Chuck and I sold our home in NJ in May 2009 to go out on the road and travel our country together.
No more rat race for us.
Just time together.
We had just shy of 4 years on the road together.
He died April 21, 2013.
11:21 pm is when he took his last breath.
In so many ways, I did too.
Take my last breath, I mean.
My breathing hasn't been the same since the hands of the clock ticked to 11:21 and froze.
At the end of May, this year, I'll have been on the road alone for 6 years.
10 since I lived in a home with Chuck.
I've had more time on the road alone than he and I did together, in our Happily Homeless time.
Over the years I've frequently been grateful, in a very consuming way, that we didn't have a home for me to return to after his death.
It would have been impossible to keep our home, financially and emotionally.
I know it would have been too painful for me to wander around the rooms and the beautiful yard, with all the memories.
And the very thought of having to sell all our stuff, appraise the house, sell it, all on my own, without him, sends me into panic mode.
So I'm glad I didn't have to do that.
My dear friend/wid sister, Lorri, and I have had numerous conversations about how, after our person dies, we oftentimes end up living a life that is no longer ours.
Sometimes we have to stay put because we have kids/family/responsibilities.
But sometimes, too, we stay where we are because we don't know we can go somewhere else. Live somewhere else. Create a different life for ourselves.
And our old lives just don't fit us any longer.
I've a few friends...Lorri is one of them...who have decided to explore a life living on the road, same as I'm doing.
A couple of them are widowed. One, a guy, is just tired of living life in the mainstream.
RVs, trailers, camper vans, conversion vans, tents, cars...there's an entire subset of people living full time in various vehicles, working along the way.
I never want to own a house again. Ever.
I don't want the responsibility and I don't want to settle somewhere Chuck isn't.
If he's anywhere in this life of mine now, it's out there in our memories of the road and I meet him unexpectedly at road side picnic tables, rushing rivers, and strangers along the way who approach me to hear my story wow look at all that pink!
This widowed life of mine, coming up on 6 years way too soon, is a life of contradictions, duality and, well, just surreal.
How the ever loving fuck is he not here with me?
I just finished working my 2nd year at the Renaissance Faire, and, on the 22, one day after Chuck's 6th anniversary, I'm heading east to Arkansas to work for my 3rd year at the opera camp, where I'm the groundskeeper.
I don't know where I fit in this life without Chuck. Mostly I don't think about it. I just live it.
What I do know is that when I sit inside my rig, PinkMagic, and gaze upon the pictures of he and I through our years, or read the notes he wrote to me, now covering the walls, I feel as close to home as I expect I'll ever feel.
In this world without Chuck, where nothing is enough, it's enough for me.
It's my cocoon, and wraps me in memory.
It's my world~