Even if I am young and widowed and we didn’t have much time together, I should remember how we celebrated Thanksgiving. But I don’t.
I wasn’t blessed with five or ten years of holiday traditions with my husband. We celebrated only one Thanksgiving and now I am cursing myself – I can’t remember what we did.
It’s not like the memory is blurry, I have blurry, fuzzy memories of us together. No, this is different. I simply can’t recall. I can’t picture a turkey or who carved it. I can’t image where we where, if we went somewhere, and whether we watched football with family and friends. I don’t remember him yelling at the television when the Redskins missed an interception. Surely I made and ate my mother’s famous sweet potatoes?
Widowed, I find myself reliving holidays – easy markers of a time and place when my husband was still alive. Of course I have no clue what he and I did on a random Wednesday in October, but name a holiday and I’ll remember the details down to what I wore.
Valentine’s Day: dress pants and heels; I met him for the first time at the copy machine. My birthday: I kissed him in polar bear pajamas. His birthday: I wore a hat to shade my face from the sun in Catalina, celebrating his remission. Christmas: in Mexico, tangled in sheets. New Year’s: jeans and a t-shirt.
I admit, I am careless in the few memories I have with him. I started composing settings all my own, creating scenarios of untruths. Like the time we traveled to Bali for our anniversary. Developing my mind’s snapshot of us sunning our summer skin on an Indonesian beach. We never went to Bali.
Maybe I lost our Thanksgiving to my desire of wanting him here. I have so few memories to hold on to, no traditions. I barely have a year. I’m afraid a single memory might slip through my fingers. No matter how tight I squeeze these memories, I’m afraid I might lose them. If I forget the memories, like Thanksgiving, will I lose him to?
Funny, I remember now… I cooked mom’s famous sweet potatoes and we ate them for dessert. I think that will be my new tradition, a photograph of sweet potatoes.
Chasity Turnquist 2010Tags: Depression, signs and connections