I’m sitting in a coffee shop that is brimming with hustle and bustle and holiday cheer. And, amid all the merriment and the hum of constant conversation I am realizing, for the thousandth time, how very detached I’ve become.
Sitting here alone at my table, I put in my earphones, then I cranked up my music because I just can’t listen to the idle conversations that are going on around me. I had to drown the sound of their voices out before the ridiculousness of it all swallowed me whole.
I don’t care.
I’m different now that I’ve had to outlive him. I won’t apologize for how I’ve put myself back together. I’ve survived. I’ve been forced to reinvented myself. And, I’m changed for better and worse.
Now, I don’t give a damn about petty things.
Weak minded drivel does not hold my attention.
I care about heartfelt things.
Big, bold ideas make me lean in and listen harder.
Weighty thoughts consume me.
Passionate feelings fill my heart.
I like my laughter genuine.
I like good conversation that goes long past the midnight hour.
I like how the pages of old books feel in my tired hands.
Quotations speak to my Soul.
These days I look at paintings for longer than I should.
And, by comparison, I barely glance up at the people who pass by me.
I feel separate and apart from those around me. I’m not like them anymore. And, our differences are even more pronounced during the holidays. It can’t be helped. Mike’s death exposed me to a sorrow I didn’t previously know. I'm not particularly jolly right now. Tis the season of sadness for me and a lot of people who live without people they love.
I’m not your average middle aged woman. And, to be perfectly clear, I don’t look down on the “normal” people around me; but, I do look up at the sky a lot more now. My gaze isn’t fixed where others look. They look ahead. They look toward the future. I don’t do that anymore. I look up now. And, when I gaze upward, into the beyond, I wonder stuff. Both big stuff and dumb stuff. I spend a lot of time lost in my thoughts in order to find myself.
There have been many nights that I’ve taken my glass of wine outside and sky searched.
I’m searching for something.
Anything... Traces of him.
I am seeking Mike somewhere out there in the vast beyond.
Part of me is hoping to find him.
Part of me is hoping to find me.
*Sigh. This is heavy stuff.
I just can’t do regular anymore.
The truth is, maybe I never could.
I feel completely out of place in my life.
I do not fit comfortably into suburbia without him.
And, I don’t want to find my groove in the shadows of my old life.
I don’t want to live an ordinary life.
All of these thoughts ricochet around in my mind.
I’m constantly off kilter, lost in my thoughts.
For the last three years, I exist with an endless restlessness inside me.
There is no calm.
There is no bright.
This is my fourth Christmas without Mike. I am "okayish" compared to my first three Christmas seasons as a widow. But, for me, the holidays are not what they used to be. And, what bothers me most is that I realize I will now never celebrate another Christmas without a tinge of heaviness in my heart. No matter what life I recreate, there will always be a smidge of hollowness to the holidays. I will always miss Mike; and, at Christmas time, I miss him just a little bit more. Throughout the day, I hold Mike tenderly in my thoughts while all the hustle and bustle goes on around me. In my mind it is just us, and that is fine by me. Merry Christmas Mikey.
And, Merry Christmas to you and yours,