A Jar of Mayonnaise, Laughter and Tears

mayo

How can a jar of mayonnaise move me to tears? Let me try to explain. I am two finals from my Bachelor’s degree. Thirty years in the making while having six children, ending a bad marriage after 26 years only to find the love of my life and having to relinquish him in death. Finishing…anything…well…has eluded me for decades. It used to be so important to me. Now, the closer I am to completing my degree, the more of a non-event it becomes. Filtering life through death will do that. I’m also 51 years old and I still feel love for a dead man. The kicker is I’m a Psychology major and aspire to be a counselor. I confess I’ve not had the emotional reserve to contribute much to my on-line support groups lately. I’ve been functioning more as a voyeur. I easily become lost in cyber-world connections because I am immeasurably grateful and needy of the instant family of support that unites us all.

So back to the story.

I finally have time to make tuna-fish and I grab a jar of mayo out of the pantry. I bought it from the warehouse store so it’s a big one. I decide I should check the expiration date and I feel the tears come. That is one of the many love things Dennis always did for me.

As a full-time student and a single Mom consumed by life and other no need to mentionables, time is a resource I never have enough of. Dennis went through my pantry once and found things 3 years old (gasp) and made it a mission of his to keep me healthy by keeping my pantry current. So, I start to open the jar, but it’s too big for my hands. I can’t do it. I blubber as I curse him for checking out on me. And as I’m sobbing, aching from the anguish I’ve been stifling as I go through the motions of life, missing the arms and warmth and protection of my guy, I’m also laughing and irate at how grief is just so relentless in every nuance of my life.

Part of me wants to be angry at the menace of grief, but another part of me treasures the thoughts that are both painful and the most loving at the same time. This is what grief does. Sometimes I think the pain lingers because I don’t want to lose all the memories. I just don’t want to lose any more. The mayonnaise jar moves me to tears of happiness because he loved me so. So tenderly, so-just-right-for-me. The mayonnaise jar moves me to tears because I don’t have him anymore ~just the memories~ of the love he gave me.
I was able to open the jar, remember to check the date and continue on amidst laughter and tears.