Monday, February 6, 2017

#SOL17: Comfort

After the Suburbs (M.A. Reilly)

Country comfort's in a truck that's going home. 
 - Bernie Taupin/Elton John  

I.

"Well, home is home," my son tells me with such an earnest expression as he explains why he would prefer to commute to college. I am surprised by this--thinking he would want to live away at school.

But he tells me so simply, Home is home.

Indeed.

II.


And home is also comfort. Even now after Rob's death, this home we made is comfort. And I am so glad that I stopped ridding the house of reminders of my husband's death and let it all just stand as it is. At first I thought I did this out of fatigue, but now I think that perhaps, just perhaps there was bit of wisdom guiding my hand. I'm relived that I did not act on selling the house, but rather decided to make no changes.  

This is home.

Of the many things I miss when I think of Rob, it is the routine comforts he offered, gave, and took that resonate the most. After nearly 30 years, such comfort is love actualized. Home is its location. No one knows me as he did. No one knew him as I did. There's such intimacy in knowing, in caring, in loving, in comforting. And I miss all of that. 

III.

It is the simple things--the ones I took for granted that now most carry the reminder of loss. The cup of tea brewed just right and placed in a favorite mug. The newspaper retrieved from the front yard early in the morning and separated with the sections I read first on top. It's coming home late at night and finding the front light turned on. It's his homemade beef stew steaming in a pot on the stove in the winter, or sun tea brewing in a jar in the summer. It's a book I did not know I would want to read sitting on the kitchen table or all us tucked up in the house, safe during a fall Nor'Easter. Once, it was a book of maps left open to a marked page we later would travel to.

IV.

As Rob was dying I looked around our home and thought how the stuff we had accumulated meant so little. He would take none of it with him. It is the ordinary experiences that framed our lives that matter now. I think how these gestures were less about things and more about the expressions of love they marked. 

V.

Its mid-winter and the cold seeps through the windows, slips in under the side door. Water trickles through the radiators and the afternoon light, Hopper-thin, leaves the sky later and later. Nearly a year has passed since his death and I have such need for comfort. Sorrow dogs my steps reminding me of where we were a year ago.  I can't recall if Rob ever said good-bye to me. It seems that he was somewhat lucid for most mornings during those last days at home, and then not lucid at all. 

I can't recall the last things we said. 
I can't recall. 

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