7 Years of January 7~

Facebook timelines and grief and reflection. Much of grief is about meaning making, about looking back, trying to make sense of stuff that really doesn’t make sense but striving to anyways.

Timeline on fb is a sure way to show us all how quickly life changes:

On January 7, 2009, Handsome Husband and I signed the papers that put our house in Jersey on the market.

srj traveling

Handsome Husband

We wanted to sell everything and go on the road and adventure together. Which is what we did, and loved it. He was “time wealthy” he told people.

 

On January 7, 2010 he and I were on the road as Happily Homeless, IMG_2784and back in New England, celebrating the holidays with our kids and grands.

 

On January 7, 2011, Handsome Husband underwent a 4 hour surgery to biopsy a tumor that, in the space of 4 months, had grown from the size of a bb pellet to the size of a grapefruit. His oncologist was so concerned that he personally walked it down to the lab for immediate results. It ended up taking a couple weeks to determine the type of cancer and all the details. It was a peripheral nerve sheath tumor, on the inside of his left wrist.  189597_1650969277272_3069653_nIt was incredibly aggressive and very rare. Our travels stopped short as we dealt with what would end up being 5 major surgeries. I remember well how, hearing his oncologist say the word “cancer” took my breath away.

On January 7, 2012, with the primary, 12 hour surgery to remove “Wilson” as I called it (the tumor was so huge it needed its’ own zip code and I thought naming it might remove some of the fear), he and I were back out on the road, and in Destin, FL, sitting on the crystal white sands, absorbing the warmth of the sun.  403752_280915965296678_1988399988_n

On January 7, 2013, Handsome Husband and I were on our way west from Arizona, after spending the holidays with a couple of our kids. He’d been ill over the winter months, with what we thought was a systemic fungal infection. We did what we could to treat it IMG_9385homeopathically, as he wasn’t getting any satisfaction from allopathic doctors.

All told, we had just shy of 4 years on the road together, as Happily Homeless. downsized_0813121702

On January 7, 2014, I was a widow, and had begun my Odyssey of Love for him, scattering his cremains at our favorite places.  I’d only been on the road for roughly a month, and was at Sigsbee NAS, in Key West, FL. Our youngest son, Fireman Nick, accompanied me from Connecticut to Florida, to help me scatter Chuck’s cremains at the first spot: the Dry Tortugas, off of Key West.

On January 7, 2015, I was in Arizona, visiting a couple of our kids, before continuing my Odyssey of Love. A 6 month long road trip with my daughter was already in the planning stages and would culminate in a cross-country trek as she and I honored my husband/her dad, scattering his cremains at his and my favorite places.  fueledbymagic.jpg

January 7, 2016…here I am, in Arizona, trying to get my shit together, knowing I need to return to the road.

Life bounces us around gently sometimes. Other times it’s a blood-curdling, holding on by fingernails type of ride. It can rock us slowly, then abruptly turn us upside down and spin us at the same time.

4 years on the road with him.  Almost 3 years on the road without him, making it work somehow, when I didn’t know how to do one day without him. But I bygod have made it work, however messy it might look.

Love is the only thing, as far as I know, that makes it all make sense~ Collage

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4 thoughts on “7 Years of January 7~

  1. So much has happened in the last few years. To both of us. You have impressed me so much with your bravery and strength. I only hope I can be half as strong. I have now been just over three weeks since my HH died. He too, wanted some of his cremains spread at the Dry Tortugas. It was our favorite place to visit. ( we’d been twice. Once by catamaran and once by airplane) I had really meant to call you on the phone when you offered. I’m sorry I didn’t call. ( for my sake) Yesterday I folded down my Aliner. We had left it up last winter. It made me really sad. My BFF wants to go on a road trip with me. I think I’ll wait until spring. Maybe I will just hibernate this winter. Snow due tomorrow. My best friend has been staying with me these past few weeks. She was even here for me the day my darling Danny died. She is helping to keep me moving forward… So far I am keeping my house. It’s more of a cabin by a lake. But I am going to look for an easier place to take care of. Our little 2/3 of an acre is awfully hilly…hard to mow for a 60+ aged woman with RA. I HATE to leave this place as we built it all ourselves. Every rock, tree, and plant were put here by us. Every board, screw and caulk were put in by my husband and myself. Every wall in our house is covered with his paintings. His clay work and all his other art stuff is all over the house. I can’t look anywhere without seeing something that was made by his hands..it’s like living in a museum….the tightness returns to my chest, building, building, until it erupts out of my eyes. I don’t write nearly as well as you. You express yourself so well. Maybe one day we will meet on the road somewhere. I hope so. Hugs Karen

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