I woke up this morning and the temptation to pull the covers over my head was definitely there … my eyes were swollen and tired … which is why I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw a blurry shadow figure standing at the foot of my bed! …. No, it wasn’t a burglar or a close encounter of the third kind … just Jordan with a head full of hot rollers….which can be a terrifying sight as you emerge from a sleepy haze. Immediately, I was reminded that my life can’t stop. I can’t hide. I can’t withdraw. Nothing whacks you back into reality like a middle school girl having a bad hair day. I’m here, school is in an hour, she has needs, and eventually…. Tuck will be awake to remind me that he “graduated” from preschool last year and that kindergarten is unnecessary (his arguments are very convincing…more on that later). Bottomline…the covers approach was out before it started. So what do you do?!? You just have to carry on…
After hauling the kids to where they belonged, my one glimmer of hope for the day was the only comment my Dad made the day before. You see… he drove me and Chris to the airport which meant he had to ride home with me alone. Anyone that knows my dad will tell you he is man of few words (if any). All he could muster to say when I climbed back in the car was, “Your mama and I will take you to Sam’s Club tomorrow…how’s that sound?” My first thought was that it sounded odd. I had just dropped my husband off to leave for a year where he would be deployed to a war zone. Sam’s Club wasn’t the Hallmark message I expected, but then again….you just have to know my family.
It actually made sense to me the next day.
After dropping off the kids, my car drove to my parents house like a tractor beam was pulling it in. I knew I needed a Baines family errand to soothe my sorrow. So I crawled into the backseat of their car (like I did when I was 12) and let them drive me to Sam’s Club. Somehow, they knew that wandering around a warehouse, shopping for large quantities of food packaged in industrial size containers would be a strange comfort to me. It actually was. I stumbled on a 15 gallon container (slight exaggeration) of Duke’s Mayonaise which reminded me of Chris and made me cry. Chris is the only guy I know that can spend 15-30 minutes discussing the merits of mayonaise– It’s a “white thing” I hear and a southern addiction. He introduced me to Duke’s. Until I met Chris, I was firmly in the Hellman’s mayonaise camp. Now, today on the saddest day of my life… I was staring at a huge container of mayonaise that I couldn’t possibly consume in a year even if I tried. It was a mayonaise revelation of sorts… a year, time dragging, how to fill the space…eating mayonaise alone…all of that junk lying limp on my shoulders…it’s a lot of weight to carry around (a metaphor mind you….I would be the 500lb woman if I actually ate all that mayonaise).
So here’s the thing….what do I do with a year? My best friend/husband has been ripped from my life and the world spins madly on…buying bulk food no less….I look around at all the people wandering around this warehouse and realize that I have a choice. I can buy a smaller jar thinking that it’s only me or I can lug that 15 gallon jug into my buggy for our family with the anticipation that there will be a lot more meals and cocktail discussions about manyonaise manna.
Needless to say, I can make the potato salad this year….I’ve got plenty of mayonaise.