I'm in Virginia now visiting my folks, in the house where I grew up. The summer after Mike died I visited here too, and was inconsolable...memories of texting my friend and fellow widow Margaret late into the night, sobbing, tears streaming down my face...unable to conceive of a world, or a life, without him. Every visit since tinged with those memories, and also creating new ones. Three years later I can't help but feel I have been swept along into a place I never could have imagined. A very different life built in the wake of his death in Kona, a new boyfriend, lots of new friends, many of whom happen also to be widowed...and now, this year, the feeling that I am ready to spread my wings a little.
There have been tears this time too...I told my mom, Mike only visited here with me a few times, but his energy and presence feel strong to me...even though it is my childhood home, the memories of the times we shared here together are strong, and palpable. My brother and his kids remember good times together here too. Tonight, I sit outside in the dark watching those miraculous fireflies doing their evening dance, remembering how tickled he was to finally see those bright little creatures for the first time. I'll never see one again without thinking of him.
I have family issues to assist with while I am here, and as they get older, spending time with my parents feels more and more important. Without Mike around I am freer to do so as well...I had made spending time with him and his care and health my priority, as it should be in a marriage. But now I can take care of these other concerns. So that is now becoming a large part of the decision-making I am facing.
But the other part has to do just with me. I know my own time here in a healthy body is limited, and I want to use it to its best advantage. I want to experience the world, and learn, and have adventure, and travel, and meet people, and all the things life is about while I still can.
At the moment I feel a little like those little lightning bugs outside in the trees...intermittently flashing a light on the tiny dot of the world I call my own, but then floundering around in the dark again, that blackness of grief and uncertainty, until the next light erupts.
I kind of think I might sense a possible path for myself, but this current fact-finding mission is only in mid-bloom and much remains to be seen. Mostly, at least for now, I'm just dancing in the dark.