Peter died, Grief has been the one who brought me to the sudden onset of these emotions and within ten hours. She brings me to my knees in the deepest sadness I’ve ever known, then has me walking on the clouds from conquering an obstacle, to laughing at the ridiculousness of the turn my life has taken.
I know in my eventualities, I will stable out. I will learn to live with the sadness, the victories will be part of my everydayness and I will laugh at other things again. Until then, I’m telling you, Grief really is a bipolar bitch…one I never, EVER, thought I’d have in my life.