September 03, 2010

From the cradle to the grave

I was helping Daniel pack for America two days ago.  This time, he was packing his black suit and black dress shoes.  Two ties, one for the visitation, and one for the funeral.  Two white undershirts.  Two pair of dress socks.  A good razor for a close, respectful shave.  Tylenol to ease the pounding of any unwanted stress headaches.  Dramamine to keep him asleep when he should be, seeing that this is his second global trip in a month.

He came out from the bedroom with his dress pants on, a horrified look on his face.
"I can't get them buttoned!" he admitted with alarm.  I looked down at his 29-inch-wasted pants and sure enough, they were zipped but not buttonable (never mind the fact that his incredibly slim waste was still as flat as a board).
"Well," I said, as kindly as I could from the perspective of one with stretch marks that could land me a gig in the freak show, "You haven't had those pants on in two years.  You're 30 now.  Everyone's bodies change as they get older."
"Not MINE," he pleaded, and something about the hunk that I married realizing his own mortality endeared him to me in a new way.  His body looks the same to me, and is undoubtedly envied by 30-year-old guys everywhere, but for him the unforgivable button was putting an end to the illusion that death might somehow pass him by.

Death passes by no one.

This weekend, as Daniel wears his black suit (I moved the button) and bends over his grandmother's carefully powdered face to weep, we are 8,000 miles away and grieving in our own ways.  Bright has been talking out loud to Sue Sue, having conversations with her, teasing her and laughing with her.  I have been scanning through old photo files, studying her hands and her chin and the way that she looked at my kids.  Otherwise our daily routine is much the same.  I apply lotion to my crows feet every morning, trying to slow the process.  I put Splenda in my morning coffee because my metabolism isn't what it used to be.  I count down the days until my husband comes back, and from there the days until my Savior comes back, to make everything ok again.