Superbowl Sunday and a Brand New Life

The year was 2005, and it was a cold day in February. 

I looked out the window of my New Jersey apartment, which sat on the Hudson River. NYC looked back at me. 

I put the coffee pot on, and started making the meatballs and sauce. My Nana Mary's lasagna recipe, with bow tie pasta and meatballs and ribs on the side. 

I had made it for Don the first time we met in person, about 3 years after we began talking in that music chat trivia room. 

He had flown all the way from Florida to Jersey, to meet me, to stay with me for a few days, to fall in love. 

I took him into my apartment on that day, and we sat at my kitchen table and shared our first meal together. 

That was the first time he said to me: "My Boo makes the bestest food ever! I could get used to this!" 


So, here I was , a few years later, making it again, in anticipation of his arrival. 

Except this time, I would not have to say goodbye at the end of a few days. 

This time, he was staying. 

Don Shepherd was moving in with me on that day. 

He had his whole life inside that Penske truck that was attached to his 1997 Grand Prix car - 

soon he would be pulling up onto my street, and emptying out everything he owned out of that truck and into my small apartment. 

Soon, my small apartment would become "our" small apartment. 

His cat Isabelle that sat in his lap while he drove, would become "our" cat. 

Soon, we would begin our life together. 

It was Superbowl Sunday,

and the start of a brand new life. 


Our friends were there, helping to lift boxes and entertainment centers and Don's recliner chair and Isabelle's stool she liked to sleep on. 

Boxes and piles took over my living room, and I was not scared. 

I remember that I wasnt scared. 

Standing there amongst the chaos and the stuff, 

I felt calm. 

I felt peace. 

I felt loved. 

It was Superbowl Sunday, 

and I had finally found my person. 


Fast-forward a few years later. 

The piles and the stuff were there,

but for a different reason. 

Don was dead. 

He was dead, and I was also dead, 

but in a different way. 

I was dead, except I had to keep living anyway. 

I had put his things in some boxes,

and piles were taking over the living room. 

Standing amongst the ruins, 

I was terrified. 

I was numb. 

I was very much alone. 

Its amazing how the exact same piles and boxes and stuff

that brought me comfort and mde me feel loved, 

were now making me feel nauseous and filled with despair. 

How cruel, 

to be forced to stand 

in my own living room,

and be surrounded by a life that no longer existed. 

But I existed. 

I didnt want to,

but I did. 

There were bills to pay and work to go to and kitties to be fed,

and life to crawl through. 

It was Superbowl Sunday, 

and the life I knew was gone. 


Years later. I moved out of our apartment. I kept lots of his things, including that stupid recliner. 

I live in a different state. I have a different job. I speak to people and I write about loss and death and grief. 

I make widowed people laugh. 

I wrote and published a book. 

Im getting my Real Estate license. 

Im in my parents home, temporarily. 

I have a boyfriend now. 

He is incredibly kind and funny and very different from Don. 

And yet, I feel they are somehow connected. 

I feel that one brought me to the other, 

and we are all pieces of each other's story. 

Life is good, 

and sad, 

and beautiful, 

and precious, 

and totally unfair and way too short, 

especially for those who don't get to live it very long. 

My boyfriend and I are making plans in our hearts,

for our future together. 

Talking about moving in someday, 

taking care of each other, 

the way that partners do. 

Sharing dreams and boxes and space and meals together. 


In just one day, 

it is Superbowl Sunday, 

and the beginning of another life adventure. 

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Karen Lawrence
    commented 2019-02-03 19:59:12 -0800
    So beautifully said. Until I read your book I was feeling like something was wrong with me for still feeling the way I do six and a half years later. Most books, articles, etc. only cover the first year and I was beginning to question my sanity. Thank you for sharing so honestly.
  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2019-02-03 18:59:00 -0800
    Again’ such to the point’ clear, emotional and touching description of the new world of a widow ….
    Thank you for not making me feel alone and abandoned ’ during my recent transition to widowhood …

  • Linda Keeling
    commented 2019-02-01 20:28:43 -0800
    I so get this…So many pieces and parts of my other life have collided with my current life and my new husband… If I let myself think about it… Rather overthink about it… I can feel so overwhelmed with guilt… then complacency then peace….
    Thanks for sharing