Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Defending Roger

Roger's Diploma on the office wall (camera phone photo)*

I cannot remember when I took Roger's diploma off the wall in the office.
But at some point I moved it into the office closet.
I had a plan for it.
Not a great plan though according to Mr. X.

Roger's diploma was professionally framed.
It was fairly expensive.
So I thought once I received my own diploma I would open up the back and take Roger's out then put mine in.
About a month ago, I received my diploma and one afternoon I decided to implement my plan.
Mr. X was home.
I told him I was going to go frame my diploma.
He followed me into the office as I took Roger's diploma out of the closet.
"What are you doing?!?"
"I am going to put my diploma in this frame."
"No you are not.  That is Roger's diploma."
"Yes, I am going to take his out and put mine in."
"And then what?"
I was not sure.
Mr. X continued to push for Roger's rights.
"That was a big accomplishment for him.  You should not take it out of the frame.  What will you do with the actual piece of paper? Put it away in a closet? Look at it every five years?"
I really did not think that far in advance.
Mr. X continued...
"We should have it on the wall."
"But where?"
"In here.  In the upstairs bedroom. On a wall. But somewhere, not in a closet"
I asked, "What about my diploma?"
"Just spend the money and get it framed."

I started to tear up.
Mr. X was defending Roger.
Two of them against one of me.
So I gave in.
And agreed to take my diploma to Michael's to have it framed as well.
But then another thought...

"What about our kids?" I asked.
"What about them? They will know Roger. Would you not tell them about him?"
And Mr. X is right. It is not like my house is completely Roger-free.
There is a picture near our bedroom.
Roger's clock in our office.
A few pictures in the office.
More pictures in the workout room.
A trunk full of Roger related items upstairs in a closet.
So he is still here in ways.
And I am really not sure how or when I would tell my children about Roger.
When they ask?
Or as they visit Abuela's house?
And how do I explain death to them?
I guess we'll figure it out as we go but I could not help and think of how to explain this person Mommy was married to before Daddy.

Today I received my diploma back.
So on the wall it went.
And Mr. X hung Roger's as well.

*I purposefully blurred out Roger's formal name and inserted "Roger's name".


Kim - Mommy to Kai said...

I teared up at this. You've got a pretty awesome hubby to be :)

cwdurbin said...

That's a good man.

Regaining my self image said...

I love Mr. X!! :)

Crash Course Widow said...

I wouldn't worry too much about what you'll tell your future kids eventually about Roger. I imagine he'll be worked into the collective consciousness of your kids from such an early age that they'll be pretty matter-of-fact about the whole thing. I know Anna is remarkably blase about the whole dead-dad thing; it's just a fact to her. And you'll have so much practice over time at mentioning Roger occasionally, starting from when they're young, that by the time they're old enough to have some emotional reaction to it, it'll be relatively a nonevent for you. Or at least that's been my experience. Plus, remember that won't feel nearly so raw and fresh about Roger by the time you have to tell any kids about someone you used to love and be married to. I wouldn't be surprised if your kids wouldn't really ask too many big, deep, potentially hard questions until they're much, MUCH older…teenagers or young adults, even.

I know I worried how to explain it all to Anna when she was younger…and while it sucked to have to explain some of it when she was 2 or 3 and when I was only two or three years out, at some point you just get used to it. And I know I really worried, too, how I might explain Charley to a kid #2 when I was planning to go through with using an anonymous sperm donor, back in that first year or two of widowhood. And now that I'm farther out, I know that any explanations would be a lot easier and more matter of fact not that I'm not fresh and raw in my grief.

And three cheers for Mr. X for coming through how he did. ;o) And good for you for letting him "win" that decision. =)

Hang in there, my friend!


Kim said...

I linked to this post on my blog about 2011 posts that moved me... FYI. Have a good 2012.