I finally did it.
I knew I needed to. That cupboard sat there a total disaster after my friend and I hurriedly threw everything back into it the morning we heard my husband was missing. I was expecting the rest of our team to arrive within an hour to sit with me, and we needed the living room cleaned up again. The kids and I had emptied it the night before with great plans to sort it all out and clean it up that day... but that day turned out so differently than we thought. People would be arriving, and the room needed to be neat.
So my friend and I hurriedly threw everything back in the cupboard and made pots of tea. When my kids came home from the park, she took them home with her, not telling then what had happened - only that they were going for a sleepover. I put the tea and cups on the coffee table and went and stood by my front window with the phone in my hand.
Expecting to hear from people. Expecting them to come. We would sit through this day together.
Except they never came. I went more than 24 hours alone before anyone came over to help me carry the news. Twenty- four hours where I stared blankly, almost not thinking, at the snow falling outside the window. Where I curled up on my kitchen floor and cried.
Eventually, I cleared the tea things from the coffee table and drank the cold tea.
We survived, and God worked a miracle.
But the cupboard sat there unopened again. Once or twice, I have opened it with the intention to clean it out, to sort it out. But I was met with a jumbled mess of pain. I just could not do it. Memories - of laughing with my kids as we emptied it into piles, of throwing it back in with no sense of order, of being left alone.
Yesterday, my oldest son threw up. He's fine, but I kept him home from school. In the quiet day with a kid that was not that sick, I opened the cupboard. We did it together. Now it is organized - neat piles of puzzles and games ready to be played. Videos sorted into their cases ready to be watched over the holidays. Clean and organized.
It feels good. Just having the bulging mess gone feels good. Time to start a new chapter. Time to play games and do puzzles with friends. It may be with new friends this time, but it is time to laugh and play again. Time to sort out that cupboard and face the pain of cups on a coffee table that were never drunk from.
I couldn't have done it without my oldest working beside me. Children are a blessing, and I am thankful for mine. Thankful to see the others come home from school, see the organized games, and grab one to lay on their tummies in front of the fire and play. It is time to laugh and giggle again.
Some questions may never have answers, but the cupboard is cleaned out and it is time to enjoy life.
Time to make more tea and cookies for new friends.