My Dearest Alex,
Today marks 11 months of your passing, and it still feels like it happened yesterday. I miss you greatly my love, but I wanted to write this love letter to thank you for all that you gave me. So I want to start by saying thank you for loving me unconditionally every day of your life. From the moment we met, to the last words you said to me, I always felt just pure love from you. Thank you for that.
Thank you for always making me feel so special, from writing me little notes to celebrating all of my accomplishments. You made me feel beautiful, even when I didn’t feel my best. Thank you for all the times you brought me flowers, made me chicken soup when I was sick, and for picking out the best shows to watch.
I thank you for holding me up when I felt I couldn’t stand. Thank you for wiping my tears and holding me through all of the peaks and valleys we walked through in the years we were together. Thank you for all the wonderful dinners, and the special things you did for me. Thank you for bringing so much laughter into my life, and for helping see life more beautiful.
I enjoyed all of our conversations whether deep or not and all of the games we played. I miss our late-night snacks, just laying in bed, and watching reruns of Seinfeld. We didn’t get to watch them all like we said we would. But I will finish watching them all for you.Read more
Just when I find myself moving along a little more effortlessly and thinking, "I'll be damned. I think I've got this handled" ... it happens. WHAM! Grief jumps out of nowhere and slams me so hard in the chest that I find myself gasping for breath and thinking, "What the fuck just happened there?" (Or, "what the heck just happened there?" Depends on how much you curse, I suppose. I enjoy the "F" word at times. It has more oomph.)
That's what happened to me this past week. I had a few really good days, in part because my friend Mary (who I met in San Diego at Camp Widow) came to visit. It was so nice to have adult company around who just "gets it." No explaining required. And it's not as though we spent our days sitting around crying about the fact that our husbands oh-so-rudely decided to up and die on us. On the contrary. We toured Vancouver and did the ride over Canada that I have been wanting to do for quite some time. We ate out (a lot) and watched a movie and just breathed. I loved it.
The nightmare in Vegas happened while Mary was here (did I mention that Mary is from Vegas?) and instead of losing my shit and thinking about all the terrible things that could happen in the future without Ben here, which I would normally do, I just sat with her while she made sure her loved ones were safe. They were. Thank God.
Eventually our visit came to an end and I took Mary to the airport and then drove myself back home. Alone. And that's when Grief came back to pay me another unexpected visit.
It has been an incredibly warm winter here in Ohio, one of the warmest on record. Christmas came and went with not only a lack of snow, but mud and rain; something we are not entirely used to in the waning days of the year. By no means is every Christmas white, but it is almost always cold.
I can remember the weather final few weeks of the year, and the first few of the next so vividly not because they fall around the holidays, but because on January 6th, 2011, I was pacing hurriedly around in the snow, trying to calm myself, as Megan received her double lung transplant. It has been a day of happiness ever since.
To briefly cover her backstory, on New Year’s day that year, in the late evening, Megan shuffled out to our kitchen, and blew her nose. Her lung collapsed. At 9:30 PM, I was calling 911, waking up our daughter, and watching my wife be put onto a stretcher. After an ambulance ride to the local hospital, and another to her primary hospital in Cleveland, she was stabilized. We sighed in relief, and hunkered down for another one of her month-long hospital stays.