Where was it, and what was my hair doing when I met Chuck? I do remember the ugly brown, military issue, glasses I was wearing the first time he knocked at the door and I opened it to find a man dressed…and well-dressed, I might add…in his uniform camos. Continue reading
Stay with me, my beloved husband.
Don’t leave me.
I don’t want to be without you in this life.
Words uttered only in my heart as my hand gently touched your forehead.
As my hand glided over your cheekbones, sharpened by cancer.
As my two hands wrapped around your fingers, stroking your knuckles.
Remembering the strength of your hand wrapped around mine in our lifetime together.
As your spirit slowly faded away from me.
Rest easy, my Love.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for showing me how to love.
I will always remember you.
I will make sure that every person I ever meet from here on
Will hear your name from my lips.
Hear who you were to me.
Who I was to you,
And who we were to each other.
I will always remember you.
I’ll always be okay.
Just let yourself rest, my beloved.
You are loved.
Slip away when it’s time for you to go.
It’s okay for you to go.
You are loved.
Eyes filled with Love as lips spoke these words aloud.
How could I wish for you to linger on when you were so spent?
So I spoke words that I hoped you would hear even as you traveled on without me.
Words to reassure you,
Words that shattered my heart,
As the very air around us changed and Time ticked minutes and then seconds,
And sacred beauty filled the room,
Even as tears fell.
Where are you, my beloved?
Where did you go?
I don’t know where you are.
You know where I am.
Come find me.
I will wish you into being, as I travel on without you.
Perhaps if I yearn desperately enough for you,
You will return…
Stay with me, my beloved husband.
Don’t ever leave me.
I can’t bear to be without you.
Place your hands upon my shoulders.
Wrap your left behind Love around me.
Let your spirit shine within me.
Let your Love beat strongly in my own heart
Add it to the Love I had for you,
And let our combined Love shimmer and shine so extravagantly
That the world must stop in wonder and awe.
Be with me, my beloved husband,
As I live on, for both of us.
I love you.
I was loved by you.
I carry you with me and within me.
Your Love, my Love, our Love, is my armor.
April 21, 2013
I’m not going to write about what’s going on all around the world right now.
We’re all getting enough of it on a 24 hour basis.
I will, instead, write about Love.
I’m going to write about the power of Love in uncertain times. Continue reading
Again, and over and over.
Even knowing that you would someday leave me.
Not of your own will, but because cancer is an evil and twisted demon that seeps into the pores of a healthy person’s body and wreaks havoc within.
You left, not of your own free will.
And I, also not of my own will, stayed.
In the first years that followed, as I stayed, not of my own will, I tried desperately to remember you and I.
You, and who you were with me,
And I, and who I was with you.
I forgot how to move my feet as they moved with yours in a slow dance around the room.
I forgot how we moved together in our last dance, there at the side of that long and distant road in Death Valley, as the canyons glowed gold and music wafted from our car.
That I could no longer remember horrified me differently, but in the same way, as your death.
I remembered again, though, somewhere in my 4th year.
I remembered how to stand with you, as if your body were pressed against mine,
And raise my left hand to your broad shoulder…
Curl my fingers over your hand,
Clint Black…When I Said I Do…
Chicago…You’re the Inspiration…
Over and over again.
This night, as I remember what would be 30 years marriage…
Blended family, military life that took you away from me so often, scratching our pennies together, sitting on our swing in the back yard admiring our colorful gardens, retirement, traveling together in our last 4 years, that strong hand of yours on my leg, my hand on your arm as we sat a foot across from one another and explored and adventured…
This night, as I remember saying I do to my life with you, as you slipped a simple silver band on my finger…
You and I are dancing again, my feet moving in tandem with yours.
You are my heart, always.
We are dancing in the dark and starlit skies of the Universe.
All good love stories begin with Once upon a time. Once upon a time a man and a woman met and fell in love, created a life together….and, it pretty much ended there. We don’t hear much of the fullness … Continue reading
Written on the eve of what the world celebrates as New Year’s.
But since Time has ceased to hold any meaning for me since Chuck’s death, I’ve taken it upon myself to designate my New Year as beginning on April 21; the anniversary of Chuck’s death.
That’s the time when I reflect on whatever needs reflecting upon. It’s when I do a self-check, and it’s a time that is meaningful to me. I realize, more and more, that Time is merely a social construct. It’s necessary, in our culture, to keep our worlds moving, I suppose, but for those of us left behind, it’s a mish mash of how can it be so long? and oh my god it’s been forever! There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of in between.
