This week my daughter and I caught the ferry over to The Sunshine Coast in southern BC and toured Gibsons and Sechelt. Gibsons was home to the filming of the television show “The Beachcombers” from 1972 to 1990. It was also the first hometown to Wendy and Ben from 1993 to 1997. It’s where we lived when we got married, it’s where we built our first home, and it’s where we had our first baby.
Raegan and I played tourist and she humoured me while I drove around and told her a hundred stories that all started with “I remember one time, right in this very spot, Dad and I (insert memory here) …” She was a good sport. We ended up on the beach in Sechelt at the exact spot where Ben proposed to me.
This might sound kind of silly or stupid or not at all important in the grand scheme of things related to losing one's life partner to death - but just bear with me, if you don't mind. It's how I've been feeling lately, and I feel the need to get these thoughts out.
There are a lot of things that my husband and I had in common. A lot of things. We connected through music, and met through music, so music was our biggest connector. We went to blues clubs and jazz clubs and rock concerts together, and would sit around our apartment playing CD's for each other and introducing one another to a new sound or a new band we had heard. My husband loved tennis. He almost went semi-pro in his younger days, but his mother didn't support his dreams to play, so he ended up joining the Air Force instead.
"I want my old life back."
I've heard a lot of widowed people say that, as I have, and continue to, some days.
I miss a lot of little things about being married to Mike. It was a comfortable, familiar life, after nearly 14 years of marriage. I can still hear him shuffling across the tile floors, whistling. The refrigerator door opening and closing. The toilet flushing. His computer game blips coming from his room, or the strum of an ukulele from the porch. Maybe his truck pulling up outside after a run to the dump. The thwack of an arrow hitting his archery target outside.Read more
Seriously there are just not enough hours in the day. And then when I think about it, there aren’t enough days in the year, or years in a life.
There’s always so much to do…so much stuff to deal with, bills to be paid, shopping and work to do…I can’t remember being this busy when Mike was still alive, at least after we closed our school. Looking back I am so grateful we had what seemed like slow, happy days together before he left us, and after he’d retired. Maybe that’s not how it was; sometimes I panic that I can’t just quite remember how it was anymore. Am I starting to forget things about my previous life? Is this just how it’s going to be?Read more
I have been nestled inside the winter for months, it seems. It has been so cold and dark. Even today, at the end of April, spring struggles to gain a grip, the wind and rain overtaking its warm and promising breezes, painting the hilltops white, again, pouring pellets of icy hail onto the ground. This weekend, there are predictions of frost.
Each day, I walk past the newly budding lilacs on my way to the train station, and I kiss them, and tell them to be strong, and reach deep, and find warmth. I so hope the cold will not kill them before they flower.
I have sat inside an inner winter, too. Some days, I am able to look around, and revel in the rainbow coloured tulips and the deep blues and violets of the evening sky. But other days, I cannot reach deep enough to overcome the cold, and the world feels frozen, the wind biting at my fingertips.Read more
It is a glorious spring day on the northern coast of England, and I am seated on a bench overlooking the sea, in a village called Robin Hood's Bay. It is an ancient settlement, with remains found that date back 3000 years, and first mentioned by a topographer of Henry the VIII in 1536.
Yesterday I walked to this village from Whitby, where I am staying, this weekend, on the first part of my pilgrimage to visit the places Stan and I loved. Of all of them, the village of Whitby, and this northern coast, were his favourite. He often spoke of retiring here, where he said they had 'proper winters.'
I awakened last night, and reached for my husband in the dark, only to find that now familiar, empty space, instead. And I remembered how I would drape my leg over his, at night, and press my stomach against his back. Sometimes, he would stir, slightly, and tell me to take my leg off of him. He said my legs were too heavy. He referred to them as tree trunks. And I'd tell him that his legs were like twigs.Read more
An evening out with friends to listen to my new guy’s band on the water’s edge here in Kona.
Drinks, laughing, dancing. I catch myself: what am I doing here? I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I gaze out to the stars hanging over the ocean waves and mentally reach out to Mike, as I so often do. Are you out there, honey? Can you see me? I think how he would have gotten such a kick out of the lively and eccentric group of folks I find myself in the midst of. How he would be relieved I have found my smile again. How he would have loved swinging me around the dance floor. And how much he loved this place.
Ian and I never particularly did Valentines day. Although I *like* getting the gifts and stuff, I never felt it a necessity. It's a more than a bit over-commercialised to me, which is thankfully quite a protective view-point in my after.
But the day still holds memories. Some good. Some that trigger a sense of guilt.