Today was picture day at school. The day most school age kids dread. Most children don’t seem to like this day because mom wants them to look their best which translates into not being able to wear what you want and not looking as cool as you might think you could otherwise. It means that a shower is mandatory and one day of neatly combed hair is compulsory. Certainly no ball caps today. No tee-shirts with snappy verbiage or hip logos will work today. A shirt with a collar will be the order of the day. I can picture kids all over the county fussing with mom about the whole affair.
Picture day for us has always been a little different. Our kids have always looked forward to picture day. Since Lisa was a teacher the kids and her always got two pictures. One by themselves and one with each other. Some of my favorite pictures have been the school pictures of Lisa with one of the kids at her side. I have some very good ones of Lisa and Abby. They loved the fact that they could have their picture taken together. I think it made them feel special in the fact that most of the other kids wound up with that one goofy picture of themselves slouching in front of the camera with a forced half smile.
Last night I reminded Matt that today was picture day. He said that he knew and had already planned on dressing for the occasion. He said that he was going to wear his favorite blue button-down with a pair of jeans. He said that he had been saving the shirt for just this day. That cracked me up because it told me all my harping was paying off. It told me that he is finally starting to concern himself with his appearance. It also told me that he understands that he should not wear the same shirt too often. Actually it made me feel pretty good since it was only about a year ago I got a call from a close family friend and teacher that was concerned about Matt’s hygiene. She told me that she had ran into him a couple times that one week and noticed that he kept wearing the same tee-shirts and that he did not look like he had been brushing his teeth regularly. This was not long after Lisa died and I was still getting my hands wrapped around taking care of the kids. I started paying more attention to these things and noticed she was correct. I took some steps to change this. I started making sure he brushed his teeth regularly and enlisted Abby’s help to make sure he did not leave the house in the same tee-shirt every day. Additionally, when I washed his clothes I would not let him take them to his room until the following week. That forced him to pick out something else to wear. I suppose my diligence is starting to pay off.
I don't think Matt thought about all this very much. I don't think that it dawned on him but, for me, picture day is just one more reminder that Lisa is not with us. I will no doubt get my package of pictures in a couple of months and be reminded yet again that our lives have changed and will never be the same.
- Chris Anderson
- Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
- We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.