As I look around our bedroom I see the stack of bags and papers that still sit right where we put them almost a year ago when we brought them home from hospice. And it reverberates inside me, “We brought them home instead of Grace.” All of her belongings cluttered the back of our car, but sadly, devastatingly, no Grace. I learned to ignore the “in plain sight” Grace clutter like one learns to ignore the sound of fingernails scraping a chalkboard. Yeah, it’s kind of like that, but, much, much worse. Each day they greeted me with hostility, paralleling their miserable orphaned and exiled existence beside my bed with the miserable abandoned pain I felt, reminding me again, “Grace is gone.” Each day I heard their irritating scratching and grinding from the solemn place they commanded, but I remained helpless to do anything about the piercing and stabbing sound. I just turned my head, averted my eyes and reminded myself to ignore the sound. Some days when I caught the clutter unaware, I would brush my fingertips over the journals and cards, believing today was the day to go through it all and put it in its proper place. I tried several times. I failed each time.
“I’ll get to it.” “I have time. It hasn’t been a year yet.” I thought that for 340 days. Some days I thought that exact thought more than once. Still, it all sits, sleeps and screams.
The year mark is fast approaching and my apprehension is rising. And I don’t really know what to think or what to expect. That day, like all the 365 days before it, will consist of 24 hours. Twenty-four ordinary hours. And, I hate the thought of the “ordinary-ness” that day will carry with it. The seconds will turn into minutes, the minutes into hours, ordinary, unexpressive hours. And the day will be gone.
Will the counter start again? Will I have another perspective that can only come after 365 days? The year mark is coming. I have no answers. I have no expectations. And tomorrow is another day.