Away from Owen’s stuff

Nat is watching our house and cats this weekend, while Dave and I take care of his mom.  She has been sick for almost a year, and when her brother has to go out of town, we come up here to take care of her.  We visit, even when Brian is in town, but being the closest children to her geographically, we are the next point of contact when he and Mary are engaged elsewhere.

Barbara’s house is north of our town, a long enough drive to send me into the black pit.  I have trouble being away from Owen’s stuff.  As long as I know I can get home from work within a half hour, and look at his pictures, toss his hacky sacks back and forth, and look through his journals, I feel okay.  Not good, but okay enough to get through the night, or the weekend.

When we come up here, although I know I have my familial duties with which to continue, I’m back in ultra-tortured territory.  Owen’s stuff and my memories, are all I have in the tangible sense.  I could go to the cosmic space again, like I do so often, but the fact is, I miss him so much, I truly count on his stuff to be there for me when I get home. 

Our stuff is such a part of the lives we build, and being able to look through it, and remember the times we watched certain movies together because we find those DVDs in our loved ones’ bedrooms, is so very much a part of taking stock of both their lives and ours.  I still can’t watch TV or movies, as I remember all the times we spent together escaping into those mediums.  Our favorites will always be OUR favorites, and I’m not sure I will see them the same way on my next viewing.

I don’t know what it will do to me the next time I watch “What About Bob?”  We watched that movie so many times, most of the family knew the lines, and regularly recited them during each viewing.  Same for so many other movies, and certainly for the music.  Owen and I shared so many days listening to and talking about music and musicians. 

I loved the surprise of finding out Owen had a new musical interest.  Like, how funny/weird that only weeks before he went missing, he would become enamored with Donovan, Metallica, and Alice in Chains.  Don’t know why, but he did.  And, then oddly, after he was gone, I searched through all of his playlists on our computer, and he had recently downloaded so much Irish music, and, of all artists, Sheryl Crow, and Enya.  Of course, the numbers of tunes he saved from them, was a mere fraction of the lists from The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and Nirvana.  But, all good music, and I appreciate now, having his playlists to fill my late nights.  I’m not so sure the neighbors feel the same way.  But, we never cared much about the neighbors, anyway (except Jon, that is).

So, here I am, in a town north of home, with a few CDs of Owen’s, my laptop, so I can write, and a bunch of pictures of him – can’t leave home without them.  Nat will take care of the house and the kitty-poo’s, and we watered the plants before we left today.  I should be able to do this without diving into the pit.  But, no, I spent most of my day there. 

Owen’s stuff.  Can’t leave home without it – except that, of course, I have to sometimes.  He did, too, so I guess I’m no worse off.  Just lonelier than when I’m at home, where most of my memories of him are still freshest.

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~ by Linda on September 1, 2007.

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