This dry-erase board has been hanging out on our refrigerator for many years.
If you look closely, you'll see that the last month written is April. April 2009.
Every few months since then, I've considered erasing and starting afresh. Maybe even throwing the whole thing out, as I'm guessing it may be difficult to remove the ink from more than four years ago.
And yet, so far, it stays.
It's a little snapshot in time that I'm reluctant to let go, even as we've moved forward as a family.
There are reminders of dental appointments and school events and birthday parties and counseling. Phone numbers of doctors and friends and the police detective in charge of the case of my stolen identity from that spring. There's a note about medicine and payments due for water and cell service.
There are special quotes, such as 7-year-old Cooper saying, "I feel safe with you."
There's a snippet from a dinnertime conversation about childbirth. After Cooper heard everything (as much as an inquisitive child should hear during a meal), he remarked:
"I'm happy I'm not a girl. I don't want to go through that."
Steve replied, "Amen, brother."
Keeping this outdated calendar and montage of notes and quotes won't take us back in time. It won't restore our family to the days when Steve was alive. I can't explain exactly why it's still there.
One day, that space on the refrigerator will be filled with photos and postcards and magnets from our travels. Just not yet. I'll know when I'm ready.
We're not totally trapped in time around here. Cooper, Katie and I continue to embrace our gift of days. We returned last week from vacation in Oregon, where we soaked up cooler temperatures and the beauty of the coast. We launched many adventures (including a harrowing hike that you can read about here).
I am thankful for these children and how we work together. I am thankful for memories, and I am thankful for more time.
|August 2013 photo from Hug Point State Park, coast of Oregon|