It’s That Time of Year

In 2007, Thanksgiving came early, as early as the fourth Thursday in November can be. It was November 22. The only reason I know that is that I am amazed at the details I remember from the two or so weeks, from 2007. I know that this is because, as soon as Christopher died, all those recent events were frozen in my memory as I knew that they would be the last.

  • We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at my friend, Julie’s, house. Two of her three daughters were there (one had to stay at college because she was an RA). The two that were home, were several years older than Christopher, but I remember him being so at ease as he talked with them.
  • The following Sunday, we had our last big argument, one for which I will forever be thankful. I said some things to him that day that I believe, but had I not said them out loud, to him, I might have doubted after he died. I told him that, while I made my share of mistakes, nobody tried harder to be a good mom and that, again, while I made mistakes, I had no regrets. I believe that today, but having said it to him helps me know that I am not just saying it because he is gone.
  • This argument was also special because I had to leave to run and errand. While I was out Christopher called me and started with the fact that after what just happened he knew this would sound odd. He asked that I pick up a pizza so he and I could eat together and watch a movie. This was the first time I remember that he moved towards me after a disagreement. What a sign of maturity. After we had a wonderful time together, he thanked me. I told him that I was unsure what to think because of the things that he had said earlier, in anger. He acknowledged that he could see how I would think as I did, but that he really did have a good time. Again, a great sign of maturity blossoming!
  • The following weekend, he went to Tallahassee’s winter festival with his girlfriend and her parents. While he was out, he texted me to see if “the guys” could come over later. Of course they could, but what delighted me was the maturity he had in this relationship that he didn’t have in his previous long-term relationship. He was able to keep this in perspective and still maintain friendships. He hadn’t done this last time.
  • That Sunday, we went to see a movie. Because I am not a movie-goer (primarily because it costs so much, I have to admit), I said that I would pay for the tickets, but not the concessions! He was fine with that. He did however, go to get himself something and surprised me with what he knew to be my favorite.
  • The next day, we went to order a suit. He had been invited to a friend’s holiday party for which the invitation stated “cocktail attire”. I had no idea what I would wear, but I knew he needed a suit. Christopher always liked flashy clothes and that is what he wanted in a suit. I tried to gently remind him that his grandfather was 84 and we really needed to get an “all purpose” suit. He could pick out whatever shirt and tie he wanted to make it snazzy and he did. He wore a 44 regular!
  • That was a crazy week for me in school, being the last before finals. I had a huge (or it seemed so at the time) paper due on Friday. Thursday, his suit was in and he went after school to pick it up. He called me to see if he could stop at Boston Market to pick up dinner and that he would get me “the usual.” Well, he got my usual wrong, but we had a wonderful dinner, actually eating at the table together. This was a rarity, that we even talked about that eventing.
  • We talked later about a difficult situation a friend was having with her parents. He told me how wrong he thought the parents were and the risks they were taking with her. He listened, however, when I told him that he only knows part of the story.
  • After that conversation, he tried to explain to me the work that he would be doing the next day with his friend, John. Something about a part that was broken that was cheaper to replace the whole thing than to just replace the broken piece. We laughed together as I had to acknowledge that I had no idea what he was talking about. He took great delight in that.
  • I was exhausted on Friday, but we had talked and exchanged text messages about his plans for the day. When I got home and discovered he had not cleaned up the dishes he had left in the family room, I set a rather curt text about “what was the one thing that I asked you to do before you left.” He called back and acknowledged that he didn’t do it and was sorry. It would be the first thing he would do when he got home, which should be within an hour. That call was at 6:22 pm.
The crash that resulted in his death was right around 7:00 that night. I am thankful to have been able to see him before he died, but we never talked after that call about something as silly as dirty dishes.
I have no idea who cleaned up those dishes and now I know it doesn’t matter. Never really did.