In every store you visit the shelves are lined with colorful, foil wrapped chocolate bunnies. They stand neatly organized in the aisles, adorned with ribbons and bows. At first glance, these holiday treats catch your eye because they look shiny and decadent. But, things aren't as they appear. We know the bunnies are hollow inside even though they look substantial. I am a lot like these chocolate Easter bunnies. I appear to have my life together. I look solid. But, the reality is that inside I feel empty.
This may come off as slightly dramatic, but it is the truth. After over 16 months, my life looks shiny and newly restored. Outwardly, things have remained stable and solid. In many ways I am a vision of widowed success. I returned to a good career, I still have the house, the car, and the kids. On the outside, the condition of my life looks good. Aside from Mike's death, my life may even be enviable to some; but things are not as they appear. Like the aesthetically pleasing chocolate bunnies, I look to be well dressed and professionally presented; but, inside me there is something lacking. Inside of me, in my Soul, the landscape is sterile. I am hollow inside like the foil bunnies. On the inside of me there is 'nothing'. Where there used to be unbridled joy there is now emptiness.
It’s official. We signed the lease this week, my boyfriend and I, for the house we will occupy for the next year. I’ve decided to only think that far ahead, and it’s made it a little easier. Because it’s a huge transition, moving from the house I shared with my late husband for so many years.
It’s also not a huge transition. I’m only moving, literally, up the block. And we have plenty of time to make the move, since my current house will be available for a couple more months. I’m going to move a few things at a time and do the big move after I’m back in Kona from my visit back east with family for Christmas.
So, today, December 18th, is the 10 year anniversary of my husband Don asking me to marry him, on a 23 degree windy Sunday evening, exactly one week before Christmas. Knowing my obsession with the Christmas holiday and the the entire season, he took me to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, got down on one knee in front of hundreds of total strangers and clapping tourists, and said: "Kelley, you are my best friend. Will you make me even happier and please also be my wife?" My fingers were so cold, I had to put my mittens back on right after he put the ring on my finger. Then I would take the mittens off, stare at the ring, then put them on again. We giggled and kissed and held each other, and then sat down at the nearby cafe that cornered the famous skating rink, and drank celebatory hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream. It was the kind of proposal that only happens in movies. But it happened to me.Read more