It’s the Little Things

Last week’s post about grief seasons talked about whole periods of time, sometimes spanning months, when we may feel our grief more deeply. Conversely, there seem to be little things that pop up unexpectedly at random moments that tweak a memory, spark a smile, or prompt a tear.

Like most daughters, Rachel liked to tease me about my habits and rituals. Truth be told, she was a lot like me, and some of my habits had rubbed off on her. A fact she didn’t like to admit, and perhaps fostered some of the teasing.

I am a neatnik. I like things just so. One time she and I were standing by my dresser talking. Three times during our conversation, she tapped a tissue box out of place and three times I moved it back. Then she said, “I knew you would do that.” I responded, “do what?” I hadn’t even realized what I had done.

When we went clothes shopping, I would invariably pick out something blue. She frequently rolled her eyes and wailed, “everything in your closet is blue!” That’s entirely untrue. I have black pants, a green sweater, a red dress, jeans. Black ones, white ones, and well, blue ones.

And, while I usually resisted clothing in a color outside my comfort zone, I would let her pick out shoes for me. We both loved shoes. Rachel especially adored boots. She would prod me into buying cute shoes and boots with higher heels than I would otherwise select. My fashion-conscious work colleague said she always knew when Rachel had helped me choose shoes, and she approved!

Rachel loved to come to the river house. It’s a relaxing place and we spend a lot of time on the porch. I have learned to identify many breeds of birds by sight and by their call. Rachel always teased me about turning into a country girl. (She may have even used the term old lady.) But, then she would ask me what a certain bird was. And, she’d laugh when I would tell the grandkids what the birds were saying to each other. I mean, it’s obvious to me that owls are asking “what’s up with youuuuu?”.

My heart skips a beat sometimes when I find myself tidying the items on the coffee table; making sure they are just so. When I walk into my closet and see way too much blue, I smile to myself and think “she was right.”

I gave away the glamourous silver heels I wore to her wedding. I can’t imagine ever again attending an event special enough to warrant them, and seeing them just made me sad. But, I still have some cute boots with chunky heels that look great with jeans (yes, blue jeans).

And, in the evening when my husband and I are relaxing on the porch swing, listening to the birds call to each other, we imitate the owls and say “what’s up with youuuuu?”. I try not to let him see the tears in my eyes.


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