What’s going on in the life of this widow this week? It’s been four years, four months, and 11 days. Some things are changed very much, and some not so much.
I still look out over the same view, from the same lanai, in the same house we shared together for 12 years. I still drive through the little town in Hawaii we both fell in love with together every day. I pass shops, restaurants, churches, beaches, and yes, even trees, I know he saw, and loved. Seriously one time this week I was sitting at a traffic light admiring this big, beautiful tree in the median strip and thought, Mike saw this tree. I’m looking at a tree he also saw, probably many many times. I don’t know why I thought that but I did.
I still walk by the bedroom where he lived and died every day. I still open and close the fridge we used together, the one my parents bought for us, all those years ago, which is now on the fritz and needs to be defrosted every week, until we can take another one a friend is giving me, bless her.
I still wear the jewelry he gave me and I still ponder his wisdoms often, to myself and to friends.
I still adore my stepdaughters and their families. I still miss him every day. Some things will never change no matter where I am and those are a few of those.
But then things change. This week one of Mike’s friends here died, of cancer, at 62. Also far too young, and I hadn’t know he was ill, and was shocked to find out. It made me feel hollow and sick inside. That feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes the world seem dark and horrible, everything feels tilted in a sickening way, and you can’t think straight.
Then I had to go to work. It was a very busy day at the restaurant, and I was glad for it. I drowned myself in menus, customers, reservations, wait lists and bussing tables, my friends on staff - I sank into that world and didn’t come up for air until I finally walked to my car after shift. And somehow, that sickening feeling was not as strong. Maybe I purposely pushed that wave of grief aside because I just couldn’t deal with it. Maybe it wasn’t the right way to handle it. But it was just what I had to do to get through the day. To avoid all the memories that welled up. To avoid falling into that dark abyss again, the one I have so diligently attempted to claw my way out of.
More things will change too, I know. No, there is no news on how long I get to stay in this house, with my dogs. There is no change with my dad back East, and no news on moves or changes there for now. But each week I continue progress in school, and wonder how I will manage that career change, or when the time will be right for that. I still feel pulled in opposite directions on the globe, but one day, will make that change, and it will be a big one.
I have recurring dreams of being in strange houses with many rooms. So many I cannot even find them all. Mike was an amazing dream interpreter. Maybe he would have said those rooms are possibilities, opportunities, and I am still in a process of discovery in my life. Maybe something like that. I like to think of meaning in a positive way, because those dreams also seem unsettling, and I don’t like to dwell on the fact that my life is unsettled, and my future uncertain.
I have the day off today. I am sore and tired from work, in a good way, and looking forward to relaxing and maybe a nice dinner out with the musician boyfriend. Who knows how many more of those I will have here?
Just another week in the life of this widow.