Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | February 19, 2012


Ugh, crap. Arrived home from a lovely week away. Doing the usual end-of-a-long-travel-day, not-very-ambitious welcome home stuff. There is a notice that my email is reaching storage capacity, so I go through folders deleting great swaths of stuff, going back years. I have trouble enough dealing with physical clutter. While I delete unnecessary email as it comes in, and have great spam protection, dealing with unseen virtual clutter is pretty far down my list of things to do.


Then I stumble into a minefield, and it is full of live ammunition that starts blowing up under my feet. There are letters to and from friends and family from before, during, and after Cancer. Oh, God.

I read a few. A few more. A few dozen. But…I just can’t. I do not want to cry today.


But neither can I delete them. This is my life, and my family’s life: Jeff’s history, Anna’s legacy, and there are already large chunks of that time I do not remember because of fear, grief, trauma, as well as insomnia and malnourishment. I saved it as material, and as dark poetry. There are details of chronology and snippets of domestic happiness that would be lost without these records. Notes of meals and outings, harvests and gatherings, minute triumphs and darkest despair. I saved it all because I wanted to remember the people that reached out to us in those days. There is beauty in those words along with the searing pain. In the packet of words are the reasons I love those people.


But that doesn’t mean I can just blithely read it any old time.


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