It has been an interesting month now and I have to say I think I have done remarkably well. I have grieved with over 1000 people at a conference, said so long as my grandson and a true “apple of my eye”, moved away, I have seen the 9th Birthday without Lindsey and it has been exactly 110 days, 8 hours and 1 minute without Rick and I am still standing. That is true success isn’t it, pure survival?
I have worked my schedule, taken care of the house, raised a needy puppy, changed porch lights and took out my own trash. I have not cooked, but have eaten plenty. I have had groceries delivered and hired someone to cut my grass. I have dealt with insurance, Social Security, hospitals, doctor’s offices and Medicare and that is just scratching the surface and I am still standing.
Today I was restless and unsettled and what I realized is this, I haven’t been crying everyday. Tears well up whenever I talk about things, but that deep, chest heaving, head throbbing, eyes burning kind of cry has been absent and that for some reason made me sad. It made me realize that time is passing and I’m getting further away from the “good stuff”. No matter what, time marches on. I wonder if I hadn’t already survived one of the most devastating losses a person can experience if things would be different. This isn’t my first rodeo and after suffering loss after loss, do you start to wear an emotional set of armor? It makes me wonder.
The other thing I realized this week is that everything I touch and everything I do, I did it the last time with Rick. Whether it be a restaurant, a store, a sign I pass everyday, I did it all before and I did it all with Rick by my side. We were inseparable that way and it feels weird that it will never be the same way again. It feels wrong, like the universe is out of sync and I guess it is. My world is out of sync.
For two years, we had made reservations at Cape Charles for July 4th, planning to take the boat over. We had rented a golf cart months ahead and planned to watch fireworks sitting on the deck of Linzi-Lu. Life Threw Curves and we never got to go, but this weekend we packed up an RV and pulled a golf cart to Cape Charles. We sat on the beach, watched the sunset and made s’mores over the fire pit. I laughed and I smiled and I wished he were there, riding with Lucy and I in the golf cart making memories.
Countless people lost their lives this week in senseless acts of violence while patients sat trying everything to survive while receiving chemo treatments. There have been natural disasters and people being left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Children have died in hot cars and young and old have lost their lives in accidents. These people don’t get a chance to make more memories and neither do their families. I cherish the times I had and although I wish I had more time, my time was precious.
Although days can be hard and tasks innumerable, I am thankful for every minute I had with my precious family of five. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and if I had it to do over again, knowing the outcome would be the same, I would make the same choice. I would live and love and love some more. I wish all those who lost loved ones this week had been given the gift of time, but that was not to be, so with them in mind, I walk the maze tonight with lots of company. Their grief is thick, like the fog over the marsh, hardly able to see beyond a few steps. It’s quiet here, talk is unnecessary, feelings understood. The eyes meet with recognition that the road is going to be long and hard. Hands clasped together and steps tentative, but deliberate, moving forward slowly searching again for the exit to the maze…