Diary of a Widower

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

Victory on the diamond

SATURDAY, March 27  – Physically, one small step, but for his heart and head a giant step. Eamonn was back on the diamond.

Not exactly enthusiastic. In fact, with the greatest possible reluctance. Each practice, each game had been an experience shared with his mother. There was a biological link between them, and she was the driving force behind his love for the game. The urge to grab his glove and trot onto the field is gone.

This morning he made the effort, a minimum effort. For the last few weeks I’d been prodding him, so gently that sometimes it didn’t even register with him.

How about tossing a ball around in the park? Or on the playground? How about if we go to the field, just take a look? Each time it was a bridge too far.

One time he began to talk about how sad he felt whenever anyone mentioned baseball. It immediately called up the image of his mother, who had taught him to catch, throw, run, slide, duck, bat – everything that made him so American, and so much his mother’s son. To him, baseball means dying a little.

I’ve come to the conclusion that baseball is the key to dealing with his loss. Which is why I keep pushing him, sometimes literally, often more subtly.

This morning I persuaded him to go along to a practice game. As a spectator. No more than that. When we got to the field we heard that the game had been cancelled, so his team was practicing instead. We headed in their direction and my eyes filled with tears when the boys all came running over to us, giving Eamonn a somewhat shy high five.

‘So nice to see you again,’ said the coach. And off he went for a turn at bat and then in the field. Without a glove.

He was back.

10:30 pm – Like Eamonn yesterday, I totally lose control. I scream my lungs out, throw objects all over the living room, bellow at Sander to piss off. I can no longer stay calm, I can’t control myself, can’t deal with the situation. Why are we knee-deep in this shit?

And how are we going to get out of it? Fucking hell!!  Tears go flying in all directions. I’m angry with myself. No one gives a shit about us. Goddamnit. Sander comes downstairs and we hug each other. His anger and mine always seem to clash, but in the end that brings us into each other’s arms.

But, in no time we’re at each other’s throat again. This time it’s about the dog. I want him to take Elsa out more often. What do I have to keep at him? Why isn’t he pulling his own weight? Why do I blame him? Why don’t I just let him be?

We hug each other again.

I’m sitting forlornly on the couch, expressionless. Sander’s gone back upstairs. Why?  I think. This is followed by a mad, insane question mark. Am I going out of my mind?  Why am I getting all upset over our life and why does it seem as if I’m losing it on everything. Nothing works. I’m trying to build a foundation, one brick at a time, and with the slightest breeze, it all topples over again. Fuck, fuck, fuck!

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