It still hurts to go to church.
We loaded up into our nearly-dead Suburban and drove through the bitter rain to church. I was feeling glum, because the Suburban was the vehicle Philip drove, and it was the first time I had gotten in it, since I don't really trust the poor vehicle. Seeing his coffee cup and notes and stuff still there, as if he were going to be right back. loading up his tools to go to work made me feel stunned. Again.
As we headed up and over the mountain the kids must have been thinking about him too, because instead of fighting, they suggested they play the ABC game, but without the letters, the way Dad taught them.
I had never been with them when they played that game. They must have played with Philip on the way to Sunday School. They told me that he thought that the standard way of playing the ABC game was boring and lazy, that anyone could find a letter on a sign. His way required you to find things that begin with the letter in question, and they must be nouns. No adjectives or adverbs allowed. A-asphalt, B-barn, C-car, D-dead deer. We were tempted to cheat, but we remained firm, and made it to Z by the time we reached the church parking lot. Couldn't find a Z, but as we were late, we decided to call it quits.
I didn't know that Philip taught the kids a new ABC game.
Sure beats "blue punch buggy no punch back bug spray" fights.
I don't think I cried as much in church today.
But it was still hard.
We went to lunch together, just the six of us. We went to Shanghai, the little Chinese buffet in Salem. We have been going to that family owned restaurant for several years now, almost once a month. The last few months were slim, but if ever there was an extra bit of cash, we would go there. It is the most economical meal out for a family our size, with the little ones, it averages out to be under $5 a person, if we all drink water.
It is nice to go to a place where you know the owners, the waiters and the bus-guys. They never minded that we took up a lot of space and would often hang out around the table until three o'clock in the afternoon on a lazy Sunday. Philip would tell stories, we would laugh, then we would hug in the parking lot and talk for another 15 minutes before he would take the big kids to run an errand then head back to church and I would go home with the little girls.
Today's lunch was very sombre.
The food was good as always. Our waitress was new. The table felt very small and quiet, and we ate rather quickly and wanted to leave quickly.
It seems ever-increasingly real that Philip is gone and we miss him very much.
PS, the rain continues. There was a brief thunderstorm late this afternoon, and my ears welcomed the boom and crack. Blackie hid out in the bathtub as usual. I kind of wished the storm would have stuck around a little longer. I feel like a vicious thunderstorm. But it seems as if most of it has moved on and things are cool and quiet. The peepers are very loud.