Summer Has a Feel ...

Summer has a feel,

for all who love it's rays

of sunshine 

family vacations 

lounging by the pool

warm nights with just a twist

of warm breezes. 


Ice-cream dripping 

down the cone, 

car rides with the top down, 

and tunes blasting. 

Carefree and endless guilt-free hours, 

sipping on tall iced-teas. 


Summer has a feel

of drive-in movies

and walking the dog

in the park

with Italian ices or lemonades,

to stay cool. 

Staying up late,

road trips and reunions,

graduation parties 

and weddings. 

Flip-flops and 

water parks


looking at the stars. 




And summer has a feel, 

for those of us who know

that summers are no longer

what they used to be,

what they always were, 

before death stole that 

carefree life. 


Summer has a feel

of guilty nights ,

not sleeping ,

having nightmares, 

counting down the days and hours, 

remembering all the time that was,

the time that existed,

in the moments and minutes and months

before they died. 


I can feel it in the air, 


That humid hot air,

that instantly takes me back,

to the day he died,

and the 95 degree heat. 

The heat 

that would burn 

into my memory,

and sting into my eyes.

The sweltering hot air at his funeral,

causing one of the Air Force men

holding the flags,

to faint, 

and a room filled with EMS workers 

and nurses

and doctors

all reacted,

as my husband's supervior joked: 

"Are there any paramedics here?"

These are the kinds of memories

that I have

surrounding summer. 

Choosing a coffin,

or the funeral director handing me my wedding ring,

off my husband's hand, 

and saying,

"He can't take it with him. It belongs with you." 

Or how my husband, 

looked nothing like my husband,

lying there

in that box. 

Or how I felt nauseous 

and kept getting sick

at the thought of returning 

to our apartment,

and leaving him there,

in that box. 

These are my thoughts

of summer. 


Right around now, 

it starts. 


The first days of summer. 

My body starts to feel shaky 

and worn, 

and my neck and back is extra achey,

the muscles just knowing,

that he will be soon be dead,





it happened eight years ago,

but each time these months 

roll around,

the pieces of time that existed

before his sudden death,

get re-lived,

and analyzed,

and broken down, 

and looked at with a microscope,

to try and find any new clues, 

to the many unanswered questions,

that all lead to the inevitable. 

That constant beat 

of the drum 

that is death.



July 13th. 

I woke up,

and the new reality has already happened. 

He is dead. 

He was perfectly fine, 

and then,

he was dead. 

And I,

was forever changed, 

and my heart,

was forever different,

and I wont ever stop asking myself


What could I have done?

Why didnt I know?

Did he know? 

Was he struggling more than he led on? 

Could I have been a better wife? 

Could he have lived

another 5 years

or 10? 


The drumbeat

that is death,

never stops. 

It takes breaks,

it slows down,

it goes on hiatus for awhile. 

But it never stops. 


And in these days and weeks,

leading up to that awful morning, 

that drumbeat is louder,

and it pounds

like a migraine

stabbing into the heart. 


The families smile, 

and the children giggle 

and splash in the ocean, 

and the world lives brightly

in the Sunshine.

And my darkness,

has only

just begun. 


Summer has a feel ..... 


Showing 4 reactions

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  • Karen Lawrence
    commented 2019-06-30 19:48:36 -0700
    7 years in August for me. I have summers off (public school elementary music teacher) and used to love summer vacation. While I’m glad to have the time off to recharge, most of the joy is gone. Doesn’t help that our wedding anniversary is in July. There’s so much I need to get done around the house and yard but I find myself still overwhelmed/paralyzed because there used to be two of us to handle everything. Ugh.
  • Beverly Dozier
    commented 2019-06-26 22:11:48 -0700
    He went in for heart valve replacement surgery. We joked as we crossed the parking lot at dawn. We knew this would give us another 10 or 15 years together. We had already had 50 years. I only gave him a breezy wifely peck as he was wheeled away to surgery. Laughing that this was only his second time in the hospital – the first when he was born. Things went horribly wrong during surgery. He died in my arms at 1:45 the next morning and I walked alone across the parking lot near dawn, sobbing. June 21 was the one month anniversary of his death. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and meaningful writing. It is as though you read my mind.
  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2019-06-22 13:52:23 -0700
    Im so sorry Bonnie, for all you are going through. My husband died at work. They found him collapsed on the floor at his volenteer job an hour after he got there. I woke up to a ringing phone from the hospital telling me to get there right away, that they had my husband. They wouldnt tell me anything else. I took that cab alone and when I got to the ER, they told me that he was rushed from work to them and he didnt make it. Im so sorry for what we all go through… the guilt, the horrible images, the missing… alll of it. Its so hard. Please take care of yourself and thank you for sharing some of your story with me.
  • Bonnie Rozean
    commented 2019-06-21 21:33:03 -0700
    Thank you Kelly. Part of your beautifully sad story is mine also

    I woke up on March 28th of this year…

    Something felt different, off, I couldn’t put my finger on it until I went into the living room and saw my husband sitting on the couch when he would have normally been on his way to or at work… unresponsive, the call to 911, my feeble attempt at CPR, no journey to the hospital for Jeff and I, only a trip to the morgue for him…

    and the new reality has already happened.

    He is dead.

    He was perfectly fine,

    and then,

    he was dead.

    And I,

    was forever changed,

    and my heart,

    was forever different,

    and I wont ever stop asking myself


    What could I have done?

    Why didnt I know?

    Did he know?

    Was he struggling more than he led on?

    Could I have been a better wife?

    Could he have lived

    another 5 years

    or 10?

    Today would have been our 44th wedding anniversary. And now my new nightmarish reality is counting the days since he died. I take guilty solace in knowing I am not alone.

    Thanks for letting me share.