I woke up this morning at our cabin on the North Shore.
It is weird to be in Minnesota now… I have not been in Minnesota on this date for 5 years….
This is the time of my annual trip with Justin to Florida. We went three years in a row, 2012, 2013, 2014…. last year, I went with my friend Amy to Arizona during these dates… and this year…
I felt I needed to do this alone.
So here I am. At the cabin…. drenched in his memory… signs of him everywhere…. a note on the refrigerator, his entries in the guest books… the memories… the ginger ale bottle… and this – makes me cry but I want to share this with you… and for me as well.
It was August 2014 and Wine and Words had just ended and Justin and I were taking our annual weekend trip here to the cabin as we did after every Wine and Words. We stopped in Duluth at Grandma’s Restaurant to have lunch. We were sitting up at the bar, myself exhausted from the planning of W & W as I always am afterwards, and looking forward to a fun two days with my son.
The bartender walked by us carrying a little bottle of Scwheppes Ginger Ale to deliver to a customer sitting down from us. Justin stopped talking, stared at the bottle of Ginger Ale and said, “Oh my God…. delicious!”
I have no idea why – perhaps the over tired version of me, perhaps the atmosphere, honestly it may have been the Bloody Mary we each had with lunch… but I thought that was the funniest thing ever. I started laughing so hard I cried. Justin just stared at me and started laughing too. I could not stop – I could not catch my breath and I just repeated what he had said, “Oh my God, delicious.” and we would both burst into laughter again.
Justin of course, had to have one… and that little bottle has sat in the window sill of the cabin kitchen since that day. We kept it as a memory… and you do know I love memories…..
This morning. I picked up the bottle… I unscrew the top and breathed in the faint scent of Ginger Ale….
remembering the laughter….
remembering the weekend….
trying to breathe it directly into my heart forever….
It is a hard day.
I brought my bike in the event it is warm enough for me to bike today. I feel as though I need to do something to honor this date, this crazy date that is filled with sunny memories of Harry Potter world, bonding with my son year after year, Justin’s tattoo on November 2nd 2014 to commemorate our trip… mine now that matches his….
I am thankful. Every day. I know I know I know I was lucky to have him as long as I did….
I knew these days would be hard.., I knew I had to get away and grieve.. and do what a broken mom does as she tries so desperately hard to put together the broken pieces and make some sort of mosaic version of who I was and who I am supposed to be.
Still here. Still moving forward one step at a time. celebrating us, remembering us…. ALWAYS.