It’s Monday. Kayla’s gone back to school after Christmas break. Shell, Rod and the boys are back in Pennsylvania. I’m up closer to my normal time of 6:45 AM. So, of course, it’s pitch dark outside. Tywana’s sleeping. The dogs are sleeping. This is real life now. The house is empty and quiet.
Just two days ago I was preparing breakfast for ten. I love having a full house. Even with just the four of us, we’d often get up on a Saturday and make a big breakfast for the girls. This Saturday, we took three cars and ten people to Jungle Jim’s to go grocery shopping. We spent almost three hours walking the aisles and pointing out the exotic delicacies to each other before we piled back into the cars and headed home to prepare a meal for fourteen. Tywana and I love playing host and hostess.
Then yesterday, after Kayla and Gabe left, it was just the two of us. It was already weird before Shayna passed. Shayna was the life of the house, but she played off of Kayla. I don’t know what it would have been like for the next three years with just Shayna here. i suspect she would have gotten bored and spent more and more time away, with her friends, leaving Tywana and me here to start to adjust to life post-children. Instead, of an easy transition, we got thrown into the deep end.
This break might be Kayla’s last extended stay with us. She’s already said she will stay in Toledo this next summer. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for that. I fully expected that she’d have a hard time coming back here after being away for school. There are reminders of Shayna everywhere, purposely. And Shayna’s spirit will always be here. But, being here without Shayna’s laugh, her cutting remarks, her being the spoiled baby that she was, is difficult. Kayla told Tywana she doesn’t know how we do it every day. It’s not easy. But, what is our choice? We cannot move now for logistical (the business) reasons. And, to leave the place where we made all of those memories with Shayna won’t ease the pain any. Packing up to leave will be one of the hardest things we ever do because it will be another goodbye.
Having people here is a nice break from the monotony. The problem is it seems even more quiet when they leave. So, here I am. A Monday morning in January. It’s cold and dark. Another day stretches out before me. I guess I better get started. I head downstairs in to the quiet.