I think you all know, from my weekending posts, that Friday nights are special around here. We don’t make plans, we don’t have company, we don’t go out. We save Friday nights for just the two of us and it’s become my favorite night of the week. Dinner is made up of snacks, along with cocktails and beer and wine, and the entertainment usually consists of music and singing, maybe a game or two, and very rarely any TV. It’s a lovely way for us to reconnect after a busy work week and it sets the perfect tone for the weekend.
Last night, though, we made an exception to our rule that no one joins us. You see, Dale’s best friend Dennis is visiting from Oregon and Friday night was the best night for him to come and see us. Dennis also happens to be Tina’s brother (Bob’s widow) and he’s been staying with her so, of course, she joined us, too.
And it was wonderful. We still had snacks of cheese and crackers, grapes and fig jam and olives and nuts. But we also had a delicious and satisfying meal of hearty jambalaya soup, crusty bread, and warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It meant that my Friday was a little different than usual. I still got to read and knit and take a nap but I also had meal prep to do. Still, I enjoyed every minute of it because the anticipation of seeing these two wonderful friends in our home was a powerful motivator.
I’ve talked a lot about our sadness and grief since losing Bob. And those feelings are still very real and sometimes very sharp and painful, particularly for Dale. But last night, as we sat around our kitchen table, drinking beer and wine and sharing stories about Bob, talking about him in an easy and painless way, sharing his jokes (and recognizing that not one of us could tell them as well as he could), I felt healing. It might sound corny but it was a balm to my soul to laugh and laugh and recognize that, while grief is still our daily companion, it can be eased at times.
There have been 57 Fridays since Bob died. We’ve spent them doing lots of things and feeling lots of feelings. Not always sad, of course, but always with a shadow over us. Last night I felt that shadow lift a bit and maybe, just maybe, start to turn into something different.
Acceptance, possibly. Peacefulness, certainly. And even, through the grace of friendship, some joy.