The Business of Life Just Being What it is~

Mostly, I don’t find God or Fairness or anything of the sort in this life of mine.  I do have, in a way I haven’t yet figured out, a strong spiritual side of me but that is very much undefined and mostly I have questions with no answers.

The strongest belief I have is in Love.  Capitalized because I believe it is that strong a word.  I strive to hold on to that word daily and minute-ly through this gut-shredding grief at the loss of my husband.  He and I had love with and for each other, to a degree that I’d never had before we met.

Each of us came from a previous marriage that presumably started out with what we each thought was love but, in hindsight, turned out to be dysfunction.  I had a very bad first marriage but my gift from that was 3 kids who grew into lovely, loving adults.  He had, if not a bad first marriage, a very neutral, unconscious, one but brought from it the gift of his daughter.  But when we found each other, despite every kind of hurdle, we found love such as we’d never known could be.   We nurtured it, we cherished each other, we were passionately in love until his last breath.  There was never a moment when we took each other, or our love, for granted.

Which is not to say we didn’t fight, and steam, and get caught up in the trivialities of every day stresses of working and raising kids and blending our families, to varying degrees of success.   When the time came, neither one of us suffered empty-nest syndrome:  we looked forward to the day when it would be just the two of us, and our marriage and bonds with each other grew even more intense.

Which brings me to this business of life.   It’s inherently unfair.  My head and my intellect get that and accept that.   In grieving the death of this man I loved so deeply and passionately, I’m walking a well-worn path.

My heart, though, looks around and sees other couples, married and not.  Doesn’t matter.  What I look at is the interaction between couples.  I’ve always been interested in such things, and Handsome Husband and I spent many a mile discussing couple relationships.

It doesn’t bother me, as it does some who are grieving their husbands  (I will not use the word “widow”.  I hate that word) to be around couples.  I revel in seeing couples in love, who aren’t afraid to express it with one another.  I love seeing love.  It reminds me of the gift I had.   The thing is, I  don’t see much of that.   Couples in love, I mean.  Couples who have been together for any length of time.   In their actions, I don’t see much, if any, love and I wonder at that.

I struggle at the unfairness of seeing couples who barely tolerate one another, who are disrespectful in their words and treatment of one another, couples who are barely conscious of one another, couples who disparage one another in front of and behind the backs of.   I see people who don’t take care of themselves or each other, physically or emotionally and yes, I gasp at the fucking unfairness of it.  I see women who consider their husbands to be boys, just another one of their kids, and I see men who act as boys and despots.   I see a lot of not cherishing going on.  I see alcoholics who don’t take care of themselves and whose drinking impacts their marriage.  I see men order their wives around and women accept it.   I see people who don’t know that there is such a thing as real and actual love, even while daily life is happening.  Maybe most especially because daily life is happening and love can, and should be, the saving grace that brings us through it.

Handsome Husband did everything right.  He ate well, he exercised, he meditated, he was of service to others, he was a guiding light to his kids and those he mentored.  He was a man, not a boy, and behaved that way.  He loved me passionately and fully.  Even when I drove him to distraction (and he, me, and yes we did), there was never any name-calling, no referring to me as “the ball and chain”, no lack of respect.   We took care of ourselves and each other and were fully aware, coming from bad marriages, how blessed we were.  Our love was our refuge from how tough life could be, and often was.  Thank god.

So, I look at couples and I see them not taking care of themselves or each other, being negative with one another passively and aggressively, and I’m struck (and, yes, angered) at the fucking unfairness of life that allows life to them and takes it away early from me and my husband.  I don’t see a lesson in it, though, yes, it makes me even more grateful for what he and I were blessed with for so many years.

It’s simple really.  You can do everything right, you can eat well, you can grab every moment, you can be filled with gratitude and acknowledge every blessing and you’re still going to die.  Young or old, blessed or not, you’re still going to die.  And those of us left behind, who loved you, are going to wonder at the unfairness of it, even while realizing it’s just life.

I look at the couples around me and I wonder:  do you know how blessed you are to still have each other?  I see the unkindness in words and act, or just the passivity of the relationship, and I wonder at anyone who is settling because they don’t think they can have more, don’t deserve more.   I was there, once, in my first marriage, as was Handsome Husband, until we each learned, in our time, that we could have more.  Have that fullness of a life lived with love for another person.

