Sunday Snapshot: Can’t Be Filled

Charlie kept these on the landing by the back door so he could slip them on to go do stuff in the yard or take the compost out to the compost pile. They’re still there, so the girls or I can slip them on to do stuff in the yard or take the compost out to the compost pile.

Everybody uses them, but nobody will ever be able to fill them.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Do you have special shoes for special rooms or tasks?


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Sunday Snapshot: Can’t Be Filled

  1. Carol Preflatish

    November 15, 2020 at 9:21am

    I only kept a few of my husband’s things. No shoes, but I did keep his sweatshirt from his former employer and the hat he wore when he mowed grass.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 15, 2020 at 9:39am

      <3 I haven’t disposed of any of Charlie’s things. The girls and I take comfort from being surrounded by any vestige of him. When she feels up to it, #2 Daughter is going to make quilts out of some of his clothes for us. I’ll take the rest to Community Services after that. I cleared out Mom’s house within a few months, but mostly because we had a renter anxious to move in. It would probably be better if I DID clear out. Well, I will, when it’s time. HUGS and more HUGS!

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  2. acflory

    November 15, 2020 at 4:41pm

    Things aren’t just things, they’re 3D, tactile repositories of memories. -massive hugs-

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  3. kirizar

    November 15, 2020 at 9:29pm

    You say so much with so few words. That’s powerful writing. It is also quite touching. The pain of loss can never really be filled in–except by the love we had for the one who is gone. I don’t know when Charlie left, but I can see, he’s still there in your hearts.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 16, 2020 at 9:05am

      He left July 1, 2020. Fine on Friday, sick on Saturday, hospital on Sunday, better on Monday, kidney failure overnight, home with hospice on Tuesday, gone on Wednesday. To say we were stunned doesn’t come close. Pneumonia. Covid-free.

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      • kirizar

        November 16, 2020 at 9:42pm

        Oh wow. I knew pneumonia could be fatal, but I did not know it could so severely affect the kidneys. I had a version of it when my guy was still little. Walking pneumonia. I can somewhat imagine how hard it must have been. And even if it wasn’t Covid itself, the fact that Covid has overrun our medical facilities meant that they sent him home. I know it isn’t helpful to talk about the what-ifs. It really isn’t. But it is really hard to ignore the unfortunate times we live in and the cost people are paying, silently, for every loss of a family member. It doesn’t have to be Covid to be equally tragic, devastating, or regrettable. Sorry, I didn’t mean to soap box preach you on an issue you are already trying to breathe through. I remember losing my husband–not the same way–but the shell-shocked state I was in for a year or more just trying to find meaning and the ability to function. I had to process a lot of anger–my default emotion, I’m afraid–so if you need to vent. Let me have it. I’m surprisingly thick skinned about the rush of rage. I identify with it all too well.

        But, if you can find peace, serenity, and calm, I highly suggest you take that route instead. Anger has only led me to tears and regrets. And you certainly have enough of that already. Peace to you and yours. Comfort each other as you grieve. Ignore the world–including me–if it helps. It will all still be here when you are ready.

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        • Author

          Marian Allen

          November 17, 2020 at 10:03am

          Well, see, he was dehydrated, too, and the fluids they gave him for that went to his lungs and made the pneumonia worse, and the antibiotics and fluids hit his kidneys…. It isn’t uncommon in elderly patients, and he was just shy of 87. The hospital was up for keeping him and intubating him and putting him on dialysis, but neither would do anything but prolong the inevitable, and he had always said he didn’t want any heroic measures, specifically those. So we asked for a hospice to be called in and we took him home, where he wanted to be when he passed. The girls and I were thankful he had talked about it so much that we were all on the same page. The only impact Covid had was that they limited us to one visitor at a time, so we tag-teamed him during visiting hours. When we knew he was coming home as soon as an ambulance could be arranged, and they said we had to leave at the end of visiting hours, I told them they’d better call security, because we weren’t leaving. They compromised by letting two of us stay until the ambulance picked him up, so during the ambulance ride was the only time he was alone after we had made The Decision.

          Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience. It sounds like you know EXACTLY how we feel. <3 <3 <3

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  4. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    November 16, 2020 at 3:56am

    You’re forgetting the smell – clothing can keep that for a while, and it connects directly to the emotional center in your brain.

    It will fade, but there’s no need to hurry it. Hug a favorite sweater. You have good memories to recall.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 16, 2020 at 9:08am

      We each took a shirt that hadn’t been laundered yet. I don’t know about everybody else, but #2 Daughter and I sleep hugging ours. We think of him all the time. He took care of all the maintenance around here. #1 Daughter and her husband are watching YouTube videos to learn how to use his equipment because he always said it was quicker and easier to do it himself than to teach somebody else how to do it. But that’s how he learned: from books and YouTube. So the tradition carries on.

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      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        November 16, 2020 at 11:04am

        My dad didn’t teach his girls how to do things, he just did them. I don’t know how hard he tried, but I had to teach myself – and I think we managed to bring the kids up to be competent adults who know which end of a screwdriver to use to pry things off with. 🙂

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  5. circadianreflections

    November 16, 2020 at 9:35am

    Oh this is touching! He-Man keeps a pair of slippers by the back door for going to the grill or patio that I borrow to go outside all the time. Those boots of Charlie’s and He-Man’s slippers…yeah, hard to fill. ❤

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