I Do. Over and Over Again~

I do.

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 Picture1distant 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,

And dance…

Clint Black…When I Said I Do

Chicago…You’re the Inspiration

These two.

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… 24174380_1518274098227519_8389293166807736662_n-226x300

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.


My Life from Movies~

It seems that my imagination…what goes on in my mind to help me manage this life…has ramped up.

Almost any situation I encounter has a counterpart from various movies I’ve watched over the years.

The big picture of all of this is me in the middle of a romantic comedy.

I’ve always loved watching romcoms.

Chuck used to watch them with me.

Within the big picture romcom, scenes and quotes from other movies interpose themselves.

This past week I headed to Louisville KY to visit a dear friend/wid sis/AF wid/AF veteran. She and I met a few years ago in the 3rd year of my Odyssey of Love, and we’ve maintained our friendship.

I was coming from IN where I’ve been visiting Chuck’s mom.

Part of this story that I want you to know is that I was listening to a playlist that I’d created for my Odyssey of Love from tunes sent to me by a few hundred of the community that follows my Odyssey.

I’d asked them to give me the names of songs their loved one loved, or that they loved together. Or just their favorite tune.

Frickin’ amazing. Really.

And these were the tunes I was listening to a few days ago as I rolled down the backroads of Indiana. Windows open. Tunes blaring. Me singing with them because I’m making a point of doing that. It’s my new challenge. Feel the energy of singing. Which I haven’t done since Chuck’s death a little over 6 years ago.

Cruisin’ along…

My pink car draws up to a 4 way intersection. Which is a normal thing to come upon on any road across America.

But, as I sat there momentarily, scanning for oncoming traffic, my mind drifted to the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks. Specifically the end scene where he sits in his truck at a 4 way intersection in the middle of nowhere, looking thoughtfully in each direction. 

The movie ends with that. We have no idea except we kind of do which direction he takes.

I turned right, heading to KY. Not a big thing.

Except that, as I made that turn, for the first time since Chuck died 6 years and almost 5 months ago, the thought kind of appeared in my mind that I’m driving into my future…

As my car settled onto the road, into my mind came the scene from Practical Magic where the sister, Jillian, is driving east to help her sister, who’s just been widowed. The scene changes from night to day to night again, as she drives. Open road in front of her.

I considered to myself how I’m way over defending how I widow. Trying to convince people that I’m okay, in the midst of a world that is not at all okay. All the bullshit we hear, you know?

And into my mind came the speech made by the President in Independence Day…

We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a fight!

We’re going to live on!

We’re going to survive!

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

Here’s the thing.

I’m devastated, living without Chuck. This life isn’t better than the life I had with him.


I’m by god going to continue doing what I do. I drive my Odyssey of Love. I wear pink. I carry Chuck with me in every way possible. I honor him and his memory everyday. I reach out to those I meet in order to create community. I keep my heart open, even in its’ shattered state. I’m not broken. I’m not carrying baggage with me in the sense that I’m emotionally broken. On the contrary, I’m the woman I am because I’ve refused to allow others to dictate how I do this. If, at some point which I honestly don’t believe will ever happen a man comes into my life, he will be strong and confident and sure enough in himself to honor Chuck with me. I know how to love. I’m really good at being in a healthy relationship with a man. Any man would be damn lucky to have me. I’m a fucking warrior goddess.

Love is what fuels this life of mine. The Love left for me by Chuck. The Love I’ve created for myself in a nationwide community. All of this right alongside of the pain and devastation. 

It isn’t enough.

But it, by god, is what I have and I’m going to keep doing it.

I will not go quietly into the night. I’ve been fighting to survive since 11:25 pm on April 21, 2013.

I’m writing my own script for this movie I’m in~

Those dredded moments…

For months, I’ve been obsessing about dreds!  Getting them, that is.  I’ve educated myself about the how to’s with YouTube.  Handsome Husband has willingly watched those vids too; after all, he would be the dred enforcer when it finally happened.

We had one false start a week or so ago.  It just didn’t seem to be working, so we agreed that the best thing to do would be to view more vids on putting in dreds, and we would revisit the issue.  

Yesterday was D-day.  We’d watched, we’d seen, we were sure we knew how to do the dredded dreds!  (It really is amazing how overwhelming the whole subject has been to me.  You don’t just not wash your hair and let it knot-there’s a whole process to it-who knew?!)

We had the metal comb, we had the wax, we had the clear color mini bands, we had the music, the snacks (well, I did at least).  We were pumped!!!  This is how I envisioned me looking after we were done, or at least, 3-6 months from now when the dreds had time to really lock and, well……load!

Eight hours later, with more thanks to Handsome Husband (called Chaz by me as his alter ego when he helps me with my hair at various times), we had what we could consider, and really thought were….dreds!  And I think they were-we just didn’t have the confidence to go with the end result.  Or at least they had the possibility of being dreds in that 3-6 month timeframe.  His fingers hurt, from the constant twisting and tearing and maneuvering of the metal comb.  My head hurt, from all the pulling and twisting and tearing and pressure.  But that was all part of it, so, you know, I was being brave…

The top 3rd of my head still needed doing (dredding), but it was getting late already, so I determined to finish it up in the AM.  Remember Buckwheat from the “Little Rascals?”   Yeah, that was more of what I looked like at the moment.  thumbnail.aspx

But even Buckwheat had good dreds, as I found out.  So it was feasible that I could go from what my current head looked like to, well….rocking this! That was my dream-these are really nice dreds!  So, with that thought, I lay down in bed.  And it felt, well….lumpy.  Nobody ever mentioned that to me in all those videos I watched. How do you sleep on these things?   Brave me, I managed for a few minutes, but that little, niggling thought was squeaking from the back of my head…”hey you like your sleep!  How are you going to do this for a long, long time?”  So I sat up and started removing a few of the bands at the bottom of the dreds, to make it a little more comfortable…and then a few more, and a few more.  Pulled at the ends, trying to untangle.  Talked with Handsome Husband, who was ready to sleep after a long day of dred doing, the thought growing- after all that effort, how could I undo?  It just wouldn’t be right!

Long story short:  I got to bed at 2:30, after a long few hours with some conditioner, the sharp point of the metal comb, and a lot of patience, some scissors and sore fingers.  And this is what I look like now:    I think it looks kind of French, don’t you agree?  Chaz did a great job on it.  Those dredded moments...