I have realized along with my new found hatred for cooking, I hate cleaning too...
In preparation for leaving my home yet again and Flying to California I am trying to tidy up a bit. I haven’t cleaned the floors in my room since Elliott was killed. Who am I kidding I have barely cleaned the house at all. The dust bunnies or as we would say in the Marines Corps— “ghost turds” were horrendous. It made me feel even more like a widow, a black widow spider who has weaved an intricate web of dust debris from corner to corner to cocoon herself within the chaos she calls a bedroom.
After a little bit of vacuuming and shifting of accumulated random items I have neglected to put in their proper place, I am completely exhausted. I mean I am physically and mentally just spent. I have barely exerted myself and all I want to do is curl up on the couch and zone out again.
There is still so much to do, mop the floors, pack my bags, finish the laundry, tidy the kitchen ... and thats just the surface stuff. Eventually I will have to get to the deep cleaning and organizing that I fear I will never have the energy desire or drive to do.
I really used to enjoy cleaning and organizing. I learned the most about cleaning when I was in the Marines. Every friday we would have a field day where you would clean every inch of your barracks room and we would do the same kind of thing at work in our shop and the aircraft hanger. Of course there was always an inspection to follow, so if you didn’t want to loose any weekend time you were going to work your ass off. I remember one time my Sergeant Major sent out an email to the whole squadron stating they should all take a look at my room as an example of how to clean for a field day. I was really proud of that.
Elliott was damn good at cleaning too. He helped out a lot in the house, but his specialty was keeping the vehicles, electronics and garage sparkling— he was a pro at doing the dishes too. My favorite time to clean the house was when Elliott was at work. As a firefighter he worked twenty-four hour shifts. I would stay up late at night and put some music on. Then I would just tackle whatever needed to be done. Elliott would usually call me several times while on shift, just to check in and see what I was doing. I would never tell him I was mopping the floors or deep cleaning the kitchen. I think I just really liked to surprise him by coming home to a sparkling clean house.
In the morning when he got home, he would come back to the room where I was still cozy in bed. Ooohhhhh (sigh) how I miss that so much, the sound of him unlocking the door and his footsteps down the hall— waking up to his voice ... On the days that I had cleaned he always noticed. He always made sure to tell me “ the floors look really nice babe,” or “thanks for cleaning the kitchen babe,” or “organizing the mail and filing the paperwork...” It didn’t matter what I had done, he would notice and he would make sure to let me know he appreciated the effort I put into our home.
Now, there is no praise for the effort I put in, no words of appreciation from the man of my dreams. It’s just me and the dogs and I’m sure the dogs don’t really care about the floors. I have to clean so that I don’t become a crazy widow living in a filthy environment like on the show “Hoarders.” Before there was joy in keeping the house nice for my little family. I was a wife and I enjoyed some of the responsibility that came with the title. As a widow there is no joy in cleaning, except maybe the brief distraction it provides. Mostly it’s just tedious, exhausting, and another reminder I am alone...