We purchased a 2004 Chevy Venture today. While it was exciting for the kids, it was a difficult purchase for Dh and I. It's not that I'm not excited or don't like the van. I'm happy it has remote start, a built in car seat, and seats eight, but grief has changed my emotions. They're just not the same as before. It's a hard thing to describe. Today, for example, was a strange co-existence of excitement and heaviness. It's like colors being muted, I guess, only it's emotions. It's like when you look at someone and, though they are smiling, the smile doesn't quite reach their eyes. The sparkle is gone. I don't even want to tell people that we got a new van. I don't want to hear "Yay!" or "Congratulations." For me, the purchase of a new van is just an ugly reminder of why we needed a new one. It also happened that the new van is from the same place we purchased our silver one, the one Matt was driving that fateful day.
Yet Dh and I are so very mindful of God's goodness. He has provided for our need. We had eight offers of vehicles to use over the past two months while we searched for a new van. The new van was also paid for in cash, thanks to God's provision through the amazing generosity of friends and family. It is truly a blessing.
Another blessing is that my sister Cathy came to visit this past Friday. It was so good to have her here. She reminds me of Matt. :) Neither one of them are/were big talkers. But you feel their presence. Matt and Cathy shared the Pack fever together, too! LOL I got Cathy a Green Bay Packers T-shirt and had Matt's name screen printed on the back. It means a lot to me, and I know to her, to have it. I am honored she will wear it while watching the Packers play and cherish Matt's memory in this way. It's bittersweet.
I also ordered an eternity necklace online a few weeks ago and got it today in the mail. It has Matt's name and Revelation 21:4 hand stamped on it. It has his birthstone dangling from the middle as well. It is beautiful and I will treasure it forever. A very dear friend gifted me with the money to purchase it. It is truly a blessing to have. I'm not a jewelry person, but this is special, obviously.
I have been contemplating the emotions over these things; the van, the t-shirt, the necklace. I just don't know how to put adequate words to them. My mom was here with my sister, too, and wanted to get a picture of us three. I dreaded getting my picture taken, honestly. I don't feel like smiling. It's, again, one of those times when I wish the outside would match the inside. I don't like feeling like a fake, and when the outside doesn't match the inside, that's what it feels like. Fake. I can't help but wonder if this "emotion tweaking" is something that grief changes permanently or if it's just temporary. I'm guessing it's temporary, but it's a facet of grief that I certainly don't like. Grief changes things, that's for sure.
**Pictures of the necklace, the new (to us, anyway) van, and my sister's visit are in the current month's photo album link.