Diary of a Widower

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

Jealous of a regular family

SATURDAY, April 10 – Things are going fine. Until you’re pushing your cart around the supermarket and you find yourself next to a young couple. The father had clearly not slept well and the mother, who’s pushing the baby carriage, is annoyed but doing her best to ignore his conduct. He repeatedly reprimands his young daughter, who’s having trouble navigating her miniature shopping cart down the aisle. I’m annoyed not only with them, but also with myself, because I feel a stab of jealousy.

Or am I being overly-nostalgic and sentimental? A yearning for the days when we ourselves formed a young family of four?  Father, mother and two young children.  The future beckoned: we were building a life together, with expectations and doubts, ambitious plans, and daydreams about the years to come. You gradually get used to the routine of being a parent – the lack of sleep and also from the friction that inevitably arises in trying to establish equitably parenting commitment. Parental care and parental cares.

I feel the urge to wallow in depression and am poised to give in. Most of the articles in the shopping cart are taken from the list that Jennifer always used. I know it almost by heart and every week I end up buying too much food so when I get home, I first have to throw away all the food that’s already gone bad – usually without a trace of remorse.

My culinary creativity also leaves something to be desired. I have great plans and purchase the necessary ingredients, but then I don’t enjoy the actual cooking. I seldom try out a new recipe or surprise myself with some culinary tour de force.  As long as the meal is hot and the ingredients have not gone bad, it’s okay by me. Oh, and every week I forget my bonus card.  If only that was all…

The same family is now behind me in line. The little girl is sucking on her lollipop, the father contemplates the rest of the weekend, and the mother leans over to kiss the baby. Your average family.  One of thousands.

14:00 – I think about K. a lot … but not that much. My head seems to be overflowing.  I want to mark time for a while and go back a bit so that  I can grieve for Jennifer. Go back to my wife, to the mother of my children. Not only physically, but also mentally. Back to the past and back to the future which are both so much a part of the present. I want Jenn back. I want to embrace that impossible desire undisturbed. And alone.

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