To the battle that you did not choose, but fought anyway. To the fight you had left in you until you took your very last breath. To the most amazing person I will ever know, fly high my angel. I’ll be counting down the days until I get to hug you again. I love you with all my heart.
Five months and eighteen minutes short of 12 days ago, you had to leave. I continue to try to adjust to my life as it is now without you. Sometimes it’s unbearable and others, I float through the days, as though I am looking through the lens of a camera that has been in the cool air conditioned house and brought into the stifling heat of a summer day.
I’m continuing with the grief group at hospice on Thursday nights, although I didn’t go last night because the “widows” as I call them asked me to go to get a bite to eat. It’s amazing that there are sometimes there are ten of us who get together. We range in ages from 60 to 66 and 8 of us are widowed. Two of us are widowed 20 years and 17 years and then you have the newbies like JoAnn and myself who are both widowed for less than one year. It just baffles me how we ended up together — this group of sad sisters, trying to adjust to life without our other halves.
We had a close call with Pops this week. He’s developed a condition called c-diff which is highly contagious and can be life threatening for a person with a compromised immune system and of his age. He’s in the hospital again, but they are talking about moving him to a rehabilitation center today where he can get i.v. fluids if he needs them and will be taken care of by people who know how to care for someone with this condition. It is can be highly contagious. I am trying to be there in your place, but work and other obligations doesn’t me allow to spend as much time as I would like to — like I know you would spend. I feel like I have been called in to substitute for you. No one is making me feel like that. It’s in my own head. I guess the truth of the matter is that on some level when I am around your mom and dad, I feel like I am around you. It’s funny because that is what they told me last week. They feel you all around whenever I am with them.
Our daughter signed a contract on a home this week. It’s an older colonial in the village section of Maplewood. I think you would like it. It’s pretty much in move in condition, except for a few things that the home inspection report revealed, so there might be some negotiations in connection with the price she is paying for it. It’s not an overwhelmingly large home like the one she had before, but it’s more than enough for her to take care of. I’m not going to lie and say that I am not a bit worried about her living alone in a house with her daughter, but I know it’s important for her to be back in a home rather than an apartment. She told me this week that since she began the house search and visited the home, she felt like you have been there right with her and she feels like everything is right about this house purchase.
I am planning on a trip and, in fact, made the reservations today. I will be going to California with my sister and Patricia. We’re going in the late Spring and will be seeing places like Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, San Diego, Monterey, Big Sur, San Simeon, Santa Barbara and others. This is not going to be easy for me — going without you — but I am going to do it and I am going to try to enjoy it. I know that you would want me to. I am also making plans to visit with Joe and Esther while we are in Los Angeles. I know that you loved them as much as I do. I also know that the feeling is mutual. They are two of the reasons that I miss that job.
The “widows” are also planning a trip to Key West in October. Now that will be a hard one for me. You wanted to visit there badly and that was one of the places I envisioned us spending one winter during our retirement years. We are planning to fly into Miami, visit the Saccos and then driving down to Key West.
Remember how you kept asking me not to be bitter about having family obligations that kept us from retiring and traveling? Well, I think you would be happy and proud to know that bitterness is not one of the emotions I feel. It’s just mainly plain old sadness that envelops me when I think of what you and I missed out on sharing together — not bitterness at all. I remember how you told Kelly you wanted me to do the things you and I would not have a chance to do like traveling. I want to do those things, but the reality of it is that I want to do them with YOU. I love my friends and love how supportive they are of me, but I miss YOU and want YOU. I find myself wishing l could just touch you again. I find myself wishing I could run my fingers across your lips again. I find myself wishing you could hold my hand in yours and hear you tell me how much you love me again. None of that is ever going to happen again and it makes me really sad. We really did have it all while we were together. Didn’t we?
I try to focus on what we did have and not all that I lost, but it is so hard.