Heading into the holiday season, I knew there would be challenges, but I thought I knew what to expect. Today is Halloween, not a huge deal especially at this age, but for some reason it has reduced me to a blubbering mess. Oh I know it’s going to happen sometimes, I even expect it, but this week has been a bear.
The week began ok. I went to a Sunday School Social with people that have come into my life since Rick died. It would have been easy to stay at home and make excuses, but I have been embraced by so many, new friends and reconnections, that I felt I needed to make the effort. Although it was again a very lonely moment, it was good. It actually culminated in a wonderful conversation with someone who used to eat at our restaurant and that made me smile.
I went to work like normal and I felt restless, but not for any particular reason. On Wednesday I was attending a weekly meeting on “grief” and while we were in the midst of discussing feeling a loss of control or helplessness, I got a message that my tire was flat. Now that isn’t catastrophic by any stretch of the imagination, so I called my Roadside Assistance and set up service. I then returned to my class and had a moment of realization. I did everything I would have always done except one thing. I would have called Rick first, told him my plight and then proceeded down the same road. He would have immediately come to help, stood in the rain with me and helped me with whatever I needed. Instead, I stood in the rain and felt sad. Nothing is like it used to be and where I thought I was doing really well, along came a “grief burst” and then I cried for the next 24 hours.
Books are written about this and I was a perfect example of how you never know when you will feel the sadness and the missing in the very depths of your soul. You carry it everyday, in your mind and in your heart, but on the outside it takes on a different look. Most of the time it’s the “I’m ok” look and to be honest, you are. Then comes the wave and knocks you off your feet. It might be a day, a smell, a song, a memory or the sight of a mom with her new baby, an older couple at the mall or a sappy commercial. It doesn’t matter what the trigger is, it has the power to topple you like a Jenga tower.
I know life is forever different for me and I’ve accepted that. I just did not realize the things I cherished the most would forever be taken away. Those things are my security, my comfort, my constant companion through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. I cherished the things I knew were important, like family and friends, a roof over my head and food on the table. What I didn’t realize was it’s the little things you don’t realize you have, someone waiting when you come home, someone sitting across the dinner table, someone to run errands with, someone to stand beside you in the rain. These are the things I guess I took for granted, not in a negative way, but because they were my constant, they were my life.
I miss my life, I miss my daughter, my mom, my in laws, my Husband of 46 years. I miss my life before so much loss. I miss the sight of my three daughters in the same room. I miss my mom’s cooking and her sage advice. I miss Rick cooking on the grill and making a huge mess in the kitchen. I miss it all.
So it’s raining in the maze this week, torrential downpours, it’s cold and the sky is dark, but I know the rain always ends. Sometimes after the rain comes a magnificent rainbow, sometimes a clear blue sky with merely hints of clouds left behind. For others, it’s a beautiful day, for you, it’s progress. You’ve walked through the storms and come out into the beauty of a new day. Sometimes you have to see the darkness to appreciate the light. You have to weather the storm to appreciate the sunny day ahead. I’m not sure why we have to feel so much pain in life, but I do know that the love we experience is worth walking through the storm.