Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crocodiles and other absurdities

Photo from here....

I live in our little house physically alone aside from my two young children and our pets. All the belongings in this home are ours and paint a vivid and accurate picture of who is housed within these walls. But if you were to dig deep enough within cupboards and closets, you would items and articles that seemed at odds with these inhabitants and their actions. It would almost seem as if someone was hiding another person's things. Things that don't match. Things that come from another time or place. Random odd articles. Misplaced and mismatched items.
Buried deep in my deep freeze is a package of, maybe alligator meat. I never plan to eat it and never set out to eat it from the moment it entered said freezer.
It was Jeff's. He had bought it to feed our daughter. He was determined to have his children not be picky eaters. I remember he and three-year-old Liv sharing a chair in the kitchen together eating from a jar of pickled herring or dining on a dinner of rattlesnake meat.
As with most things, he didn't face the issues of childhood sustenance halfway. Instead of insisting that our daughter dine on asparagus or cauliflower, he would thrust something at her that was barely food in my eyes. But she trusted him and she ate it.
So many of these odd and mismatched things that line the backs of closets, shoes boxes and freezers mark who Jeff was and what he stood for. His beliefs. His idiosyncrasies.
I have thought about giving the freezer-burnt crocodile/alligator meat to the dog. But I have refrained. It is a reminder of a man who was funny, loving and passionate about his little family. As all the remaining small and possibly seemingly insignificant items he left behind, they hint at who he was and how strongly he loved his little ones.
Although I have donated many of his clothes or shared some of his more memorable belongings with his family; it is these small items wedged in the corners that speak of him most and remind me while I dig for dinner at the bottom of the freezer of who he was and how much he is missed.


  1. Beautiful Jackie! This brought tears to my eyes and helped me to not feel so stupid about the leftover turkey that has been in my freezer for almost two years. It was the last meal that my husband cooked (as he was the chef in the house). At 6 pm, he was cooking dinner and at 11 pm, a stroke took his life.

    As you stated about Jeff, those things wedged into the corners speak volumes about the man the kids and I lost and how much we miss him.

    Thank you!!!!

  2. This post really touched me. My husband was named Jeff too. He loved his sons so much and he has missed so much of their lives. That is the hardest part, not having him to share all the precious moments of our son's lives. I am glad I can come here and say how much I miss him. Nobody else wants to hear it.

  3. A year and a half later I still have Michael's shoes in my closet with his socks stuffed in them...funny when he was alive that drove me that he is gone I can't bear to part with them!

  4. Although I can't say that I have alligator meat stashed in my freezer, I do get this.
    We all have things we don't want to part with because it reminds us that our spouses were once here. Inhabiting our space with us.

    Great post!

  5. I have bear in my freezer. It was Brian's last really big hunting trip before he was diagnosed with his cancer. I'm sure it isn't any good any more...over 6 years old...but like you it says a little something about who he was. I'm thinking it will stay.....

  6. Thank you for this. My anniversay is Saturday and this helps to know I'm not alone. I to have different things I can't part with-his clothes are gone-his favorite kitchen utensil (one I'll never use) is right where he left it.

  7. I can so relate to this! My husband was a very unique and could be such a contridiction at the same time. His interest were so varies and were changing all the time. I called him his kicks. But as I date I can not help thinking who will be anything like him. And I know this will not happen they will be different, and that is something I could live with.

  8. My Bill has been gone for a little over a year and his can of 7up is still in my fridge. I moved it to the back so no one can throw it out and I warned everyone in my house it is to stay. I check on that can once a week and I have no idea why. It's not like he can finish it but he had his lips on it and he held it and I can see it.