If you need me today, I’ll be on a deserted island….in my head.
I will still walk here, talk here, be present here…but in my head, my toes willl be in sand, no one will be able to access me, and I will cry. Alot.
I will break sea shells, no matter how big and beautiful they are. I will break many for my mama. I will break many for my Mac. I will break a few for myself.
But I will throw starfish back into the ocean, one by one by one.
I will be present today, but I won’t be here. I will smile and clap and show my little boy how proud I am of him. I will hug and kiss on my daughter and open lots of bags of Cheetos and pour lots of cups of orange juice. I will get done all of the things that need to be done, but in my head, I will be all alone on an island surrounded by the most beautiful blue, where no one can hear me when I scream and cuss and lie down on the sand and dig in my heels and pound my fists and feel. There, I will feel everything.
Here, I will not feel. I will show outward signs of feeling, because tear ducts seem to leak, even when you tell them not to, while I am present. But I will try not to feel. I’ll do my very, very best not to feel.
Because there is a program to attend. Mac’s Grandparent’s day program. And I will involuntarily feel. But in my head, I’ll be on a private island where I don’t.
Because today, my parents should be celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary. But they aren’t.
So, I’ll retreat to my island in my head where I will let it all out. But my body will still be present, left to clap and smile and cry a little as I try to not feel.
When the feelings creep in, I’ll concentrate on the sand. On the blue. On the shells.
I will obliterate some shells in my head. Lots of shells will become tiny shards, scattered and strewn, still beautiful in their miniture form, shimmering like confetti in the island sun, but never to be whole again.
But I’ll still throw the starfish back.
Maybe they will fare better than they would have, had I not.
Maybe I will, too.