Grief is weird. The things that make me tear up are quite random. The two weirdest ones, I think, are disco ball shoes and a Disneyland lunch box (that's why I titled it that way).
Disco Ball Shoes
When Tony died, I had several different pairs of moccasins. They were warm, snuggly, and comfy. I loved them. I saved my cute silver, sparkly ones for special occasions. Tony called them my disco ball shoes. After he was gone, I had to wear these shoes. He had named them, so I had to wear them. Silly, but I felt a connection between the shoes and him. They made me smile at the memory. I accidentally ruined them during a huge rain storm. I was disappointed, but Julia had outgrown her pair (we had matching shoes). She let me wear them. I loved it. But then, as shoes are in the habit of doing, they started to fall apart. I decided it was time to look for a new pair of comfy shoes. I couldn't find anything I liked...that was weird...I can always find shoes that are cute. Then I began really looking at my disco ball shoes. I saw all the places they were breaking. I saw the real need to get a new pair of shoes. I realized that they actually are hurting my feet now. And I began to tear up. I started to cry. I didn't want to give them up. I didn't want to stop wearing them. It felt like giving the shoes up was giving up Tony. By getting rid of the shoes, I was getting rid of my connection and my happy memory.
Disneyland Lunch Box
It's really a California Adventure lunch box. I ran across it when we were packing up the house to sell it. Friends were over, and they would ask me, "Keep, toss, or donate?" We were in the kitchen...Tony's domain...it was already kinda hard. I didn't want to keep anything...and I wanted to keep everything. Then the silly little lunch box showed up. The question was asked, and I burst into tears. I sobbed for a very long time. We had gotten this lunch box for Jeremiah when he was little. It was one of the first years the California Adventure was open, and they gave these out in their kids lunches. Nothing major, but it had memories attached...good memories. It also had a future that would no longer happen. We would no longer go as a family with the four of us. Tony and I would not be able to take our grandkids and tell them all the stories of the way it used to be.
The kids and I are moving. We will be renting a house beginning in July. We are very excited. I don't want to be a downer, but I am already dreading the unpacking. I am excited to see my belongings again. I can't wait to get my craft supplies back...but I am not looking forward to seeing that lunch box...yes, I kept it. I am not looking forward to seeing that box that is labeled "Tony's - I can't deal with it yet." Yep, there is a box. Part of me is looking forward to checking it all out and remembering all the memories. I love the memories. Part of me is dreading it because it is a reminder that I didn't get my happily ever after...I don't get the growing old together...
So how do I choose joy? I surround myself with family and friends...even when I'm avoiding them. I allow people to come over and help pack and unpack these memories. I tell the kids the stories...some they actually haven't heard yet. And most importantly, I love. I continue to love even though sometimes it seems that this would just bring more heartache when they leave. I believe that love is the most important thing. So how do I choose joy? I love. I kinda feel like I need to change my blog to Choose Love... JOY