Pfc Shane M. Reifert

Pfc Shane M. Reifert
Shane during a sweep of the Shuryak Valley, approximately 3 weeks before he was killed. Photo Credit: PFC Sean Stromback

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Black Olives

Well, this holiday season is tricky because last year I could convince myself that Shane would not have been home for the holidays. If Shane hadn’t been killed he would have still been in Afghanistan. It is a silly game the mind plays, but it was a game that helped me get through the holidays last year.

This year, I did not have that luxury of playing a game with my mind. Instead, I knew that Shane should be home – yes, home for the holidays because the tour was over. Yet, Shane was not home because the brutality of death truly wins. Shane will never ever be home again.

Instead, I (we) create a new existence without the physical presence of Shane. Those of us who knew and loved Shane have changed. The change is a necessity to process my life without my son, but every once in awhile something happens that tugs on the strings of the heart.

Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve with Kurt’s side of the family and Christmas day with my side of the family. True to tradition, we continued with our holiday plans.

Yesterday, I received a telephone call for a simple request. “Will you bring a can of black olives on Christmas day? I forgot to grab a can at the store.” The request was from Shane’s godmother; Shane loved his Aunt Jane. Jane just happens to be married to my brother, John. Jane is more than my sister-in-law, she is my best friend.

You see, Shane really liked black olives. Beth and I like black olives, but Shane loved black olives. A year ago, I would have had at least six cans of black olives in the pantry. This year, not a single can in the house, not even in the back corner of the refrigerator. Kurt, being the brave one, ventured to the grocery store and purchased a couple of cans of black olives.

When we would have family over one can was never enough because when the kids were young, they would put black olives on their finger tips and laugh and laugh while they nibbled away on the olives. Never the green ones, only the black ones.

I know it is silly, but this simple request made me realize how many little things I have altered in my life. And then I wondered why I stopped purchasing black olives, but subconsciously I knew why.

Tonight, I put black olives on my plate. And with a smile on my face and a gaze up to the heavens, I thanked Shane for his love of black olives.

Oh, and that other can of black olives was placed in my refrigerator.

As I continue to “put one foot in front of the other.”

Always and forever,
Shane’s Mammy and Beth’s Momma

1 comment:

  1. When I called Kitty for black olives, I knew she would have some in her pantry because she ALWAYS had them. I knew she loved them and stupid me. My screensaver is of our five kids many, many years ago, goofing on the kitchen table and of course black olives were involved. My thing is with pickles. When Shane came home on leave and we went to lunch, he loved his pickles; ate a whole jar. If I go out to eat, I won't let anyone waste their just wouldn't be right.