It's less than a month away before school begins. I'm proctoring HSPE (high school proficiency exams) retakes this week, so I am officially beginning to get ready for school. The remnants of last school year sit in boxes, ready to be examined one more time before I put them in their place for the year.
At home, one can see remnants of visitors from a long, wonderful weekend. Yesterday, I put lawn chairs away from our Friday night party. There are leftover cookies from Bud and Marilyn's 50th Anniversary party on the counter. Today, perhaps, I will put away all of the toys that found their way out of storage totes. I love having toys around the house...it doesn't seem so kidless when there are toys in the backroom.
However, there are things in one bedroom in my home that I just can't seem to put in their rightful places. If I hang Andrew's t-shirt quilt over his bed or put his golf ball collection or his shadow box of special memories from his bulletin board in the places I have reserved for them, perhaps things will become too real for me to handle. I think I survive everyday, because in the back of my mind I keep a small hope that all of this is just a dream and I will wake up and need to buy him school supplies and clothes for his senior year of high school.
These last pieces of Andrew that haven't found a permanent home yet are just one more step I need to take in the healing process. This has been a summer of healing. Bill and I have done a lot of projects since June--some that needed to be finished, some just to keep us busy. Football will begin in two weeks. It should be a joyous time in our home. Instead, it is kind of sad. Another activity where we had planned to be in the middle of; however, our Bulldog is just a memory so we stand on the outside looking in. The first of many hard things for us to experience this year.
As I type this I see small remnants of crimson paint that stain my fingers...remnants of a project the kids, Bill, and I finished over the weekend. It is appropriate that I have that stain, because it is a lot like the stain of sadness that has colored my world during this past year. This stain, much like my sadness, will fade as this new school year begins. It has been a summer of healing, of taking remnants from a past full of love and hope, and creating a life without Andrew in the middle of it.