DNA is something I’ve never given much thought to over my lifetime. The only time it really came into play for me was when I would be watching one of those decently predictable murder mysteries on Friday night’s television lineup. (The spouse did it, duh. And he had a secret girlfriend, naturally!).
You know the drill.
But DNA became it’s own precious entity to protect when my husband died. The last set of sheets we slept on remained on the bed for far longer than was hygienic due to my obsession with the presence of his DNA, skin flecks, drool and Lawd only knows what all else being on them. By sleeping on his side of the bed, I imagined I could “co-mingle” my DNA with his…or so my wid-logic went.
I was super defensive and on constant alert for anyone to–heaven forbid–move his personal effects or alter the position of anything he’d left lying around. (You should have witnessed the epic meltdown I had when my mom discarded an empty ginger ale can his very lips had drank from). That toothpaste spittle of his smattered on the bathroom mirror? Yeah, that was there for a month. At minimum.
Three pairs of his shoes were dotted around the living room when he died, and for four months, that’s where they rested.(yes, I vacuumed around them, annnd???).
I could tell this unnerved friends and fam. They’d sail through the front door, and I could glimpse their eyes darting around to see whether or not this crazy widda had moved the shoes. Not so much, no. The room would be pregnant with unspoken disbelief on their behalf. It wasn’t the proverbial elephant in the room, it was the tennies in the room!
Wearily and a bit perturbed, I addressed this with my mom: yes, mom, the shoes are STILL there. She failed miserably trying to conceal her surprise that I’d noticed her noticing.
It only goes to show you the strange significance that ordinary items take on once you’ve lost someone. If he/she touched it, it’s not trash, it’s declared a treasure. (Even if that treasure is the last wad of gum they yummed on, it makes no diff!).
And it’s okay. It’s a coping mechanism. Does me holding on to these items hurt anyone or pose a threat to myself? No and no!
So let it all lie, widdas, if it keeps whatever sanity in check you’re marginally clinging to. And those of you who visit us widdas…just pretend you don’t see it, and dear Lawd, don’t touch it!
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind–1 Timothy 1:7