Sunday, October 09, 2005

The joy of autopilot

My mind is a fascinating piece of machinery. On the days when I wish, more than anything in the world, I could switch off the constant sad movie playing over and over in my head, turn off the sorrow, or change the channel to something less depressing, I can't for the life of me figure out a way to do it.

But then there are days, like today, when my brain kicks into high gear and has me blissfully flying through the day on autopilot. I woke up this morning at 7:30am, quite by accident, and instead of thinking "Thomas isn't here" I thought, "I have to make the stuffing before I go to Mass". What followed was a lengthy internal discussion about what Mass I'd attend, and what chores I would do before and what ones I'd save for after.

It was like that almost all day long. No time for sadness, no time for sentimentality - just work, work, work. Nose to the grindstone. Peel those potatoes, chop that turnip, baste that turkey - MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!

The only tiny chink in my seemingly impenetrable suit of armor came while I was stirring my creamed onions. I'd been watching a relatively bad made for TV movie while preparing the vegetables, but changed it to another channel when it got dull. When whatever was on the new channel also bored me, I flipped back to the bad move. And lucky for me, I was in time to see one of the main characters have her baby...and lose it shortly after birth. I came back just in time to see the funeral.

I was completely transfixed, waiting to see if the main characters looked like I felt the day we buried Thomas. The father did a pretty good job, I think, but not the mother. I know mother pain and that wasn't it. But what else can you expect from a bad TV movie, I suppose.

I'm not even going to get into the fact that I think it was a particularly cruel movie to show on Thanksgiving weekend, nor am I going to point out that having a calf born at the end of the movie, though sweet, doesn't really make up for the loss and heartache the characters suffered earlier on. Even if it appeared that it did. Stupid characters - what do they know? A whole herd of the cutest calves on the planet wouldn't make up for my loss. Cow does NOT equal baby.

But I digress.

It was shortly after the movie that I started to cry while I was standing at the stove stirring my creamed onions. I'm pretty sure that I would have been okay if I hadn't popped back into the movie just in time to see the baby's funeral. I think that was my kryptonite. I just started thinking that Thomas should be here - he should be with me. And down came the rain.

It was just a short drizzle though, and then I pulled myself together and carried on through the rest of the day and evening, happily back on autopilot.

Even when I lit the candles I was okay. Even when I found myself staring at Thomas' candle on the table, tucked into the centerpiece in front of me, even then I was okay.

And even now I'm okay. Because I still have one more day - and one more dinner - to get through before this Thanksgiving weekend without Thomas is over.


Catherine said...

I actually look forward to those days. Sad, isn't it?

kate said...

just wanted to send you some (((((((((hugs))))))) and some strength....

Jill said...

It sounds as though you have handled the whole weekend with absolute grace and enormous strength. (((hugs)))