My goal is to live as simply as possible. To own things that do not own me. To give things to our kids now so that they don't need to wonder about what to do with these things of mine when I'm dead.
Much of this is an easy process for me, since Chuck and I sold most of our belongings when we hit the road in 2009. Since his death, I've either donated or given his things to our kids and kept only a few items of clothing and mementos. And by few I mean maybe 5.
Our older son got married recently and I gave him and his now wife my and Chuck's wedding rings. Its' beautiful to see Chuck's ring on our eldest son's hand and I know Chuck would smile too. It is part of his legacy of love.
Our younger son will be married within the next month or so, and I sent him my engagement ring that Chuck gave to me on our 20th anniversary. He and his fiancee' will most likely have it re-set, and that's okay by me. They need to make it their own. What was important to me was that the ring be part of a living love story. Once the stones are re-set, the setting itself can be formed into a wedding ring for our son.
Both of them feel that they have something of us both now, something powerful. Rings that represented a strong, passionate marriage, which is what they want to have with their wives. They will create their own legacy now, for their kids.
As for me, as time passes, the rings and other possessions have almost become a distraction to me. The love Chuck left behind for me, the love I still bear for him, becomes more intimate and more closely held, not for others. I cherished those rings in their time, and the thought of them now a part of our kids' stories brings satisfaction to my heart.
His dress blues went to our younger son, the firefighter. The jacket from his BDU's hangs on the back of the passenger seat of PinkMagic. The flag presented to me at his memorial service rides shotgun, along with his cremains. His dog tags hang from a hook over my bed in my trailer. The love journal we kept for most of the years we were married (rather than exchanging cards we wrote in it), is in the cabinet above my bed. Pictures of the two of us through the years adorn the surfaces of the inside of my trailer.
These things are all that I need, all that I want for external surroundings. The major part of him I carry inside my heart, along with the pain of missing-ness. It's enough. It's all I want.
My life is incredibly simple in all ways, and that works for me. I don't want stuff around me to clutter up my mind and heart. Simple, no mess, everything around me with a purpose.
Maybe, the more I simplify, the less my attention is taken up by what is around me...maybe then, I'll begin to feel Chuck near me.