When you become a widow, it is common knowledge that the first year is going to, in a nutshell, suck. The first Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays, all fall into this category.
But then there are the firsts which are not as defined, but they hurt just as much or maybe even more depending on your family traditions. For example, I was in Cape May last week, and it was the first time I had been to
This experience stuck with me, and today while I was putting our family activities on the new school calendar, I realized that our annual apple-picking trip will no longer include Bobby. The annual hospital picnic that we attend every year will no longer include Bobby. Our holiday trips into NYC will no longer include Bobby. My first day back at church after the funeral was ridiculously tough, and even though I’ve been back to services several times since then, I cannot even get through a service without crying.
Even something as simple as buying concert tickets for a Beatles Tribute Band was sad...I only had to order three tickets instead of the normal four. When is three ever going to be normal? Four is normal for our family, dammit, not three!! I guess we have to use that new normal number for our family. God, how I hate that phrase, ‘new normal’.
I wonder now how many more unexpected firsts I’m going to be hit with over this next year. Maybe even the second year. Whether it is picking apples or Christmas Day, it’s going to be very tough. I hope I can get through it with grace, but if I can’t, I hope my friends and family will be patient with me and understand!