I’ll Drink to That

I am having a drink. 

You see, I read this compelling article in Forbes that discussed how moderate drinkers are happier, wealthier and more generous.  Since I aspire to be all these things, almost daily, it seems a drink is in order.

I am drinking to the orthodontist, who pulled a couple of Andra’s baby teeth for free, told me Andra would be ready for braces again in under a year, evaluated Grace’s misaligned jaw – noting that Grace has the same predatorial eye tooth Andra had, and sent us on our way.

I am drinking to Dan.  Dan was a handsome grandfather having ice cream with his lovely grand daughters.  We sat by him.  I was already putting up a serious emotional wall seeing him, with grandkids, at the ice cream place we always went with my dad, but I was maintaining.  And then I got a whiff of his cologne.  Which was like my dad’s.  And the top bricks started to wiggle, and shake, until Grace loudly exclaimed “Mom, are you CRYING?”  Down came the wall.  And Dan turned to me and casually noted what a beautiful day it was, and how happy he was to be having ice cream with his granddaughters.  I replied “Grlga gav goo” or, “They are lucky to have you” in cry language.  So I had to explain that it wasn’t his fault I was crying, and he was so nice, and said a few nice things in some foreign language, and grasped my hand.  As he was leaving, he said “I am Dan, it was so nice to meet you, and next time, I won’t wear the cologne”.

I am having a drink, because I do truly realize that when the smell of cologne can take me over the brink, that the reason I usually maintain my grief in check is because I am trying so hard not to grieve.  The unfortunate thing is that my commitment to being in control means when I think of my dad’s hands, or I think of something he would say to me, or the fact that on valentine’s day there were always 3 little boxes of candy on the front porch I just stop thinking of it.  And then I start thinking that I owe him more than that.  Don’t I owe him a full measure of my grief?  Don’t I owe him the full attention to the joy he brought us all in spite of the grief he causes me now?

Someday I will be ready, but for today I will just have to finish this drink.  Trader Joe’s Chariot Red, if you care to join me.

A toast to you, too.

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4 Responses to I’ll Drink to That

  1. Kim says:

    JenineThis post brought tears to my eyes. Okay, it made tears stream down my face. It has been 9 years since I lost my mom and I can completely relate to you not being able to give the full measure of your grief. Some days, I can think of her or something that reminds me of her and I can smile. Sometimes I can even laugh about something she said or did–or a private joke we had. But right now, I can’t smile. At this time in my life, I need her and miss her so much. Shopping for my wedding dress has been so very hard. Seeing other women with their moms during that very special shopping trip BREAKS MY HEART. My mom should be here for this time of my life.I think you are right–we owe them the full measure of our grief. But I think they would understand that our hearts and minds can only do it in small increments. Your tears over the grandfather with his granddaughters and the familiar cologne are a tribute to your dad. They are you taking a moment to acknowledge the pain you feel at your loss. You can’t give over completely to the grief or it would consume you. Baby steps . . . even 9 years out, I still take baby steps. Take heart—it does get easier. But if we stopped hurting and crying completely, it would be as if they never mattered to us. I know it’s hard sometimes, but take some solace in your tears.I wish I could be there to join you for a glass of wine. I raise my glass to you, your father and my mom.

  2. Tonh says:

    BIG HUGS…………!!!Love, Tony

  3. crazyverse says:

    What dress to wear? Red or black?

  4. musicref says:

    What dress to wear? Red or black?

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