Today my undoing was a pair of shoes.
Yesterday I sorted some bags of things and in them was a pair of Zach’s shoes. I was in a spot that I could just start getting rid of things that won’t be functional for anyone- a hat we bought in England that was unraveling and Zach’s shoes.
And then they sat in the kitchen trash. This morning a wave of nausea would hit me every time I opened the lid of the trash can. I took Scott’s slippers out. I just couldn’t do it.
But the trash was piling up and it wasn’t going to burn itself. So I had a plan. Before my shower today I would just do it. Stop thinking about it and do it. Old clothe, Scott’s sweatshirt, coat and gloves. I burned another bag of stuff first. The fire was roaring in the burn barrel. I threw the bag in.
And I wept. His shoes. He didn’t need them anymore. Oh I want him to need those beat up shoes. I want him to ski to school and tell me his new big coat is too warm and hug me and help me cook. I want him to need the shoes. But he doesn’t.
There’s something so final about burning. Setting things on the curb to go into a landfill you can still picture your things mostly intact just in a messy jumble. Burning they are reduced to ashes. Nothing. Gone. Not shoes anymore.
There would be no point in keeping them. What else would I do? But the pain bubbled out and the dog came and drew near and I was glad for his furry closeness.
And the reality is if it wasn’t shoes it would be something else. The marriage seminar I don’t need to attend. The song that hits too close to home. The small amount of food I need to make. The fact that our egg consumption does not keep up with our need for kindling (the trays make great fire starter).
But this morning it was shoes.