I remember a time not too long ago when I couldn't taste anything, couldn't notice the sunshine, couldn't appreciate the beauty in anything. Getting out of bed and making it through the day was all I could handle.
As time passed, I noticed a beautiful day - the first gorgeous day I noticed was ruined by a crying fit (how could it be this beautiful if he isn't here with me)...whatever, I noticed. I was just starting to wake up from the bad dream. Eventually, I became aware of my surroundings again, began to notice the life going on around me. It became clear to me that time was marching on, even as I drifted in my fog. At first, it just pissed me off. How dare things go on? How dare the sun rise and set as if nothing had happened? What was wrong with everyone? How could they smile, laugh, live?
I was bitter. I was envious. I was jealous of the "perfect" lives other people had. I resented old couples. I resented young couples. I attended weddings and wanted to scoff during the vows: "yeah, til death do you part - hold on sweetie it might be a lot freakin sooner than you think..." I'm not naturally a bitter person, so this particular stage didn't last too long (but longer than you might think!!). The darkness lifted, and I began to smile again at old couples (thank goodness, you should go to hell for wishing the evilness on old people that I was wishing!) - young couples with babies didn't make me want to cry, and I became....what? I don't know what I became. Resigned? I don't think so. Although I think the bitterness was still there, and sometimes resurfaces, I believe what happened is that I became less repelled by the sweet. I became more accepting that Daniel's death didn't remove all of the sweetness from the world.
For a couple of years I had forgotten most of the things that I liked - or at least I had forgotten to actively like them. My awakening came in stages. For a while, I chose to like only those things that Daniel had liked. At least, I thought, I can do that much for him. I'll always do the things that he liked and it will be like he is still here. That lasted for a while, but I don't love yard work ;) , I've never enjoyed watching poker on TV, I don't enjoy reading "finding wealth" books, I'm a terrible carpenter, and I can only drink one Jack and Coke before I want to switch to something else. Soooo, gradually I started to get back in touch with me. What did I like? At first I couldn't remember. What did I like? Just me. Not Daniel. Not Grayson. Just me? What did I like? It was tough to figure out at first. Eventually though, and with practice it came back to me.
These are a few of my favorite things (in no particular order):
- plain old white daisies - nothing is more simple or pretty
- hot coffee on the porch
- little boy laughter
- smart comedies (and some not so smart ones too)
- the smell of fresh rosemary
- a good run that leaves you sweaty and tired
- cooking with friends
- a pint of Guinness sitting at the bar
- sunrise or sunset on the beach or on a boat
- long phone conversations with people I miss
- feeling like I've helped someone
- fire in the fireplace
- outdoor music festivals with very cold beer
- chips, queso, a frozen margarita with salt
- being alone in my house - music as loud as I want
- movies in bed
- bubble bath, candles, red wine
- little boy hugs
- insanely high heels
- old houses with original wood trim
- Saturday mornings
I didn't realize I'd forgotten these things. I'd forgotten to even care. These days, I don't forget. These are the things that keep my inner-fire stoked. Really they aren't anything special. There is no revelation here. These things are just me. Oddly enough, as much as I feel like I have changed, these things haven't changed from the "before" me. They are exactly the same.