That’s what I’ve been on this week. A lot of “back woods roads.” For those of you who’ve spent your life in the city and don’t know what these are, I apologize. Growing up in Kentucky, you learn to drive on back woods roads. You cross town to visit friends’ homes and you travel these curvy winding roads full of hair pin turns. You think; I could get there in about a quarter of the time if the engineers would have just straightened these out. Roads that are lacking full pavement. Roads that are often dark, possibly a bit scary and occasionally may cause your skin to crawl. No I don’t want to be out here alone, but that’s how it’s felt this week. I’ve been stuck on these back woods roads.
“Do you want to get in it?” “No, thanks. I’m good.” A blank stare, a bit of a challenge. “Well, maybe I do. Sure, I will.” “You never know when you might want photos with you in them.”
Oh lady, if you only knew who you were talking to. I do in fact know that I should be in the photos with my kids. I know to move out from behind the camera. I know how important each of these memories is to record, because following her line of thinking; yes I in fact do know that in the blink of an eye one of us may be absent in the future.
Driving home from the Riverbanks Zoo I scan the photo of the three of us and I’m glad I jumped in. I’m glad I was present and active. After a week in which I’ve felt I’ve been lost on those back wood roads all alone this simple night out brought everything up in one quick moment.
Tis the season for flying elves, gingerbread houses, presents, Rudolph, magic and difficult days and nights for many. Several “you look tired” comments have flown my way. Yes, as I’ve said before I see my own lines each morning. I know when I cry myself to sleep that I age ten years over night. I’ve got it folks, but feel free to keep pointing it out. If you look closer you can even see the tracks of my tears.
Why the angst? Why the difficulty? Why now? Talk to me, don’t shut me out. It’s not that simple friends. Do you ever talk to someone about work? About your kids? About your family your interests, your own trauma and angst? Do you ever share something with someone and you think they just don’t get it? They can’t possibly understand? I’m glad you don’t understand, I’m ecstatic but it doesn’t change fact and fact is I’m in these back woods alone. I am lost on these roads turning left and right and squeezing the steering until my knuckles are white and my palms red.
I left my in-laws; I guess they are still my in-laws, home this week after celebrating Christmas together. We had a great visit, couldn’t have gone better. The boys are so fun and bring such light to any and all situations. There’s simply heaviness in the air. The absence is so prominent. It’s no one’s fault. It really was a great night, but on the drive home my mind just spins and won’t stop.
Your mom gave me this photo of you and my heart melted. This would have been right around the time we met fifteen years ago. I drove home and early memories flooded. I cried. I listened to the Rod Stewart CD you bought me a million years ago and I yearned to share with you, to laugh, to annoy you with my off key singing. To get on you about your erratic driving that your grandma and I talked about tonight. To reminisce. To process. To love.
I’m on these back wood roads Daniel and I need a little help getting off.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.