So, after three months, the IRS finally managed to get me a check in the mail. This, by the way, after I yelled – while at work – at the “customer service” representative and made her cry. I get that I was mean, I even get that I was frustrated and probably could have held my tongue a little better than I did. I daresay, though, that I held my tongue for far longer than most people would have.
But in the process I’m having to catch up on soooo many things. My kids’ tuition, which normally was easily paid, was behind because I’d counted on this refund check. The deposit for next year is overdue. The registration packet, all of it. The car payment. The phone bill. I cannot in good conscience have my kids in Nebraska for the summer and not give my folks money to pay for their expenses.
But the biggest thing, the one that I’ve avoided and tried to prevent dealing with this whole time, is finishing the gravestone for Andrea. I know it’s something I should have done, literally, a year ago. I know that Andrea’s folks are not happy that it’s not there yet. I also know that I did the preliminaries and I don’t want to face it. It’s like the day of the funeral when I tried to leave the cemetery. It isn’t easy. It’s really the most difficult thing and it seems to be the last, most permanent reminder that it’s all over.
I get it, by the way. I know that it’s been over since March 26th, 2011. I understand that she’s gone and that she’s not coming back. I’ve done everything for the kids since then. I’ve raised them, fed them, housed them, bought uniforms . . . all the stuff that Andrea dealt with – far better than I did – I faced and not well.
It’s the last thing I wanted to prevent happening. It’s like I had the opportunity to say “no, I don’t accept this!” and was doing it.
But now I have the check. It’s the last obstacle – the money – that I had to getting the stone finished and in place. I can’t spend a ton but I also don’t want to skimp on her. It’s like the last present I can give her. The problem is that is feels like the birthday I screwed up all over again. She wanted something amazing and I gave her a replacement for a decorator item the kids broke. I want to give her life and instead I’m sealing the grave forever by signalling everyone that it’s here she’s resting for eternity.
I asked the kids if they wanted to be part of it, if I should send pictures and get their ideas. They don’t. Abbi, as she’s often done when the topic of her Mom . . . when it comes to her death . . . comes up shut down.
“I don’t really want to, Dad” is her response and I can’t say I blame her.
But like so many things, it has to be done.
Now I just wait for the finished product. I have that long, at least, to pretend that it’s not over . . . not completely.