Sunday, June 26, 2016

Can't Cut the Rope

My friend, Susan, is moving.  Yesterday, I took my truck to her house to help her deliver a few items she was giving away.  She had four young men helping to load and unload.  A huge shelf was loaded onto my truck.  I had rope in the truck for tying items down.  The truck always has rope in the bed.  One of the young men tied a knot so tight that it was almost impossible to untie.  It was suggested that the rope be cut and I nearly hyperventilated.

"It's just rope.  Cut it."
Then, sensing my reluctance (major understatement),
" I'll buy you new rope."
They had no idea how close I was to passing out!

My reaction caught me completely off guard.  The thing is, those were Rudy's ropes.  I have lots of memories of Rudy tying down things to haul here and there.  Often, it was wood for something he was going to build.  Rudy was a champion rope tie-er and he knew how to do the fancy knots that held tight, but could be undone with one strategic pull.  I have more than one rope of his.  In fact, if I looked all around,   I'll bet I could find at least a dozen of them.  But at that moment, the idea of cutting that rope was as shocking as if it had been suggested that I cut off my finger.

I'm trying hard not to be overly sentimental.  I have been steadily giving away things that belonged to Rudy.  Just last weekend I gave away Rudy's cherished golf clubs and I did that without hyperventilating.  I felt slightly sad, but mostly pleased.  So how was that different?  First, I was prepared.  I had spent time thinking about giving the clubs away and had adjusted to the idea.  Also, the clubs were going to my niece's two very tall boys.  I knew Rudy would have approved.

The threat of cutting the rope was sudden.  I wasn't prepared.  When it comes to anything having to do with Rudy, I have to be prepared.  For instance, I can sit down and look through our old photo albums and do just fine.  I know what's coming.  On the other hand, there have been a few occasions where I have been shown a photo of Rudy and I wasn't expecting it.  You have no idea how hard that can be.  I have become fairly good at hiding my shock from others, but the internal shock is another story.

None of this quite makes sense to me, but I know I'm not the only widow to have crazy reactions like this.  In fact, it's quite common.  When you are dealing with a widow, understand that surprises are not easy.  I don't even like good surprises anymore.  And don't expect everything we're sentimental over to make sense.

In the end, the rope didn't have to be cut.  The man we delivered the shelf to must have sensed that he was dealing with a lunatic and he used a pair of pliers to easily undo the knot.  The knot wasn't the only thing loosened.  I felt completely undone for the rest of the day.  I know.  I know.  It makes no sense.  Even crazier, I'm thinking about moving Rudy's ropes out of the truck and buying some new ropes with no sentimental value.  My head knows how ridiculous that is.  My heart isn't concerned with logic.


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