That’s What Ghosts Are.

by Lori Dwyer on July 24, 2011 · 22 comments

“Not everybody believes in ghosts, but I do. Do you what ghosts are, Trisha?”…”Men and women who can’t get over the past. That’s what ghosts are. Not them…The dead are dead. We bury them, and buried they stay.”
Needful things, Stephen King

If this is what I’m afraid of letting go, because I’m afraid of forgetting it… then I’ll write it here, the way i do, and have a record of it. Because it being locked in my brain is useless- it hurts too much to touch it. Take a deep breath with me, and enter the Purple Life.. the part I’m afraid of forgetting. It’s nothing special, not at all… it’s just the day-to-dayness, the ordinariness of our Purple Life. The boring bits. That everyone takes for granted. That was so special, the memory feels so much like a soap bubble, that is has to be recorded.


Our life was so ordinary. I’ve said so many times, the suburb we lived in, the cars we drove, the circumstances of our life.. so blessed ordinary and suburban until the unthinkable happened.
But our day to day… that was ordinary too.

Tony left for work early, he started his day at five am, six am towards the time he died, after his role at work was changed. He’d wake, dress, then pop in to the chop’s bedroom next door to say good morning and take him in a glass of milk.

I’d haul myself out of bed at about seven am, when the Bump started protesting from her cot, and the kids and I would head downstairs for breakfast. We’d throw some clothes on, and get out of the house- playgroup, swimming lessons, playdates with friends. We had so many things to fill our days, little things, things that are boring and inconsequential if you don’t have tiny children to entertain.

We had a community, my kids and I- a mother’s group, a beautiful playgroup. We had friends, and apart from Tony, that is what we all miss most of all.

The kids slept during the day, from midday until Tony got home, at about three o’clock in the afternoon. I’d usually blog, or Tweet,or- if I’m honest, nap- while the kids slept… (and this is where we got, remember, this is where life stopped abruptly on the 6th January, but this post isn’t about that, it’s about something else entirely- a normal life.)

After Tony arrived home from work for the day, life was simple… we’d hangout with our kids. Tony popped out most afternoons, to mates places, to the neighbors for a beer.. but the majority of his time, he spent with us. We’d push the kids in the swing we had in our backyard. We’d swim in our spa. We’d laugh at our kids, and our dog. 
We spent most afternoons outside, in the sunshine. In the same place the Bump was born. In the same place Tony hung.
I’d cook us dinner, we’d eat and bath the kids. Watch a DVD with them. Tony and Chop, every night, they’d watch a stupid show called WipeOut, and jump all over the loungeroom.
Chop hasn’t wanted to watch it since Tony died, and I’m glad. I woke, at a friend’s place, two days after Tony died, with that show playing on the TV in the background. It was like waking to a nightmare, one that used to be a dream….
After our children slept…. I guess, that was time for Tony and I. And we never spent enough of that time together… but, hey, we had all the time in the world, didn’t we…?
But we laughed together. and we talked, discussed almost everything, most of the time. We play-fought, teased each other. And laughed some more.
Tony generally went to bed before I did….. when I finished blogging for the night, I’d curl up next to him, and whisper “I love you…” and he’d murmur it back.. no matter how fast asleep he was.
And he always, always gave me a kiss goodbye, before he left in the morning for work.
Weekends, we spent together, the four of us. Tony would go out on a Friday or a Saturday night, but that was OK. Because days were spent at the park, at the duck pond, at the shops, going for a drive to the coast.. anything, really. Markets, we loved markets and we’d visit there often, children and nappy bags and strollers in tow. Tony, carrying one of our kids on his hips or his shoulders, so very proud to be with them.
So very proud to be their dad. So very proud to be my husband, to have me for a wife. So proud of his little family. (What happened…? Oh God, what happened here?)
And time just to us, as husband and wife… we loved it. We had a mutual, self depreciating sense of humour when it came to both our kids and our parenting.. but, despite the fact that most of the life we had together was about creating our family, Tony had the ability to take me out and make me feel like a women- not a mum, not someone who he saw every day in her pj’s, but someone who was special and sexy and someone he was proud to be seen with.
I miss that. I miss him.
The 25th of July- Monday. It would have been our second wedding anniversary.
This is what I’m afraid of forgetting.. do you blame me, when it was so good, so lovely… when it was all I ever wanted, and it was so simple…?
If going forward sometimes means going back… haven’t I done enough of that?
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