Two weeks ago (was it only two weeks ago? was it ALL of two weeks ago?), I was chatting with Mir. She asked how I was holding up, and I told her I was fine, actually. It was the day of Grandpa's memorial service, I told her, and I was mainly worried about finding Raphael's tie. Tomorrow, I said, it will all be over, people will go home, and then I will think about the fact that he's actually gone.
That night, as we got ready for bed, I looked around the house. It was...trashed. Too little schedule and too much distraction and the clutter got away from me.
"Sorry about the mess," I told Clay. He shrugged.
"It's not like we haven't been busy. We'll get it together tomorrow."
But that night his dad died. Instead of sleeping, we somehow packed bags for everyone and were on a plane by 8:30 in the morning. As we sat in the airport, waiting to board, I thought about the seven suitcases we'd packed.
"I literally have no idea what's in our luggage," I told Clay.
As we flew home a week later, I thought about that night, the numb chaos of it. Now I couldn't imagine what we'd left behind us. And sure enough, when we arrived back at our home, it looked as though it had been ransacked.
It's been nearly a week, and I'm still fighting upstream against the mess. Every day feels like one step forward, two steps...over a slippery mound of newspaper that needs to be taken out to the recycling box.
I got all the laundry washed and put away, which felt like a monumental accomplishment. But then I tried to make banana bread and dropped a container of salt in the mixing bowl, sending a flume of flour across the kitchen. I stepped back to look at it and saw a perfect outline of my foot in the white spray on the floor. I sat down and cried, because it all seemed to hard and too hopeless and too much for me to put back into place.
Now when I wear the shoes I had on that day, I see flour tracing the laces on my left foot. I put one foot in front of the other and watch it appear and disappear and reappear and I try to remember that these things take time.