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Dirty Laundry

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Most all of the years of our marriage, I have always done laundry on Mondays.  I never wanted to do laundry throughout the week.  This would mean that there would always be clothes to fold and put away.. . and we all know that piles of clean clothes don't always get folded straight out of the dryer.  I did not want to spend every day doing some form of laundry.  By limiting it to Mondays,  the clothes are typically done by Tuesday morning.  The kids know when they wake up on Monday mornings to bring their sorted laundry down to the laundry room. The girls always run their own through the cycles, and I have always done mine and the boys. (Michael Anthony does his own sorting and folding.)  

I was notified about Michael's accident on Wednesday morning, February 23 at 3:30 in the morning.  His accident had taken place about 10:30 on Tuesday night, within minutes of our "good night - I love you" phone conversation.  One of my favorite movies is When Harry Met Sally.  My sister and I compete to see who can reuse a quote from the movie in the most appropriate place of a conversation.  At the end of the movie, when Harry realizes that he loves Sally and does not want to live his life without her by his side,  he tells her all of the apparent "everyday" reasons that he loves her. One of the things he says to her is,  "I love that you are the last person I want to talk to at night before I fall asleep and the first person I want to talk to when I wake up."  When Michael traveled, he would always call me after his business dinner to share with me, check on how my evening went, tell me he loved me and say good night.  He would then call me in the morning before his business day started.  We would talk about our day or he would just say, "I just called to tell you I love you," or ,"I miss you." 

Back to the dirty laundry.... Later in the day, on that tragic Wednesday, I found myself trying to find a crumpled, used t-shirt so that I could smell him.  All of the laundry was clean. I was mad that I could not find anything that showed a sign of his recent life.  I grabbed two of his long sleeved t-shirts, which he loved to wear at night, out of his drawer.  I sat on our bed, wrapped them around me neck, put the arms in front of my nose, and cried like I have never cried before in my life.  I could not control my groans and cries.  The groans came up from somewhere deep inside my soul. I was longing for the comfort of his smell. The softness of the shirt was enough for me, because that is why he loved to sleep in those shirts.  The children and I have slept in them many times looking for even a trace of his scent left behind.  I scanned through his dress clothes looking for any worn looking dress shirts.  Touching them somehow made me feel like I was hugging him for the last time.

We fell behind on washing clothes these past few weeks.  Earlier this week, I washed a load of darks.  At the bottom of our laundry bag, I found Michael's Boy Scout pants.  The weekend before the accident, he had gone on a camp out with our son and their troop.  He typically did not unpack his bag immediately upon returning from camping.  Somehow, those pants did not make it into the wash that Monday and were hidden under a pair of my jeans in the laundry bag. I slowly looked the pants over and dug my hands into every pocket, trying to see if there was any little trace of what he had done while he was camping.  I was disappointed to find them all empty. 

The heavy feeling set into my stomach.  I pictured how cute he looked in his Scout uniform or just his Scout pants with a t-shirt.  Scouting excited him and brought him renewed energy.  How very appropriate it was that the dirty clothes I finally found were his Scout pants.  I miss his dirty clothes.  I washed his last piece of dirty laundry, folded them with tenderness, and hung them with his uniform shirt. He was a Scout to the end.


Anonymous Says:
March 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

you are an amazing woman.

In His Grip

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