After cleaning up the kitchen, running the dishwasher for a 2nd time because that's what happens when you cook a big Sunday dinner, I sat. The kids were all sleeping, the dog was quietly snoring, dreaming of chasing something. The cat had decided to grace us with her presence, something she does every night around ten when the house becomes hers.
The fire in the fireplace warmed the room as we decompressed after the busy weekend.
Nights are my favorite.
My husband thinks I'm nuts but this time, when everything is done, is my time (well, and the cats too, but don't tell her I said that). It's like the world is on hold and I can breathe because nothing else is going to happen for at least six or even seven hours if I'm lucky.
Sunday nights are our TV night. Until last week we would engage in a 3-show marathon that went like this: The Walking Dead, Homeland and Dexter. Last night, it was only a 2-show night because The Walking Dead is on break until February. There are only 2 more weeks of Homeland and Dexter so who knows what we'll do for fun on Sunday nights after that?
I'm sure we'll figure it out.
If you've been watching Homeland on Showtime (and a'hem, why wouldn't you????) you know it's a CIA/espionage/political thriller. We really enjoy it. I joked with my Aunt (who also watches) over Thanksgiving that it reminds me a little of her when I watch it because once upon a time, long, long ago, she was in the CIA.
But she can't talk about it.
Don't even ask her.
Anyway, the main character is a CIA agent played by Claire Danes and yadda yadda yadda...it's obviously got us hooked.
I sat with the bulk of the Sunday paper on my lap, sifting through the holiday ads, making piles of those I really wanted to look at later and those that were just going straight to the recycle bin. Brett sat plucking as quietly as he could at his new guitar (thank you eBay). Suddenly, a bomb went off in a park.
On the TV, not in my living room.
But I may as well have been.
I clutched the flimsy advertisements, stacking them into a neat pile, looking away from the screen. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't swallow. I'm sure I appeared completely normal on the outside, but on the inside I was a mess.
When we came home from our trip to Denmark in July, I tried to compartmentalize everything that had happend when we visited Oslo. First, I had to explain it to my children. We didn't want my parents trying to tell them that their mom and dad were fine, but these are the facts about what happened because really, what kid needs to hear that while their parents are still half a world away? Then, I tried to understand it. I tried to learn about it. I tried to understand the events in a way that would make sense to me. I told the story to friends. I told the story to family.
We shared that day in Oslo with our loved ones hoping that by retelling it, we would give it less power over us. At least that is what I was trying to do.
Turns out, that doesn't always work.
I remember in the first few weeks home, I read a beautiful article written by a young man who had a connection to the Utoya event that immediatley followed the Oslo bombing. He wrote that the bomber, Anders, could not take anything away from him or the people of Norway. He was stong and brave and full of hope. I took strength from his words. I felt peace when I read them. I felt happy that in the wake of violence, light still existed.
And I wonder, and I hope as I go through this day of incredible emotion and sorrow for the experience that we had on that day, the day my husband took my hand after the people started running towards us in downtown Oslo after the explosion, looked at me and said "Nice, easy jog back to the boat, here we go." I wonder how those other people are feeling, those who experienced much more than we had. Those who lost so much more, not just a few hours of a vacation abroad.
I hope they're doing okay.