Of course losing sentimental items is by far the hardest part of a tragedy like ours. Some things really are just things, and can be replaced. The problem with that is that there are so MANY of them, and you don’t realize how many and much they cost and how long it took you to acquire them all, bit by bit, until suddenly you have none of them.
I have Target cards (thank you all very much!!) and we are working on replacing the practical items. But I can only take so much shopping at once before I begin to shut down. We have already done four big Walmart trips. By the last one I no sooner had walked in the store than I wanted to leave. We noticed that the longer we were in that place the slower we were walking. In particular trips into the bathroom aisle where I was confronted with the task of matching garbage cans and bathmats made me just turn around and leave the aisle, overwhelmed.
People ask me all the time what I still need. It gets harder and harder to explain because a lot of what we are needing now–and it’s still a lot– are the things that you don’t remember you need until they are not there. Like when I am stabbing John in the leg with my toenails and realize that we don’t have nail clippers. Or when two toilets were clogged at once and I had to go out to buy plungers. Or when there were sticky spots on the kitchen floor and I realized we didn’t have a mop. Or when I took the pizza out of the oven and had to saw it into slices with a steak knife because my awesome Pampered Chef pizza cutter burned up. Or when I sit down to work at night and it is too dark to see with only overhead lights.
Because people are still (thank you, thank you!) bringing us meals periodically, I have not been forced to make a big grocery trip. So I have salt and pepper, but no garlic. I have olive oil, but no Pam or canola oil. I have baking soda ( at Willie’s request, in case of fire) but no flour. I have a freezer full of leftover barbecue, but no steaks or chicken or fish or frozen vegetables. It is going to take hours to do the coupons and hours to do the shopping, and it wears me out just to think about it.
We’ll get there. We take little trips every few days. And we are so lucky to have the resources to be able to replace these things. And we have the opportunity to organize as we go, and to not make some of the mistakes we made in the past, which is wonderful. But it’s a big job.