Wednesday of this week was incredibly busy for me. It is on these days I tend to add tasks to my “to do list” because I just work better under pressure. I know it sounds crazy, but I become more focused and I seem to accomplish more. So, after school, along with the five other errands I needed to complete, I went to the cemetery to replace the flowers on Don’s grave. I drove up to his stone, got out of the car, glanced at my father-in-law’s monument (who died less than a year after Don), I said a prayer then grabbed the flower containers from both stones to take to the florist to be refilled. When I arrived at the florist, I told the designer what I wanted in each container. It was as if I were picking out a new centerpiece for my dining room table. I was very “matter of fact” – devoid of much emotion; yet, I seemed compelled to complete the task perfectly.
When I got back in my car, I realized that I had just accomplished an undertaking that a few months ago was so emotionally ridden that I was unable to drive out of the parking lot for 20 minutes until I finished weeping. It was in that moment I realized I was experiencing healing. I actually smiled on the inside on my way home, knowing that Don would be very proud of the progress I have made. He would love the fact that I have been able to move to a new home, keep my church commitments, be a mother to the boys, maintain a semblance of dignity and begin to live again. He would be proud that the boys are excelling in their pursuits and that they are content and even happy.
Next week, I will go pick up the finished arrangements and take them back to adorn the monument marking the life of a great man. The actual physical stone deserves to be maintained in his honor, but the stone in the cemetery is not my husband’s legacy. The heritage of love and integrity he left for his family is a more appropriate monument to Don’s life.