Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Return of the blue scarf

FRIDAY, February 19 – Another miracle. I took Eamonn to school by bike and said somewhat warily that I’d like to head straight for the gym. ‘Oh, fine,’ he said. Then he gave me a kiss and disappeared into the crowd in the schoolyard.

On this last day before February break, everything seemed to be okay. That is, it did when it came to dropping them off at school. When I went to pick them up at three-thirty, it was clear that something had gone well and truly wrong. Eamonn didn’t want to talk about it. He just held me tight on the way home. Not until he had sat down on the couch did he feel safe.

‘This afternoon there was a play in the auditorium. Sort of dull, but okay. It was about Frog, played by Miss N. It was a few minutes before I realized that she was wearing a blue scarf. The exact same color blue as the scarf that Mom always wore and that she was wearing on the day of the accident. That really upset me. I started to cry in school with all the other kids around me and I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.’

He lay in my lap and cried. I held him tight and tried to explain that things like that are bound to happen in the future, as well. He said: ‘This week it felt sort of as if I was recovering, and then this happened.’

As sad as the remark sounded, it cheered me up. He was beginning to realize that things were improving. What had happened was no more than a bump in the road. Recovery. A wonderful word for this day. And the scarf. Sander had asked me about it the other day. I had to stop and think, but at the same instant we both realized that the blue scarf, which she had looked so good in, had gone into the casket with her.

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