Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | October 3, 2014

running on empty

So, this happened.

I’m driving along, on the verge of being late for work, as usual.

I am hungry, and thinking about whether to find some food or go directly to work.
At the stoplight, I happen to look down and see the mileage ticker, which of course has been there all along, ticking away as it does.
It reads 7.17.

7.17 is the date J died.

For me, the number 717 comes up a lot. I see it, randomly, all the time. I have determined that it means I’m supposed to be paying attention.
To Something, often something I haven’t figured out yet.

It has happened so often, and at such random-not random times, that now I  know to look around and see what in my life needs my soft, tender, unbiased observation.

When he was alive, J was a master of this very thing. I ran around scrambling all the time, and he had an innate ability to gently bring my focus to something that woulda-shoulda-coulda been quite obvious, if a person was paying attention, which I so often was not.

Multi-tasking and running myself ragged were my specialties back then. These days I really try to do better, but bad habits are hard to break.

Before 717 appeared before me, I had decided I should just suck it up and go to work, face the fact that my own scrambly running-on-empty ways had deprived me of sustenance yet again.

At that exact moment, I notice the number.

I don’t know how he does it! From wherever it is he abides now.

But he still does it, all the same.

To me, this time, 7.17 clearly means that I should stop, take five small minutes, feed myself, then continue on with my day.
I stop at the next place that has food.

I select some cider, and an organic pear.
The almond croissants look delicious, but there is also one darker, bran-type muffin left, so I choose that, as it looks healthier. When I take a bite, the muffin reveals itself as a “morning-glory” muffin – a nutritious blend of carrot, apple, zucchini, nuts, coconut, and lots of other good things. My favorite!
And I suddenly remember that I had the idea, months ago, to make a big batch of these exact same muffins, freeze them in small bags, and pull them out each day so I can put something wholesome in my stomach.
But then I never did it.
And not only that, I never even thought of it again.
Can I still blame this on “widow brain”, five years later?

I’ve never been a breakfast person since I was a little kid, and it drove J. crazy. He didn’t see how I could do strenuous physical work all day with nothing in my stomach but coffee. But that’s what I do, every day.

Even in death, he’s not letting me get away with this one.

OK, honey. I will feed myself. If you insist.

I mean, thank you.

And love.

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