Nine months and three days ago my spouse left the building. He didn’t walk out. He didn’t leave for someone else. I could have dealt with that. In my past life, I DID deal with that. No, this departure had nothing to do with free will, romantic foible or selfish intention. It didn’t even have anything to do with the big C’s relentless march that hounded him. It had everything to do with that celestial calendar we never get to see.
They say the days of our lives are numbered. Well, isn’t that helpful. We have no idea what those numbers are ‑ or when they are up. All we can do is to try our level best to live within the unpredictability of that invisible calendar. As I remember many odd moments, actions of the last two years before he died, I can’t help but wonder if my husband instinctively knew his expiration date would come earlier than expected.
Most of his living large was in the days and years before we met. My guy regaled me with remembered moments of achievement, of professional escapades and successes, of starring roles in community theater shows. By the time we met, the scope of his business and his medical forecast had changed dramatically. Still, he was a vital force of nature. He never lost his penchant for the road less traveled even if he often got totally lost along the way. Hey, it’s true what they say about men and maps. Continue reading →
Sometimes your heart needs more time to accept what your mind already knows
One night, this past October, my life got real in an instant. A terrible, unimaginable real that at first doesn’t even compute. It actually took a moment to understand what I’ll never unsee – and never change. That was the moment I found my handsome, loving husband crumpled on the stair landing. It was the moment I went from wife — to widow.
Gone for only a hour, one nondescript hour, I could never have known my breezy ‘see you in a bit’ would be the last words I said to my man. There would be no warning that his red shirt was the first thing I saw as I reached the landing at the top of my split stairs. Even when I saw his awkward position and didn’t hear a single word in answer to my wailing pleas, it was still hard to comprehend. It would be the infinitesimal moment before confusion became pure panic. It wasn’t until later, much later, that it would strike me how I never noticed how partial he was to red. Crazy, right? But then, crazy would be kind of apt for this kind of night.
What do we all wish for when we realize something is not a nightmare but more ‘real’ than we ever bargained for? A miracle? A time machine? No matter what you pray, hope, wish for, nothing is crazier than what just happened. Continue reading →