I'm almost in Tampa for Camp Widow, arriving early from Arizona. This has been a long road trip for me, and taxing in a different way from my previous travels, emotionally. Perhaps it's the knowing that this really will be for me, as so many have assured me, a life-changing weekend. This grief is exhausting and I want it to shift for me but at the same time, being honest, I suppose deep in there somewhere is fear also. Fear that it will be so life-changing for me that I won't recognize myself afterwards. Not that I recognize myself now. All I know is that I'm not the woman I was with Chuck. Everything else is up for grabs.
What has made this trip more bearable for me, winding my way along the southern route in my PinkMagic rig, are the people who have reached out to me. Prior to leaving, I'd mapped out my route and marked the military bases where I would find a site to set up for quick overnights. That isn't what has happened, however.
One of the groups to which I belong is called Sisters on the Fly; it's made up of women around the country who own vintage trailers and meet up for camping and other fun activities. So before I left I posted about my trip and the reason for it on our page. And I hadn't even reached Texas when Sisters began contacting me, inviting me to come overnight with them, to either curb with them (which means to have hook-up for my trailer in their yards), or to stay in their guest rooms. And once that got going, more and more sisters joined in from the states along the way: Texas, Louisiana, Florida...single women, married, divorced, widowed; they have all reached out to cheer me on my way. They have loved me through these miles and so even in the midst of all this grief, there is a strong sense of being blessed. We've shared stories of cancer and love and grief and family and strength and joy and connected through tears and laughter and hugs.
I'm not the same woman I was with Chuck and I worry sometimes that he might now know me were he able to come back to me. But then I think, oh, yes, he'd know me in a way that he knew me for 24 years. He knew me better than I know myself and that's why he set me on this Odyssey of Love in the first place. There was no way for him to tell how it would play out, but he damn well knew (because he loved me so), that this is exactly how I'd create a new life without him.
I have no idea when this Odyssey will be done and I don't even think about it. All I know is that I'm on my way to Tampa and Camp Widow and that I have been embraced and supported along the way and...period.
Grief and Love and, oh yes, PinkMagic as my chariot~