Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Uh huh, Yep, Sure, Fine...wait what?

In general I feel like I am able to fit into normal society with typical emotional and physical reactions to life. I can at least fake it until I get home. The auto shop is one of those places that, even 2 years later, invokes complete "widow brain".

feels like the world is coming at you like this

Widow Brain (noun): The state of complete disbelief and inability to remember facts or function logically after the death of spouse. See Also: break downs at grocery store, mechanics, car pool lane and any serious/mundane decisions points. Visualization can be seen at right:

Today I took my car to my usual mechanic's office, at the entire other edge of town, so running on my lunch break wasn't the brightest idea. This is the mechanic that I used when I lived on this side of town (read: when I lived with Mike in "Our House") (also note the inherent potential for underlying anxiety at getting off the exit which used to mean "home".) In spite of all of these things, I was cocky: I figured it would be a quick "nothing big" visit. I needed an oil change and my check engine light had come on over the weekend. But since I have a 13 year old Subaru, I wasn't worried about the check engine light, it wasn't flashing the impending-doom flash, and old Subarus are notorious for ghost lights.

I was lucky enough that my little brother was headed to the same mechanic's for his emission and inspection. So he brought me a Pelligrino and I shared a bite of my lunch and we chatted and harassed each other like brothers and sisters do.

Then came the lecture from the mechanic:

  • I apparently use the wrong gas (didn't know that was possible)
  • I also apparently drive a legacy like a baja (whatever that means)
  • not enough undercarriage washes (like I even knew that was a thing)
  • dented exhaust (apparently, from a family reunion up a dirt road NOT meant for low clearance vehicles)
  • leaking power steering (I don't want to deal with it!)
  • leaking oil ("if its our fault I'll warranty it, but if you're adventures punctured something it'll be several hundred dollars")
And my not so composed responses:
  • Uh huh
  • huh?
  • Sure
  • Great
  • Bring it in when?
  • ok
  • whatever
  • Can I leave now?
I realized as soon as I pulled back onto the freeway to hurry back to work (after my now TWO HOUR lunch break) that I hadn't heard a thing. I called my brother = not that much help. So I called the mechanic back and explained that I had just been panicking instead of listening. He laughed and said "as soon as you left I turned to the other guy and told him you didn't get a word of that".

Its true. I panicked. I was shaking and in a cold sweat. Cars aren't my thing. Mike dealt with cars needing to go to the shop, he even dealt with oil changes. (I've learned that cars still need oil changes even when spouses die. ITS TRUE! Even when your husband dies, you're supposed to remember to take your car in for an oil change. Even if you haven't done that yourself in 6 years. Otherwise you have to pay to rebuild the engine. True, and pitiful story. )

I am reaching a new normal in so many areas of my life. But there are still these Kryptonite issues that humble my cocky-ass and remind me that I'm not so special. I can't defeat loss. I have good days and bad days, and sometimes both at once. In some ways I think its kind of (nice isn't the word) comforting maybe, to know that there are still places that Mike's life affects mine, for better or worse. Its good to be reminded that his impact in my life is still there. 

You can watch the tree today because it is still alive, but it is only alive because of the rain and the nutrients of all the years before. 

With Love and Light, 


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