There is not a day, nor frankly, a moment that goes by that I don’t feel the unfathomable loss of Chip. It hits me when I attempt the mind and body quiet of yoga. It is a stab in the heart when I am alone in the cheese section of Wegmans. It is a pain to see my children miss him so badly.
Today is Mother’s Day, a day when we would lazily have Sunday breakfast, drink coffee, and talk. We laughed about the kids, planned our week, and sometimes just listened to David Sanborn and read the paper. Mother’s Day was a time when we laughed and cried about the years of fertility treatments, the miscarriage, and the joy when we found out we were pregnant. Chip made me a mother, and I will be forever thankful for that. Amelia and Jack have made today great with flowers, balloons, and Starbucks. They are my gift, but they don’t understand that. They cannot, until one day they are parents too.
“It is Mother’s Day. We can do whatever you want to do.”
Every year, Chip would tell me that it was my day, and we would do whatever I wanted to do. As I mentioned in the past, his gift selection abilities were limited, but I loved every attempt he made. Today, however, I exercised my right to pick whatever I want to do so……..
We went bowling.
Yes, I said we. My friend Rita’s spectacular significant other, Steven, made a hand-crafted to-go container for Chip. It is a compilation of various types of wood, smooth and varnished. To my Jewish friends, it is slightly larger than a Mezuzah.
In this particular case, the Chip to-go fit neatly in my purse. So I did not scare the lanes of little children by placing his urn on the table next to the long neck Miller that you absolutely HAVE to drink when you bowl.
Chip did not like to bowl. It just was not his thing. The week before he died, we had a rainy afternoon. That was my opportunity. I said, “Let’s go bowling,” but he was having none of it. Chip’s concession involved a glass of wine at one of the Finger Lake’s spectacular wineries. So round one goes to Chip. However, today’s adventure was just like the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge outing; Chip was once again a captive audience.
So, I drove us to Spare Time bowling in Clifton Park, NY. This beautiful Sunday morning, I was one of four cars in the parking lot. Once inside, the tears began to flow, and the poor little girl at the counter was heartbroken as I shared my story and why I was there. She charged me $2 for the shoes and the game and put me by myself in lane #2. By. My. Self.
I am not the bowler I once was.
After finding an eight-pound ball and entering my name into the system, I took my first shot. Not too bad overall, and in the 8th frame, I bowled a strike. Soon, the game was over, and my total was 105. I did not finish that $4.25 long neck Miller, but I did finish the game with to-go Chip right there with me.
The weekends are very hard. Beautiful days simply call the soul to take a long ride with the roof off, sit outside at a brewery, enjoy a beer, or hold hands and just ‘be.’ The profound emptiness hurts, and I am angry that Chip is not enjoying this time in his life. We raised our kids, worked hard, and should be reaping the benefits. I have a difficult time doing things without him.
Until our next travels…
I have a few things up my sleeve for “to-go Chip,” and I think he will like them. I know he is in my heart, and I do not need to bring him with me, but I somehow feel that I am giving him the feeling that he is there, with me.