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Collecting Dust

Sunday, October 16, 2011
Last week, while I was in my closet, I faced what seemed to be a sudden realization of how much time had passed since Michael’s departure to heaven. I decided to poke around at his clothes and shoes, which I have still not moved in any way, in order to just have a moment of my own to think about him. It was completely silent. Sometimes in those moments, I feel like my heart speaks out and has a one-way conversation with Michael as if he is with me listening. As I touched his clothes and noticed the dust collecting on the fold of the pants and on the tops of his suit coats, I felt my heart say, “You are really gone, aren’t you? Where are you? What are you doing now? I miss you. You are not coming back. How am I doing? You were such a great dresser.” There were no big onslaughts of tears. My eyes filled up to the brim and I felt a longing in my heart and experienced a melancholy time of reminiscing and overall thoughts of missing him and missing seeing him in his fabulous clothes.

I started pulling out his shoes to look at them and found an obvious layer of dust across the top of each one. It was at that moment that I realized, “He’s been gone a long time now. I have been in my own time warp.” It seems that his presence here was just a short time ago, still fresh, but the signs of dust on his clothes and shoes shows me otherwise. Seeing the dust on the shoes made me see that it is time to begin the cleaning out process. His dresser drawers are still full of his clothes and his winter sweaters are in a container under our bed. His side of the closet is as he left it.

Our son, Michael Anthony, has grown two inches since February, and is now wearing the same size shoe that his dad was wearing, has the same waist measurement, and almost the same chest. He needs his arms to catch up with the rest of his growing body. He is only 13 and is going to be a big man someday. He has edged out over me in height, the only child to do so, since I am 5’8 1/2. He has begun to wear some of his dad’s shoes and shorts. As I was looking through his suits that day in the closet, I was thinking how I would like to save these suits for him to alter and wear one day. Several of them were custom made and are monogrammed on the inside of the suit coat reading, “Exclusively tailored for Michael A. Barranco”. Then there are a couple of suits that I helped him choose on one of his business trips to Chicago. He and I went into Barney’s New York to look for some things for him. We had eaten a leisurely lunch at Le Colonial, and then walked around window-shopping until we got to Barney’s. We took our time while we were there and both enjoyed the process of selecting the perfect suits and sports coats. He had so much fun that afternoon and was so pleased with the two Armani suits we chose. That day felt kind of like a honeymoon because we were not on any time schedule and enjoyed every minute together. It was just a year and a half ago. I would love to see Michael Anthony in those suits one day.

My niece helped me organize my side of the closet last week in preparation of me going through Michael’s clothes. It was kind of a baby step towards his clothes. Even going through my clothes was hard because so many memories of him are wrapped up in every piece of my clothing, from him choosing it, where we were when I wore it with him, how much he liked it on me, and remembering the comments he had made about each one when something really pleased him. He was always full of compliments. It was hard to get rid of something that I knew he loved.

I have not decided yet if I am going to edge my clothes over to his side once I go through his clothes. I like the discipline of keeping the amount of clothes that I own down to a number that fits into my little space. I think maybe I will use some of his side for storage of other things. At first it made me feel not so lonely by having his clothes still hanging there, where they belonged. Now, as the dust collects on them, it is doing the opposite by bringing to my attention that I am alone. I feel that they are beginning to be something that is weighing me down a bit. Continuing to have them hanging in my closet will ultimately keep me from moving forward....it's depressing. Dust represents the fact that something is forgotten, neglected, or abandoned. Seeing dust on his things is a continual reminder that these things are abandoned. Moving forward is not something that I have wanted to do, but now, as the dust collects, I have learned that I must move forward in small acts, with small steps like this or life cannot return. They represent a past life. A life that was, but is no more. I can save the special, the handsome, and the memory filled pieces in a small section for Michael Anthony to wear one day, if he so chooses.


Anonymous Says:
October 17, 2011 at 2:32 AM

Line upon line..........

Anonymous Says:
October 17, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Jene'-would you please explain the very prominant copyright notice that displays when I pull up your website now? Was someone plagarizing your site? Are you planning to write a book? For some reason it bothers me. Thank you.

Anonymous Says:
October 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Copyrighting blog materials is standard procedure for bloggers. I am surprised you hadn't done it before. This is great writing. Keep it up!

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