An Invitation for An Explanation
My husband, LJ, and I spent the day running both personal and volunteer-related errands in the Tri-Cities, about 30 minutes from our house. We stopped at Olive Garden for linner (lunch and dinner) around 2 PM. It was much busier than we expected with lots of families spending quality time together.
My eyes were drawn to a woman with her maybe three or four year old son across the room from us. They were sitting on the same side of the booth completely engaged with one another. They talked, giggled, played with his stuffed animal, and shared their food. There was no electronic device in sight, just pure human connection.
My mind and heart wandered back to the times when Tim and Tom were younger, and I would take them out for dates when I was alone with them during the summer months. Sometimes it was a trip to our local Starbucks; other times we would go out for a sit-down lunch date in our little town or in a larger neighboring one. I always looked forward to those special times and have incredibly happy memories of our adventures together.
This afternoon, as I watched the pair, a sudden sob escaped my soul and startled me, taking me aback and causing LJ to ask what I was experiencing. (How blessed I am that he understands my grief.) By then it was a full-on bawlfest. Although this is not the first time l have surreptitiously and longingly watched families interact, this time it struck me really hard. Tears rolled down my face as I jealously observed them. I wanted to go to her and tell her to hold tightly to these moments because soon he will be grown up.
I am struggling with understanding why this impacted me as such today. Losing Tom does not change the joy I felt spending time with him. If he had lived, would I react this way? It is not that I am unhappy, because I have been blessed with support and love through my grief journey and although my life is different without him, I would not say that I am drowning in sadness as I was when he first died.
I usually write to solve these conundrums and the answers ordinarily work their way from my mind through my fingers and onto the keyboard. Today, an explanation is not coming forthcoming. I invite you to share your thoughts with me.