Since losing my husband there are things I have been handling like a boss. Home maintenance, mountains of paperwork, nurturing my children’s hearts, cleaning out the closets, developing this website and getting through a slew of “firsts” are just a few examples where I’ve been able to ‘Git er done. But there are things I haven’t been able to conquer yet. Sometimes the little things catch me off guard and I just can’t move forward. The Playlist on our DVR is one of those things. (Ok, maybe I do watch too much TV)
My husband spent a lot of his time watching TV as his abilities dwindled. It was a great way to pass the hours and distract him from reality if only for a little while. As he ran out of normal people things to watch, he started recording weirder shows to pass the time, like Hee Haw and The Price is Right. He loved the absurd and comical behavior of the contestants on The Price is Right. We had so much fun watching it together, making fun of the uninhibited excitement of the colorfully clad unique contestants. He scheduled our DVR to record all episodes. Who else has Hee Haw on a season pass? No one? Yeah, I thought so. I’m delightfully embarrassed to admit this fun fact.
These shows are still recording daily at my house. Every day I see them on “the list” and I pause before deleting. I think about his smile, the laughs we shared making fun of tube-top wearing crazy people jumping up and down as they rushed on the stage to hug Drew Carey. I think about how we played along, shouting out our own bids for the items on stage. Good times. I can’t really explain the Hee Haw obsession, but I suspect he loved the corny comedy and guitar-picking talent coupled with how it made my eyes roll. He liked all of that, especially my eye rolling. Sometimes we sang along to “Gloom, Despair, and Agony On Me.” No, you’re weird. We’d comment how Roy Clark looked like the 1970’s version of my Dad.
We’d laugh at Minnie Pearl and I’d pretend how embarrassed I was that my husband was old (the show ended the year I was born, thank you very much). But he knew I loved the corny show just as much as he did. Actually it wasn’t so much the show as it was just sharing the time with him. The jokes, the playful banter we shared during a rendition of “You Were Gone” are ridiculous and cherished memories.
He’s been gone almost ten months now and yet I can’t bring myself to stop these shows from recording every day. Neither can I watch them. I just let them record and then later delete them. Isn’t that silly? I enjoy that moment every day when I’m cleaning up the playlist. I love pausing to remember those moments of fun we had together before I delete the episode.
I don’t feel bad for not being able to delete these things. I don’t feel bad for anything I can’t bring myself to do just yet. I feel grateful for all the things, big and small, corny and serious, that remind me of him. I’m thankful for the smiles that return to my face when I’m searching for what I want to watch next. I’m even appreciative of the tears the memories sometimes cause. The smiles, the laughs, and even the tears – they’re all evidence of what we had together.
I think the main reason behind my inability to stop the recordings is the fear of forgetting these moments. After all, time has a way of erasing or at least fading memories. I can’t bear the thought of not being able to remember these small but fun moments we shared. I’ve already almost completely forgotten the sound of his laugh and the way holding his hand felt. So just in case my memory completely fails me one day, Hee Haw is staying on the playlist.
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