There was a story on NPR on Saturday. It was afternoon. No idea what the program was, no idea who the story was about, or what the point was. No idea.
A female was doing the interview and she was talking to a male and he was talking about a brain surgery. I heard him say that he should not have decided as quickly as he did to let the doctors do surgery on his brain. “It would be a hole the size of pen,” he said. “They made it sound like it wasn’t a big deal. But they were going to operate on my brain.”
I turned off the radio as quickly as I turned it on.
A flood of memories washed over me. I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop with Ron and we were talking about the tumor we had just found out about. It was the size of a quarter and it was sitting smack dab on top of his head, just below the surface. “The doctors are so calm about brain surgery,” he said in his familiar Ron mocking voice. “But it’s my brain. And they are going to cut it open.” We talked about odds and side effects and all the other stuff that goes with major surgery. And he kept saying he would think about it.
That was last summer.
It’s the beginning of March. And 30 seconds of a non-descript NPR story sent me over the edge.
Seven months of good days, bad days, short days, long days, days when I cry, days when I don’t. Every day completely different with one very similar trend; I miss Ron. I miss the text messages, the coffee dates, the political discussions, the hugs, the running into him on the corner in front of Iron Bank, the pizza and a movie nights, and him. I just miss him.
Grief is so weird. It’s overwhelming. It’s sneaky and cunning. It can hit hard. And it can wrap you up softly. Today it snuck up on me and hit hard. I was minding my own business on a very normal Saturday afternoon and then I cried all the way home.
I am currently lying in bed, half watching the newest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and half paying attention to what I am writing and a commercial for Delight Latte came on and all I can think about is what Ron would say. “Pfft. Who needs that fancy can?,” I can imagine him saying. He would shake a Publix brand carton of half and half. He would shake it really hard. And then he would pour the foam into a cup of coffee he just made in the tiniest coffee maker known to man. He would proudly gesture to mug and say something like “Who needs that fancy crap?” He was always a “stick it to the man” kinda guy.
I know they say it gets better. Time heals all things.
Blah. That makes me wanna scrub my skin off. In the words of Ron “That’s crap.”
It just is.
I am way more inclined to believe my husband’s version of how this grief stuff works. He says it’s like learning to walk without one of your limbs. THAT I can get on board with. That I can believe. I can work with that mindset. It makes sense to me. It helps to feel like I know what the future holds in regards to how to deal with the missing. Now…Ron would tell me plans are overrated. But I would tell him this is just a plan to get me to the next plan.
Because this doesn’t feel like something I am going to ever “get over” or “get past.” This feels heavy. This, this sneaky, cunning, soul crushing grief feels like it is here to stay.
And I know I am going to see him again. I know. I also know there is no right or wrong way to wade through this cycle of life. We’re all just doing the best we can.
And that’s ok too.