For several weeks after my husband’s death, Tuesdays were simply a reminder; the reminder of a Tuesday loss. I brought my husband home from the hospital on a Friday. I took him to the doctor on Monday for a follow-up checkup and on Tuesday morning I found him unresponsive in his chair. And then I counted the Tuesdays without him; one, two, three, four, five, six…until I eventually stopped counting, and started doing. Tuesdays were an unbearable reminder of a life without David. I still count the months on the 27th; August 27th was five months.
But at some point, and I’m not sure when it began, I made a conscious decision to stop wallowing in my tears every Tuesday morning, and start doing something outside of myself. David wouldn’t have wanted me to continue the Tuesday morning countdown. He definitely would approve of what I replaced it with. This is what you will now find on my entryway table every Tuesday:
Remember letters? Remember a time when the mailbox held something other than bills? Better yet, remember stationery? That pretty paper that makes writing and receiving letters all the more fun? If you are like me, you’ve never stopped writing letters. I have one friend I write to several times a week and she does the same. We’ve been writing letters back and forth for over 24 years. But now, every Tuesday morning, instead of the dread of a day that reminds me of my loss, I wake up with the excitement of knowing I am going to send a card or a letter to someone other than my friend Mary (though she often is included in the Tuesday morning ritual as well). It might be two or three cards that get sent, or just one long, newsy letter. It could be a letter to one of David’s siblings, or a card to someone I know is going through a rough time. This morning it was a birthday card, two thank-you notes and a letter to Mary. Next week, who knows? I am never certain even the day before, who will be the recipient of the next day’s mailings and that is part of the excitement. All I know is, at some point after making the decision to reach out to others, I stopped counting Tuesdays. Has it been 21 weeks today? 22? Or is it 23? I can’t tell you without consulting a calendar, and that is the way it should be. The fact that I am no longer counting the Tuesdays gives me hope for the future.
Maybe someday I won’t even be counting the months.