Here is a deleted snippet of a scene from Between Octobers. Grace is experiencing a moment of clarity.
**Keep in mind, this portion was just pulled from one of my many files of deleted materials and has not been professionally edited.**
“It is just pivoting.”
As I say it out loud I know by the weight that the words carry, it’s true.
It has been almost a full year and I haven’t even put his clothes away. I have not been back to work. I have made all these changes to his yard, but none to his house. I can’t move his awful recliner.Even tonight, for dinner, I ordered the same kind of pizza. Not the kind the kids want or I want. I never go out with my friends — well, Lily is my only real friend, but I don’t try to meet new people, either. I still lighten my hair because he liked it that way. I still pay for all the sports channels he liked and I don’t even watch TV.
The saddest thing is, is it didn’t occur to me until this very moment that I should change those things. The clothes thing is obvious–I have to put them away–but all those missed opportunities! I thought I was progressing because I can get through a day without pulling my hair out. Look how the time has passed me by! I have turned our lives into a tribute to an extinct era!
Keeping his things won’t help me keep him. They are just things. But the thought of progressing without my other half is….
I have never been an introspective person, or I never thought of myself as one. I have been doing the only thing I know how to survive. I never had to find happiness before; it always came naturally, as part of who I am. I never needed Solomon to make me happy. I was happy, first. His involvement in my life multiplied an existing joy. It did not start with him so it stands to reason it should not end with him. The two were so closely entwined for so long the separate existences became muddled into one.
I have more now than I did when we met. Our home. Our family. Our memories. More than that — more than I can put into words. It’s frustrating, being caught in the ironic nature of this overwhelming, never-ending gloom. Always waiting for the pain to decrease and feeling guilty when it does. Constantly nursing my precious wounds. It’s got to stop. We can’t live like this.
Dr. Lena says there is a way to move on and she believes I can find it.
But do I believe in myself?
No, I decide, but it doesn’t matter. What I want doesn’t matter. I sort of always thought my brightest days were behind me, anyways. I’m not depressed, just realistic. I still hold onto hope for the future but I can’t see it and I need to stop thinking of myself before I think of the kids.
So, I’ll be lonely. Lots of people walk through their lives alone. Need surpasses want every time. The kids have to have what they need. Stability. Happiness. Strength. The only way to give it is to show them.
In the end, the only thing that means anything is family. Love. Have I loved others and acted out of that love? I have grieved its loss, but I didn’t lose it when he died. I lost the object of my love. That is why it hurts so much.
There has to be a way around this. I don’t know how to get to where I am going. I barely know how I got where I am now. I take that back. I know exactly how I got here.
Once, Solomon and I were planning a routine trip to his mothers’ house — every Sunday after church — on the way we had a short, quintessential exchange. Solomon would drive because I didn’t like driving when he was in the car. He was too critical. One day, he asked me to drive because he was sleepy.
“Okay, but you have to give directions.”
“Why do you need directions? We go over to my Moms’ every weekend.”
“Yes, but you always drive. I don’t pay attention, so, I don’t know how to get there.”
That sums up the fundamental nature of our relationship. Solomon was there, watching over and taking care of everything. We were safe with him and I didn’t concern myself with minor details like what was going on in the world outside my window or other trivial matters, like balancing our checkbook. Everything I wanted was right there and I felt no need to look anywhere else.
I force myself to concentrate on folding laundry while asking the real question: How do I find something that I always had and never knew I could lose? Where do I even begin to look?