Recently I also made the decision to stop counting the years since Chuck’s death. Not because it doesn’t matter; it very much does. But my heart can’t manage the reality of all the years yet to come. I started sorting it all out and it will soon be 7 years and…nope. Not doing 7 years. In my mind, and what I will forever tell people henceforth, it has been 6.5 years. Period.
Additionally, since I’m stopping counting the years since his death, I will no longer age. I’m 61 now, and that’s the age I’ll stay. I’m already one year older than Chuck was when he died. Enough already.
Yes, yes, of course there are those who might say, behind their hands, that I’ve gone nuts. Crackers. Over the edge. Look at the crazy widow! they’ll whisper.
Behold the field of fucks I don’t give.
I stopped caring about other’s opinions of me a looooong time ago. In fact, the first thing I’d tell anyone new to the grieving community is to install a hinge on their elbow so that it automatically shoots up when someone offers an opinion/comment/suggestion about the right way to grieve, and your fingers automatically flip them a bird.
You can, of course, in order to appease such people, stare at your elbow/hand in shocked surprise that this happened. Act horrified if you wish. You’ve made your point with them.
In some ways I relish the prospect of being known as the crazy widow lady. Kind of a cool rep, in my mind.
I may very well create a reputation as that crazy widow lady dressed all in pink and what’s that all about? they’ll ask, not really certain if they want to know the answer.
That’s okay, too.
I’m going to just be over here, driving my pink car, towing my pink trailer with the names of all these loved ones on it, shooting sparkle and glitter at everyone. Giving hugs. Getting hugs.
The crazy widow lady in pink.
It’s been 6 years and 5 months since Chuck died.
I kind of feel like I need to put that identifier in so that anyone who reads this will have a gauge.
Except that those newly living this widowed life might look at the time since and then read this blog and shudder.
Or shrink back in dismay.
The confusion lasts that long?
And I don’t mean to convey that.
It’s all personal, right?
That’s what we always hear, anyways.
So, apologies ahead of time to anyone who reads this and is discouraged…
I’ve come in off the road, with the aim of settling in for up to a year, for the first time in a little over 10 years.
Chuck and I were on the road together for our last 4 years, and I’ve spent the last 6 1/2 years solo on the road.
Truthfully, I’m fucking exhausted in all the ways I can be; physically, emotionally, mentally.
And I know it’s time to take my Odyssey of Love to the next phase.
To do that, I want to be in one place so that I can put together all the puzzle pieces floating around me.
To that end…
As I approached Arizona a few days ago, which is where I’m planting myself, the thought popped into my head, and into my heart that I’m so excited to see Chuck again! It’s been so long! Just a few more miles!
Followed too quickly by the stomach clenching, heart shredding, soul shrinking reality check that nope, you’re not going to see him again. Ever. He’s gone. He’s dead.
All I know how to do is bite down onto that thought and just let it be.
So that’s part of what happened.
Over the weekend I met up with my daughter and talk turned, invariably, to our grief.
And she told me something that I’d not considered.
I miss Pop, she said, and I miss the woman you were. The mom you were.
I know that I miss the woman I was, but I’d never thought about my kids missing that woman also.
Further conversation brought out that she (and I think my other 2 feel this too) that it feels as if I’ve drawn away emotionally.
You know what? She’s right.
I was 55 when Chuck died. I’m 61 now, and I’ve spent all these years out on the road, traveling the country. I do stop and visit with my kids and their families but as I think of it, I own up to the fact that I keep my distance, emotionally.
Not that I don’t show them and their families love. I do. I feel it towards them and I do show it.
But I’ve been so fucking intent on not being a burden to my kids and their spouses and families that I’ve gone way over the other direction to be independent in every way that I can.
I don’t know how to explain how that shows up other than what I’ve already written and I can’t even really define all of it.
I just know that I’ve done it.
And I don’t know how to be otherwise.
They have their own lives, with their own families and busyness of lives and I never want to need anything from them.
The first few years of feeling emotionally needy was enough and they don’t need that burden. I don’t want them to feel that I’m dependent on them, because they have enough of that as they grow their families/careers/etc.
Widowhood is an incredibly confusing life for me.
I don’t know where to draw lines so I draw them far away.
I don’t know how to make my needs known to them without showing desperation or looking, well, needy.
So I draw bubbles around myself.
How the ever loving FUCK do we figure any of this out?
Seriously, I’m asking you, my community.
How do we navigate family in this afterlife?
Where the fuck do I fit now?
Chuck’s death blew our world apart.
It just did.
We were strong before, as a family.
Have I failed our kids?
I don’t know.
I just know that his death blew me into smithereens and I don’t know how to come back from it.
Or if it’s even realistic to think that I can.