Diary of a Widower

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

Doing really well… NOT

TUESDAY, August 31 – He’s enjoying life at the top of his voice. He goes around the house singing, baking cookies for everyone, and playing the piano. This has been going on for days. ‘Come and sit down for a minute, son,’ I tell Sander. ‘How are you doing?’

Pretty well, apparently. But I try to explain that I find his uninhibited cheerfulness a bit worrying. That it wouldn’t surprise me if one of these days he had a relapse. That’s only normal and I wanted him to know that if that happened, I’d be there for him.

‘I had a bad moment today.’

This surprises me. ‘Really? I didn’t notice anything.’

It happened while he was on the way to the Conservatory. He was on his bike and had to stop for a traffic light, when all of a sudden he started swearing. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Just plain mad. Because Mom was gone. Because he had to go to his music lesson for the first time since Summer vacation and because everything seemed so ordinary.

‘I’m glad to hear that,’ I say.

Now it was his turn to look surprised.

‘I’d be really worried if you didn’t have moments like that, Sander. It’s only been ten months.’

‘That’s a pretty long time.’

‘We’ve got a much longer way to go, Sander. No matter what happens with you, with us, with C and her children, what our lives are like, and where we finally end up, just remember that I’ll be there for you.’

He still looked slightly surprised. Maybe I shouldn’t have made such an issue of it, but it was for my own peace of mind, as well. I still have to pinch myself and the children every once in a while. Just to make sure we’re not dreaming.

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