Some days are easier than others – the busyness of life or fun activities distract from the fact that my husband and children’s father died less than two months ago. And then comes trash day. I have not taken out the trash for almost 10 years. We shared certain tasks around the house and divided others. Trash was Simon’s jurisdiction by choice. If there was a full trash can, he emptied it. It’s just the way it was from day one and he didn’t mind. Every Thursday, he would walk to our back gate, unlock the padlock on the chain link fence, and pull the trash cans in our alley. It required precision and timing so our dog didn’t escape.
So for the past eight Thursdays, I have walked down the pathway in our backyard, padlock keys in hand, to take care of something that was once always done for me. It’s not too physically hard. I don’t have a problem taking the trash out. But the symbolism of what is lost makes my chest feel heavy and the tears roll. I am reminded of my reality in a tangible way as those plastic barrels are rolled from one side of the fence to the other. And the darn dog escapes nearly every time, although my technique is improving.
Not gonna lie – I can feel pretty sorry for myself. But I also feel grateful for that trash. Grateful that we have enough stuff to create trash. Grateful for our home with an affordable mortgage that I’ll be able to pay on my own. Grateful for my health to drag those barrels around twice a week. Grateful that two out of three of our kids are old enough to help out around the house. Grateful to God for His continued provision. And grateful for getting a 10 year reprieve on trash courtesy of sweet Simon.