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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Yesterday I had to get my tire replaced. It had an industrial staple in the side and couldn’t be patched. So I had to buy a whole new tire. This was of course something Andie would’ve handled.

The attendant at the tire store started asking me questions about the car and our previous service there. He looked up the account under my name but didn’t find anything. He searched by my last name and remarked that there were a lot of “Simmons” in the system. “Well, if you have an Andie, that was my husband,” I replied. Before I could catch myself I referred to him in the past tense. The attendant caught my slip. “Did you say was?” he said as he glances at the ring on my finger. Crap. I hate when I do this. I had been referring to him in the present tense to avoid this very conversation.

I tell him my husband passed away 9 months ago. He offers heartfelt condolences and seems shocked beyond belief. So shocked he remarks about how young I am and asks my age. “What are you, 25? 27?” I tell him I’m 30, my husband was only 34. He wants to know if he was in the military. No, he had a heart condition. I’m barely holding back tears at this point. Luckily, he changes the subject back to the car. He goes out to the car to check the mileage giving me a second to compose myself. When he comes back in he asks if I have kids. I think his knees almost buckled when I told him I have 19 month old twins. Again we go through the rounds of condolences and look of utter shock on his face. “You are one strong woman,” he tells me. I chuckle at this thinking to myself that being a survivor doesn't necessarily make you strong. “I just do what I have to do,” I reply. Holding back tears once again, cause when I hear it all spoken out loud it’s just so damn sad. And so unreal...

Yep, I just do what I have to do. Like take the car to the tire store to get a new tire. And tell people over and over that my husband is dead. And tell myself over and over that my husband is dead. And try to remember that when the car hits 55,000 miles I will need all new tires, and will need to rotate the one I bought yesterday to the front. And I keep surviving.

I just do what I have to do…
Cause he’s not here to do it for me anymore.


  1. I hate having to do the things that Michael would have done because it is a painful reminder of his absence.

    I got a call the other night from a polling company asking for Michael. I haven't received too many calls for him since his cell number was his primary phone. So, I was put in the position of having to say that he's deceased. That put an end to the call real quick.

  2. There are times where I seek out a stranger to tell his story to. Then there are days where I am like "shit.... here we go..."
    And thank you for reminding me I need an oil change. (sigh)
    another thing John would have taken care of!! grrr