We have tried to sell Grandpa’s car for months now. We finally set up an appointment for an older couple to come look at it. The couple were nice enough. They did like to talk. After an hour of looking at the engine, driving it, crawling in the trunk, and trying to talk us down from a steal, we come to an agreement. They were going to take the car.
That’s when we discovered exactly how much this couple liked to talk. Some how the conversation moved from the car to how much space we have, to kids appreciation, to life can change in a moment. This is a statement that grates on me. It shouldn’t, but it does. It bothers me because no one knows my walk. Do not assume because I am 20 years your junior that I am lacking any sense of strife or experience. Assuming that just makes me absolutely crazy. I can’t help it. I instantly go in defense mode.
“Believe me, when your husband is killed by a drunk driver, you know and understand quite well exactly how fast life can change.”
He turned me and said something no one has ever asked me before, “Tell me, how long does it take to get over something like that?”
“Well…” I started as I glanced at my husband. Tim took over. “Never. You probably never get it.”
I nodded my head. “It’s just different. You just change. It changes you and the way you view it changes. Tim helped me. Without him, honestly, I probably couldn’t have done what I have done.”
The gentleman, still staring at Tim and I. “Hm. I just can’t imagine how hard that was. You made it, and did it together, and now you are married. That’s interesting.”
And, with that, we ended the subject as quickly as we found it.
The question was jarring to me because, Tim is right, it’s never over. It’s all the time, sometimes every day. Each time it comes up, it’s different. Sometimes, a smell or the weather set me in the wrong direction and it’s all tears. There are times, of course, when it comes up and I am fine. It just feels like a fact of life.
There is another reason I was shocked by his straightforward question. It’s because that question is nearly impossible to really answer. Impossible to explain it in a way that someone (who hasn’t been there) could understand. And, let’s be honest, much of the time the person doesn’t really care. They are just responding the way they think they should.
To answer that question, I have to decipher how much the person actually wants to know. Then, I have to give them a very concise answer that fits into the box they have created.
Just another example how fast the topic, and the feelings, rush into conversations. Ten years from now, that question, or others like it, will still give me pause.