I remember so clearly the advice I got from friends after losing Leroy.
“You shouldn’t be alone.” That may have been right, although, even with the house full of friends, I felt like a bubble had enveloped me. I couldn’t sit in one place for very long. I didn’t eat much. There were so many ‘Leroy’ stories being told, I longed to hear his deep, monster laugh that went with the storytelling.
It was all a blur.
Then came the suggestions of how to deal with his “stuff.” Getting rid of the hospital bed and all the things that kept him comfortable while the cancer tried so hard to make him miserable; those things were easy to jettison. In fact, I couldn’t get them out of the house fast enough.
And so it went….
Standing in the closet looking at his clothes, that was the toughest.. his shoes, his T-shirts, his shorts. It hurt the most to see those Hawaiian shirts. I think he was responsible for introducing “Hawaiian shirt Friday’s” at ABC News in Washington. Not an easy task, in stuffy old D.C, I might add!
So over the last four years, I’ve managed to donate a few things. In spite of the advice from friends, who told me I should have been able to do this a year later, it’s been hard. I’ve come to understand, all this advice came with good intentions, but until I was ready to do this, I’m wasn’t.
So just the other day, I tried again. I now have a pile of shirts and shorts ready to be picked-up. I’ve even selected some shoes that I know will go to a needy pair of feet somewhere.
Maybe it’s because time has passed and I can see or feel the importance of moving down the road. I know, these are all time stamps in my life. I’m not sure that I’d call it progress though.
Those Hawaiian shirts aren’t going anywhere….no way.