None of which is to be preachy.   People do what they do.  Handsome Husband and I didn’t do it perfectly but we did pay attention (as Willy Loman so famously said).  Our relationship to each other mattered first and foremost in our lives, even above our kids.   We were aware of each other and how blessed we were and knew how easily it could all slip away.   It isn’t a matter of being preachy.  It’s just that in this time of being without my husband, learning to live without his arms around me, without his kiss on my lips, I wonder at how people don’t let love in, or that they settle for a definition of love that tears down rather than builds up, and it makes me ache for what I had and what I have only with a ghost anymore.

Don’t settle, I want to say.   We are all worth love.  Love that is passionate and full and makes you fearless and adventuresome even while struggle and daily life happens.   Believe in it, seize it, cherish it, nurture it,  be fully in it.



6 thoughts on “The Business of Life Just Being What it is~

  1. I know it hurts to love someone so much andloose them. One think we have to keep in mind that God is Love. So even if you are not aware of your spirituality it is in you, because you are love you had proven it in your relationship with Chuck. There will bea day when you will feel a peace in your life and know that Chucks spirit didn’t die, he lives on, and only his body is which was causing him so much pain is no longer. You both were blessed for having such a deep love for each other, and that is what is causing you so much pain. The deeper we love the greater is the pain when it is over. Just remember we have to go trough a valley before we will come to the peaks. You will get there, and much stronger that you ever been. I know you will write that book “Alison and Chuck love story”, can’t wait to have one with your autograph. I feel that writing that book will be a healing experience for you and will help you to transfer the pain into something very creative and beautiful. There will be many people reading it and feeling envious for what you had. Your friend Maria

  2. We live in the Albany, NY area. I am retired military (Navy) and while stationed in Philadelphia years ago, used to go to the Mcquire AFB exchange to shop and the Fort Dix commissary. We have camped in our TAB in Key West several times and “have the scoup” on camping on the Navy facilities there. I have done a few mods on my former TAB (now have a TADA), and could give you a good orientation on its operation, if you would like, since you are not far from Albany. If you want to visit, you could email us at or call 518-438-4590. In any case, sincere condolences for your loss, and success in your future travels. Jim and Leslie

    • Jim and Leslie,
      Thanks so much for reaching out to me and offering your knowledge and know-how. I’ve been humbled at the outpouring of support from so many as I venture into my new life.

      Chuck and I stayed at the Navy Lodge in Key West a year ago this past winter and thoroughly enjoyed it. Each morning when we went exercise walking, we’d pass right through the RV campground, never once thinking that I might one day be staying there.

      I will take you up on your offer for getting the lowdown on the campgrounds there-it will give me more confidence in going there. Networking is an invaluable resource and I’m trying to make all the connections I can in my new world.

      My phone number is 609-351-5641 so that if it comes up on your phone, you’ll recognize it.

      Thank you again. This would all be so much harder without the kindnesses of those such as you~
      1/2 of Happily Homeless

  3. Hi Alison…wondering how you are doing? How was it meeting Christina?…Did you meet Carolyn Moor, too???
    I so love reading your blog posts. Love reading about your love and your thoughts on life, so full of truth and passion. We share so many of the same beliefs. I, too, am spiritual…though not religious. I do believe in God…how could I not??? Too many signs of His presence throughout my life. He brought Travis and me together, I know that…and my beautiful daughters, and I believe that He brought you and Chuck together, too.
    That’s not to say I don’t doubt at times and have many unanswered questions, and anger to why if God loves me was my love taken from me…when unloving bastards get to live? I don’t have the answers, I don’t understand…but, Someday I will. I suppose my faith is not as strong as it should or could be. But, I love God’s Promise of eternal life if we believe. I can’t…and I won’t believe that’s it is over…LOVE IS FOREVER. We had an amazing love…as you and Chuck did…Death cannot steal that. We will see each other again…WE MUST.
    I’ve listened to spiritual leaders…they believe there is no death…there is only life and more life…transitions. Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer to name a few. I want so much to believe that, for the thought of never seeing my love again could send me into a panic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, Alison, to Someday see them again…and never again to part ?…and have this suffering just melt away?
    Hope I didn’t turn you off…just know one thing…I care about you, and keep you in my prayers…Stay well and keep blogging, Hugs, Grace😊

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