Diary of a Widower

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

On the run again, from the past

THURSDAY, July 22 – Out of the grandparental house. It’s just before nine and I need to get away. It’s very hard for us to relax in this house. I stand there looking at four suitcases that somehow or other will have to be packed. Things that go, things that stay. In six days we’ll be back with Jenn’s parents.

I toss one pile of clothes into two bags, and the rest into the other two. Jenn was a past master when it came to packing, and she always knew exactly what to take along.

Right now, she’s doing her bit by getting in the way. The urn with the ashes stays behind, stuffed into the carryall with the jackets and the jeans purchased yesterday.  Seeya later, honey.

My mother-in-law and I have decided that the ashes will be scattered on the grounds of Swarthmore College. Last month a bench was installed with her name on it.  ‘Jennifer would like that,’ her mother said. So that was settled. I informed the brothers-in-law that the ceremony would be on the 11th or 12th of August. Whoever can make it is welcome. If not, tough luck.

Eamonn is complaining of a stomach ache. When I lose my temper – something which I shouldn’t do but which still happens – he says it’s because of Mom. I assure him that I do understand and give him a hug, but I don’t want to spend too long on words of comfort. I order the boys to get into the car. A brief farewell, and then we’re off – heading for New York. It’s almost as if we’re fleeing, while what we’re really looking for was some peace and quiet.

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