Thursday, June 22, 2017

Even the sound of his voice is precious to me

While cleaning out my John's desk a while ago, I found a couple of old cassette tapes that his mother had recorded many years ago. They were of John playing the guitar and singing some old folk songs. The recording was from January 1969. The quality of the recording wasn't very good - it was a recording of a recording. John had been singing for a group of residents at a convalescent home so it was probably in their day room and the acoustics were not the best.

But still it was gold to me. It was my John and he was singing. John serenaded me often in our early years. And he had a very good voice. He had won awards in talent shows and had actually once been the opening act for Judy Collins back in the day when she had appeared back east at some venue.

I know the recording means absolutely nothing to anyone else but I am so glad I have this. I spent yesterday morning making a digital copy of the tapes using my iPad and then transferring the files to my computer and then to Dropbox on my phone so I can carry them around with me and listen to them whenever I want.

At one point while I was making my copies, the tape unraveled in the machine but with the utmost care I was able to salvage it with no ill effects. I'm sure some people today have no idea what that even means.

The last couple of days have been rough with some family issues and I have been missing John a lot and having a grief surge. Hearing him sing again has been a blessing.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Loving message from John

On Friday I was part of a group reading given by my friend who is a medium - Susanne Wilson, known as the Carefree Medium. I have known Susanne for years and she even wrote the Foreword to my book. She is a talented and compassionate woman.
Anyway, John came through and one of the messages he gave was that he was going to send me a special song, probably on my way home.
John often does that so I looked forward to it. As I drove home I turned on Pandora. In my heart, I just knew it was going to be the third song and it was.
It was "I'm Yours" a beautiful song by Jason Mraz [the Pandora version was sung by a different group but the message was the same. It was the song that mattered].


Monday, June 5, 2017

A good moment in time

I dreamt about John last night. It wasn't a visit. Just a dream. But for a little while, the world was right again and there was no sadness.
It felt good.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A happier time

7 years ago today John and I shared our last day together on this earth, this time around.

 Surrounded by loving family.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shredding/shedding/renewing

There is a myth that has been perpetuated for years that we replace all the cells in a human body every 7 years. It's not true. Or rather, to be more accurate, that is partially true
Cells are replaced in our body at various rates of turnover. And some cells - the neurons in our brains - are never replaced.
But it's a nice romantic thought that we can be born anew every few years. Which begs the question - why can I not lose these 10 pounds? But that's a story for another day.
Yet, this theory, flawed as it is, does add some romanticism to the number 7 and change.
And so I find myself coming up on the 7th anniversary of John's death and looking for the magical renewal. I can't say that it has happened although I do feel that I have come a long way from the person I was almost 7 years ago when I awoke on the saddest day of my life.
I've learned a lot - about grief and myself. Being a widow was not something I contemplated on May 23rd. But on May 24th that is what I was.
I have grown into this unwanted role and attempted to come to peace with it. It has not been easy.
One of the things I struggled with most was realizing and accepting that John was not coming home ever again. For a long time I didn't want to change anything - not one thing - in the house. It was as if my brain and my heart were afraid he would return and wonder where things were, where his stuff was. And truth be told, I needed to pretend that was the case. To do any less would have invited madness.
But time does heal. Slowly.
And so finally this past month I was able to take on the monumental task of transforming John's office into a space I could occupy.
John had turned the bonus room off our bedroom - a small room with no door, just an archway - into his own little room, complete with oak rolltop desk, bookcases, computer, etc. It wasn't pretty but it was functional and it was his own space to do with as he pleased.
After he died, I couldn't even bear to go into it. Just being in there for even a few minutes gave me physical symptoms and I would have to leave.
So the room became a catch-all place for stuff and gradually became really unsightly.
My solution was to put a screen across the doorway and not look.
But I knew someday I would be able to fix all that.
And now as the magic 7 approached, I decided the time was now.
So for the past few weeks I have been sorting, and throwing away, and going through.
I made 15 boxes of paperwork to be shredded. I am having a company come to the house to shred all that for me this week.
I threw away a lot of junk. 
I took his desk chair for my own so now I can sit where he sat.
I cleaned.
And now it’s done.
It’s going to be a reading/meditation room.
Yesterday I smudged it. I bought some new pieces to put in there – a chair, a rug, a cabinet to house my crystals and singing bowls. I hung my Indian chime bells.
The cats and I are enjoying the space once again. I feel close to John in the room. His desk is still there - it's behind the screen. But I can read and meditate here and just be. 
I think John would approve.