It starts out innocently enough while I’m sorting through papers when all of the sudden, a firm lump lodges in my throat—making it impossible for me to swallow. And then—as if by reflex—a tear starts to fall, followed by a solid stream of more tears. I dab the wet from my cheeks, blow my nose, and start the process all over again!
I can’t explain it, I can’t predict it, and I can’t make it stop. As I recounted the experience to my friend the other day, she nodded with a knowing smile and announced, “You’re grieving!”
“What?” I shrieked. “I’m doing no such thing; I’m excited about this move.”
“Uh-ah…sure you are, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re going through a grieving process,” she explained.
She was right. I went through the same thing when we left Italy to come to the States, only then it was worse—I was eight months pregnant (at least then I could blame it on hormones!).
It made perfect sense. That’s why I threw things away and then got up in the middle of the night to reclaim the little pieces of my heart and put them back in my suitcase, like the Mother’s Day cards I couldn’t part with, Jon’s emotion book that he wrote in fourth grade with the words…”Love is being with my family…I express this by smiling!” Or the poem Jeremy wrote on my fortieth birthday titled, “Thank you from the heart…” And the strangest “souvenir” of all—my son’s umbilical cord clamp. Yes, you heard me right. I’m literally taking a piece of each child with me!
Today, after cloudy skies and a thunderstorm of tears, I built myself a treasure chest filled with life’s little pleasures: a Christmas ornament that represents each child, two baby photos, birthday cards, Mother’s day cards, a music box, and our sons’ baby rings.
I closed my suitcase and started downstairs when Mark said, “You forgot this!” In his hand was a handpainted bud vase that he bought for me on our tenth wedding anniversary.” He smiled warmly and said, “I’m going to buy you a rose every day for the rest of your life!” I’m not sure if that will happen or not, but it’s the thought that counts (right?).
For now the weather is less stormy, the skies have cleared and there is sun in the ten-day forecast. Our youngest son gets married on Sunday (May 30), and we leave for Ecuador on June 3, 2010 with a slight chance of “rain.”
Concetta y Marco