Earlier this week I made the trip from my home in Kona, once again, to my parents' house in Virginia. I am grateful for the reprieve back on the island, where I was able to attend my stepdaughter's wedding, visit with friends, my boyfriend, and find some rest. Now, I am in Charleston, SC with my mom. We planned this trip to see whether this area is a place we could all relocate. We will look at facilities for dad here, as well as some real estate. Dad is being cared for in a home in Virginia now, and my brother is back there as well at the moment, working on their house to be sold, and checking in on dad.
It's a big move for all of us. But mom has expressed the desire to be rid of the responsibility for that big house on her own, and move somewhere warmer, and near to me, as the foreclosure process for my house in Kona ticks further forward. I cannot live in cold weather again for long, after so many years in LA, and then Hawaii. I have a new career in the works, one that I suspect will flourish better in a larger city. Not to mention both mom and I want to be somewhere with culture and things to do, places to go. And, be near family. My brother will be nearby, along with my other stepdaughter and some of her in-law family, one of whom, by the way, offered his home for us here in Charleston to stay for a few days. So, the Universe simply seems to be conspiring to move me in this direction, and I am trying to pay attention.
Come February, it will be four years since Mike died. FOUR years!! I can hardly wrap my head around that. I am grateful that I have had this time to learn to live with the grief of his loss, to learn to find myself again, to learn that my life is not over. My mom, dealing with the grief of my dad's deteriorating condition, is in the middle of the yuck. But I am, in a strange way, grateful that my experience can help. I get crying in a grocery store because we won't be buying food for our loved one again. I get crying because we won't be doing their laundry again. I get the pain of looking towards a future empty of the presence of that person we relied on, and shared so much with, for so long. I hope I will continue to be able to help her find life in the strange new normal, and help lift her out of the deep dark abyss we know all too well.
In thinking about how things have changed and what my future looks like now I was moved to look back at some much earlier posts I wrote for Widow's Voice. And I was encouraged, because, I really have come a long way. In particular, one post resonated. I kind of remembered it as I flew over the country earlier this week gazing down at a breathtaking frozen winter land from the plane, once again, and pondering another calendar year without my dear husband. It seems like some answers are appearing, after so long. I will share the last few paragraphs of that post and then sign off, til next time. Wish us luck.
"What do I want my life to reflect when I look back (hopefully) years from now? Honestly, it’s such a good question, and I don’t know the answers yet. But it has given me perhaps a practical process, and a good reason, to consider the choices I make with sincerity and depth.
I’m back on island today after yesterday’s long trek across the country. Two plane rides - one across the frozen winterland of our nation’s mid-section, and another across the ocean blue to my little spot here in the land of aloha. Being back in my home town - and now, being back here - has given me quite a lot of perspective and food for thought in terms of where I want to be, and when. My current projects and endeavors are laid out for me, but there is still a lot of work to be done. And today, I’m also facing another big turn of the wheel of time, as a second calendar year peeks into view since Mike died. A second year he will not experience here with me. I know by now I cannot stop these wheels from turning. I know I will be flung into 2015 as surely as I was flung into 2014 and there is nothing I can do about it but keep walking.
I know I’m a work in progress, but maybe I’ve taken a few more steps forward. You can be sure I’ll be working hard on that memo in 2015 and for many years to come."