I did something today that I thought I would never do. I bought flowers for a woman that was not my wife. Don't get me wrong, if you know me, you'd be congratulating me. Maybe.
I had bought flowers for my wife many times, even had them delivered to her at her workplace and she loved them. I still buy her flowers. But now I have bought flowers for another woman.
I don't know if my wife's family would appreciate the sentiment. Or for that matter, the purchase. They'd probably say I was sullying her memory. (But they think that already.)
You see, my wife of 34 years left me for Heaven last year. She died of Esophageal Cancer, leaving me completely alone.
Many friends and family would offer me the platitudes of consolation, and go so far as to tell me that if I needed anything to let them know, but how in the hell could they give me what I needed?
I didn't really know it then, but I needed to know that I would be alright, I needed to know that there was a future, I needed someone to look me in the eyes and tell me that it was going to be okay,
to let me know that someone cared, that someone loved me.
For nearly 34 years, I was her husband, her caretaker, her best friend, and she was all this and more to me. Her departure from this plain of existence left me void.
I had no purpose anymore. My job provided income to sustain us, but now, there was no us. My joy was to see her in the evening, my life revolved around her...
but now she was gone, irretrievably, irrevocably gone. I felt as if my heart had been torn from my chest and thrown to a place where I would never find it again.
Life was now just an endless pursuit of paying bills.
And God? Don't even start. I am tired of hearing that she is in a better place. I wanted her here.
Then someone would say that I wouldn't want her here if she were suffering the way that she was, setting my mind reeling in hostile thoughts.
How on Earth can somebody be THAT idiotic?
I only wish that I had the courage to look them in the eye and scream out "Of course not! I don't want her suffering on the planet as she lives with me! You Moron!
I want her here, and well, and alive, and happy! All those things that she really wanted to be here!"
And He had the power to keep all this from happening, to have given us a better position in life, to have made it so that things would have been better for us.
I am an intelligent man, but I was never able to figure out just how to make that pay off, to make anything more than enough to skate by in life and pay the bills.
After the factory closed, I could barely do even that. And why? I will probably never know.
In the Bible, Job demanded an audience with God, and when He showed, God basically asks Job who he thinks he is.
He shows Job all the things that He is, and then asks Job who he is. and Job says nothing.
I know, there is a reason for everything...I am tired of that one too.
We can't know what the reason is...really.
Surprise! No help.
There is little that anyone, even God could say or do that would bring me satisfaction in this, and I think I have heard it all.
So much for consolation from friends and relatives.
But the happy thing is that here, 10 months out. no one says anything anymore.
But the happy thing is that here, 10 months out. no one says anything anymore. No one.
But the happy thing is that here, 10 months out. no one says anything anymore. No one. Anything.
But the happy thing is that here, 10 months out. no one says anything anymore. No one. Anything. Really.
They think nothing of it. With the exception of her sisters, who no doubt remember from time to time, there is no remembrance, no consolation, no sorrow.
For everyone else, life went on, and they feel that for me, and anyone else associated with her,
For everyone else, life went on, and they feel that for me, and anyone else associated with her, the same is true.
In fact, they expect it from me. And they are somewhat disillusioned by me being anything less than who I was before her illness.
Her sisters will comment on social media when I post something that speaks to my missing her, but in my mind, they are simply reminded of her passing. Perhaps I am wrong.
Perhaps the cruises, the vacations and all the various fun activities they participate in are a method of escaping the remembrance that she is no longer with us.
Perhaps they are as destroyed by this as I am on a daily basis,
Perhaps they are as destroyed by this as I am on a daily basis, every second of every day,
Perhaps they are as destroyed by this as I am on a daily basis, every second of every day, unable to sleep,
Perhaps they are as destroyed by this as I am on a daily basis, every second of every day, unable to sleep, to eat, or even breathe
Perhaps they are as destroyed by this as I am on a daily basis, every second of every day, unable to sleep, to eat, or even breathe without the knowledge that I am utterly alone.
And now, it is Christmas time. As I write this, it is December 22, 2017. The 23rd will mark the 10th month since her passing.
And the world around me, caught up in the Joy and Gaiety of the celebrations, does not seem to understand why it is that I do not participate with them. Some I think, are put off by it.
Thinking that I am going "too far" with my grief, that I should be over it by now.
But for us, the widowed, the ones that were left behind, we know why.
There isn't anything that compares to the love that one experiences at Christmas, and there is no love like that from your spouse. And the empty chair speaks volumes.
The grief, the loneliness, the silence... they drown us. Your happiness over the holidays is no match for the sadness within us.
The festivities have no meaning without love, they hold no joy without their warmth to heal us.
Why do we look back at it? Because there is nothing for us in the now. The future can look just as dark, just as foreboding as the now that we live in.
We can only look back at the memories, hoping that they will last, trusting that one day, they will be kind.
Or hoping that one day, another love will mitigate the pain of loss.
That brings me to the flowers. Yes, I am in love. She is a marvel of a woman, the same age as I, strong and kind, beautiful and humble. Rare in this day and age.
A widow herself, we understand and connect on so many levels. This relationship with her is simply amazing to me.
So despite the fact that I had already given her a Christmas gift, I sent her flowers today. It made her day. And that meant more to me than you could possibly know.
Perhaps that future is brighter than I realize after all.
Thanks for reading my first publication. Wish us luck as we go forward!