I took a week off from work in November and stayed home to sort through the remaining bins of Ex’s things. I didn’t make it through all of it, or even half, I don’t think, but while sorting it didn’t hurt as bad as it did earlier in my grieving. Yes, I would dive into folders knowing what lay inside and feel the stab of sadness, but the stabs didn’t make me want to heave or cry so hard my stomach hurt. I even got a trick folder at one point where I thought it was photos, and maybe the folder had held photos at one point. The folder took my breath away, I opened it, and it had regular papers in it. I breathed out in relief.
Little Guy and I put up a Christmas tree this year, a fresh one that I sawed down, permitted by the Forest Service. I usually dread hanging the ornaments and all the memories that go with them. Ex made some of the ornaments, and they hung prominently on the tree this year without giving me pangs of anger. I haven’t kept a ton of Ex’s personal things, reminders that brought on too many negative emotions. I’m glad I kept the ornaments.
This year, I feel like I’ve accepted raising my son by myself, and yeah, sometimes I still feel like I’m wearing a giant “W” on my clothing when I walk into a room, but I feel less frustrated and resentful by becoming a full-time mother. The situation feels normal. I still marvel at people who choose full-time, single parenthood. Overall, I’m pretty content. I love having my son every day. I love the consistency in our lives. I love living with just him and no one else. I love that as far as disagreements go, those go as far as the two of us.
I know Little Guy still misses his dad. He probably always will. Ex let Little Guy eat doughnuts and candy and Pop-Tarts all kinds of crap that I don’t allow. They had some adventures that he won’t forget. Sometimes, Little Guy and I go for drives. I take him by the houses his dad built. It honors the memory of his dad and the splendid work he laid out in this county. I hope it helps Little Guy keep his dad close in his heart.