My daughter and I are nearing the end of our 6 month road adventure. It will be the end of this particular segment of my Odyssey of Love. But it doesn't end in Arizona when I drop her off. I'm going to take a one month break off the road, visit with my son and grand-daughter, meet my son's girlfriend and her daughter (I'm really looking forward to that), and then continue on.
Rae (my daughter) and I were discussing the end of our travels together. She and her husband are very much anticipating their reunion and I'm happy that they'll be together again. Their life as a couple can begin again.
There is a part of me, I told her, that used to believe (or want to believe), that at the end of my travels, Chuck would be waiting for me. Even knowing it couldn't be so, that tiny place in my heart hoped, I guess, that he might be. Or couldn't believe that hewouldn't be. After all, we've been apart for almost 19 months now. It's time for us to be together again....right?
Except, of course, that he won't be waiting for me. He's dead. He's gone. And I can't conceive of settling down into a home without him. He was my home. For the last 4 years of our marriage we didn't even have a sticks and bricks house; we lived on the road, staying at military billeting as we adventured the country. At the end of May, I'll have been on the road for 6 years. 2 of those years will have been on my own as I drove this Odyssey of Love for him.
Chuck won't be there to greet me in Arizona and it isn't home to me, so...I'll continue driving. I don't know what else to do and I'm convinced that if I do settle down into an apartment, I'll just go inside and close the door and pull the covers over my head and that will be the worst thing for me. I'll die but not really; just my soul will die while my body lives.
A friend asked me today what I consider home. My home always has been...was for many years, my husband, Chuck. It was truly where my heart was and now that he's gone, I guess I'm searching. Before he died, when I told him I was going to continue traveling on my own and that I would paint my car pink so that he could find me out on the road, he smiled and said he'd be looking for me. So I'm out here, hoping he'll find me somehow. That somehow I'll find a way to connect with him again in some way.
My Odyssey of Love isn't done. There are places yet to scatter his cremains, and in the process of doing so, of knowing where those places are, there is a life to be built. Wished for or not (and it most definitely is not wished for).