A jar of pickles. Pretty common in a fridge. Yet I have had the same jar in the fridge for a long time.
Months. Many months. Eighteen…or more.
My fridge is filled with odd condiments I will never use. They are the furthest from my list of loves. However they were part of a list of loves – of my loved one’s. Before he crossed over. They were those must haves.
And now here I am. Not. Ready. To. Throw.
A person who would open my fridge would think nothing of the items in the ‘condiment’ section. Unless they pay close attention and start reading the expiration dates, or the ‘best if used by’ dates.
I had no idea. Until it was pointed out to me that it was probably time to throw the pickles that were a faded, ill green color. “What is the deal with the pickles?” My answer is silence and embarrassment.
I think they might taste ‘ok’. But that is not the point. If someone hadn’t pointed it out, the pickles would have stayed in the fridge indefinitely.
Many other containers of various ‘things’ are in the fridge as well, making my refrigerator look as full as my grandfathers’ tool box. Everything you could possibly need is in there. Crammed to the gills. But I don’t need any of these things. So why am I keeping them? Is it for company? Uhhhh, are you sure you are going to serve those pickles when company comes? Or pull out the hot sauce that is already aged two years beyond the ‘best taste’ date? This isn’t a joke. This is real. So what is the deal????
Let me peel a couple of layers for you, as I had to do when I was asked about the pickles. Those pickles. They are more than just pickles. He loved pickles. These were his pickles. He made them and he ate them.
It didn’t occur to me until that evening….lying in bed…when I realized.
Those were part of his repertoire. Those were his “accoutrements”. Those were his…
And if I throw them out? They are the last bits of witness…that he lived here. That he lived here. That he lived here.
Yes, the clothes are gone. The shoes are gone. The jackets. The cycle. So many things. And yet these are things I have not parted with. I see them every day. Every meal. They are witness to his existence. And if I throw them out………..those parts of his existence will be gone. And that means I have to change. I have to admit Life has changed. No, he won’t be sharing another meal with me.
Life is complicating.
And so it is….for one who has lost a loved one. Slow. Steady. And still, peeling the onion.
Living fully – carving a life,