June 19, 2011 \ Blog

 Sunday June 19, 2011

My bras and lace panties are sitting on top of my dresser along with two pearl necklaces and a white gold chain and diamond pendant. They have sat here for over a month because of an emotional paralysis, a refusal to face the reality of my loss, not  because of a lack of drawer  space or because I’m disorganized or lazy. This is a clear-cut case of avoidance. I’m a pro at distractions. 

I’ve been planning to empty the closet dresser, which my husband used for his underwear, socks, Tee-shirts, shorts, and handkerchiefs—-donate them and make the switch.  It’s sensible, more convenient, and much more practical to have my underwear, shorts, tights, and lingerie in close proximity to where I shower. Yes, that’s why I have to rearrange the drawer space. At least that’s what I tell myself. 

Another reason I need to empty out the drawers is that they are a constant reminder of what I’ve lost; of what is no longer present or possible. Having them in the master bedroom walk-in closet, which I visit on a daily basis, seems to be an intrusion of my thoughts, bringing about emotions at unexpected times. 

Today, June 19, my first Father’s Day without Michael, seems to be the appropriate day to complete an uncomfortable task that I’ve avoided for so many days. 

I peek into the top drawers and touch the socks so neatly paired together. It’s as if feeling the softness of the cotton between my index finger and thumb might bring about his presence–might resurrect him, if only for a moment, in this very room. I lean down hoping to inhale his familiar scent, but instead breathe air that smells musty and stale. It’s almost like the garments have lost their identity, their sense of being, their purpose. They are no longer used. They have lost their value. I know now they must be packed up and donated. And so my task begins.

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About TRatner

Terry Ratner is a freelance writer, registered nurse, and writing instructor in Phoenix, Arizona. In June of 2004, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Writing has always served a purpose in her life, but it wasn't until her son died in a motorcycle accident in March, 1999, that she began to publish her works. What's unique about Terry is the way she balances the life of a nurse with the life of a writer. "Nursing allows me to give back to the community and then write about those experiences." Ratner teaches creative writing in a variety of settings from community colleges to a school for homeless children (Thomas J. Pappas) to wellness communities throughout the Valley of the Sun. In 2004, Terry launched an Arts and Healing program for children undergoing dialysis at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. She has published numerous personal essays, cover stories, interviews, and book reviews for a variety of national and regional publications. Her manuscript, a work in progress, features a series of twelve essays, ten of which are introduced with black and white photos, dealing with issues of family and identity.
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One Response to June 19, 2011 \ Blog

  1. Judy says:

    Terry, this is a very poignant piece.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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