(This entry is about Saturday, April 8th, 2006 — I only got a chance to post this after midnight, so it’s dated April 9th.)
This morning, my wife asked me to make waffles for breakfast, since I hadn’t made them in a long time. Although the batter is very similar, I generally make pancakes because I think they’re easier to make. Really, it’s about the same, but for some reason I’d rather make pancakes. My wife made a point to mention that I’d gotten the batter “just right” and the kids ate waffles and Suzie had chocolate soy milk and Charlie, Sam and I had tea.
Then, I started to pack my things. I started clearing through a lot of cruft on my desk, throwing out things that I’d been holding onto for no good reason. Holding onto things just because I could, not because I really needed them. Things I’d pretty much forgotten about but felt I ought to keep at the time. I’m sure if I’d known today was coming, I would never have bothered, right?
By about 1:30 PM, I was packed and my car was loaded. We had to run an errand to return some movies and get some forms notarized. Turns out the banks all close at 1:00 PM on Saturday. The municipal building is only open Monday through Friday. The police department doesn’t have a notary. In the end, through the awesome power of Google’s mobile search for PDAs, we learned that the UPS Store on Kiel Ave. provides notary service at $3 a page. We get our forms notarized and go home.
The kids want Chef Boyardee — well, Charlie does, she always does — for lunch. We get home and the girls go straight for their toys in the playroom so they can get back to playing. Sam asks if they’d like to say goodbye before I leave. Suzie’s first to give me a hug and I kneel in front of her and kiss her on the head, then she walks off into the playroom. Charlie jumps into my arms, her legs almost around my waist, and I catch her before she falls to the floor. She hugs me tight and I kiss her on the forehead, reminding her to be a good girl and to take care of Suzie and Mommy. She goes off to play with Suzie. Sam and I hug, a quiet, sad hug. She asks me to let her know when I’ve arrived so she knows I got there safe. I agree to, I’m not sure why, but I do. I say one last goodbye to the girls who are already off playing, like I’m not even going anywhere, too occupied to care. That’s okay, they’re just kids. Rubber dinosaurs and spiders are more important right now. For their sake, I hope things stay that way for a long time, at least long enough for them to forgive me.
I choose not to eat at home so I can drive on an empty stomach, but wind up getting food at the Wendy’s before I get on Route 23, anyway, with $6 of the gift certificates Sam gave me. I’d taken the cans of soda from the house when I left and made sure I had plenty of cigarettes for the drive. I’ve got at least five hours of driving ahead of me, if not more with the poor weather: it was freezing rain and sleet, in April. Even in Spring, the sky poured down its icy tears for me, because I couldn’t shed my own.
What remains of my life has finally come to an end and the buds and shoots of my new life are already forming. I hope this Spring brings beauty and growth, even if it had to start with water from frozen tears. Nothing worth having ever comes easy and this, certainly, wasn’t easy.