So, here it is. Tomorrow my car, named Pink Magic, will take me to Connecticut where I’ll pick up my new T@b trailer which has, in the past weeks since I purchased it, had the trim painted in my signature “Chuck’s Watching Over Me” pink. On Saturday the hitch will be welded to the undercarriage of my car. The next days after that will be spent learning how to pull it behind my car, maintain it and get acquainted with it. Yes, I’ll be…camping.
Such an idea was huge (and unthinkable) prior to Handsome Husband’s death. It has now gone beyond huge to monumental. I’ve spent months laying the groundwork for this. There is nothing I’ve done that hasn’t been thought out thoroughly. The car. The trailer. Painting one all pink. Painting the trim on the other. There’s a purpose to all of this. And there is a necessity to all of this.
I cannot in any way envision settling down without Handsome Husband. The very idea of it causes anxiety to rise up in my throat. Waking up in one place day after day without him. No. Not happening. But how to stay on the road and make it emotionally manageable without him? Grief is isolating. Being on the road alone is isolating. No fucking way can I do it the way he and I did, staying at hotels and military lodging. Months ago when I started figuring out my new life without him, my mind filled with an image of me in some hotel room in the middle of nowhere America and the emotional overwhelming-ness of it almost did me in. Me, sitting alone, missing him desperately. I will not be a country western song. But I want to, I need to, stay out on the road. Since the day he died, I’ve known that the way I’m going to best deal with my grief is to meet it head-on out on the road. I’m going to find him again, out on the road. It’s where we lived these past 4 years. It was our adventure, it’s where the closing chapters of our love story happened. Handsome Husband is going to find me out there too. I know that. So, out on the road I go. The pink car and trailer? It has brought and will continue to bring, people over to me, forcing me to not isolate, get me talking, keep me connected, make me new friends.
But. I’m more anxious and overwhelmed than I’ve been since I watched him take his last breath on that hospice bed out in California. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t want to do this. I just know, in spite of the fear, I have to do this. I’m trying to keep in mind that when he and I set out on the road 4 years ago we didn’t know anything. It was a whole new life for us and we learned how to live it. We learned. I’d like to be excited about all of this. Truly. But what I want more is my life with him next to me. A wish that is nothing but a whisper in my heart.
So, I’ll learn how to do this. I’ll learn how to pull my T@b behind me. I’ll learn how to measure miles and call for reservations and find the courage to not make reservations and learn to explore again and be adventurous and make a life for myself without him. I’ll go out there and create such a life that, were he here, he’d stand back and applaud for me. He’d have that smile of pride on his face that told me that he isn’t at all surprised but he’s glad I discovered what I could do because he knew all along that I had it in me.
Grief is in one bucket, love in the other. It’s a balancing act and it’s exhausting. I’m shattered and broken and I miss him with each breath. But I’m going to do this. Because he’s out there and he knows I’m going out there and we’ll find each other again.
He promised me he’d be looking for me. And he never broke a promise to me.
Here I come, D~