Saturday, January 29, 2011

The sale

The sale went extremely well and we sold many items.
I'm very tired and I know a lot of that is emotional but I held up better than I thought I would. I only had to leave a few times and I didn't break down as often as I thought I would.
And not once did I grab something out of someone's hand and yell "No, you can't have that." :>) although I did take a few items out of sale when I saw them go on the table. So many items have such memories for me; it was hard to see them go.
There was one item in particular - a floor jack - that makes a distinctive sound as it rolls across the floor. I associate that sound with John. I would hear it so much as he worked in the garage.
It went to a very nice young man who came with his little son in a stroller. He put the jack aside and then came back without the baby to pay for it. As he took it away he just turned and said "I will give it a good home." I don't know what possessed him to say that but it meant so much to me to hear that. I feel good knowing that jack that John used so much is with this man now and he will enjoy using it as much as John did.
I have to think that John is pleased that his tools are with people who will use and enjoy them and that I can put the money to good use.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The upcoming garage sale

This Saturday I am having a garage sale to sell John's tools and other items from the garage. Going through them the past two weeks and tagging them, deciding what to keep, what to sell, has been brutal. Every time I put a sticker on something, my heart broke. How can I put a price on a tool that he held, a saw that he used to make things for us, a wrench that he used to fix our home? It feels almost sacrilegious. In my heart, I know if he were here he would tell me to sell everything and do something for myself with the money but it's more than the money.These tools are the heart and soul of what he did for us, how he cared for us, how he loved us.
I just don't know how I am going to get through the day watching his things walk away forever. I've organized the sale, I've put the notice in the paper, I've told people - and I want to call it all off. I want to scream it was a mistake. They can't have his things. Not ever. I'm not ready.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What is missing

A friend who also lost her life mate wrote in her blog today
>>>his smile when I told him good news or his commiseration at bad news or his laugh at silly news grounded me, and made everything more vibrant.<<<
This is exactly IT. Without that one person who matters the most to share things with, everything loses its luster. Nothing matters. No thing.
Everything is better when it's shared and when it's shared with your soul mate,the love of your life,  no matter what it is, it's better. Worries are easier to bear and sometimes evaporate altogether. Scary things are less scary and even seem silly when both of you are holding on to each other. And happy things are just the best things ever when they are shared.
Today marks eight months since John has gone and I still feel raw, still feel broken, still feel as if my life ended that day, too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

They are just things - but they are not

This week I have started to go through the garage - organizing old car parts that John was working on and going through his tools in preparation for sale. It's very very hard.
John's spirit and his essence is all over the place.
And I know it's not true and it's not rational but I feel bad doing this. I feel like I am betraying him, like I am erasing him.
What if he comes back and wants to know where his stuff is?
I know that's not going to happen but it's what I feel.
And then to see things that he labeled and put aside, things that he was in the middle of doing and now won't finish. It just makes me unbelievably sad.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

So many memories

I have been slowly getting all our old videos and having them transcribed onto DVD to preserve them. I have also been going through my mother-in-law's old movies and tapes and transcribing those as well to preserve them for her. I thought we would watch them together and enjoy all the old memories.
It's so bittersweet for me, though. On the one hand, I love having all these images of my love to look at and treasure but on the other hand it is so sad to know this is all I have of him now.
I look at some videos that are literally almost forty years old and I see the man I first met and fell in love with and I remember what the first feelings of love were like. Then I see the more recent ones and I see the man I grew to love more and more with each day and my heart aches to see him again, to hear his laugh, to feel his touch.
There are days I get scared because I fear I will forget what he looked like, what he sounded like and then I see one of these DVD's and it all comes back. I remember and I am happy and I remember and I am sad.

Friday, January 7, 2011

All is Well

All Is Well

"Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.  All is well."    
-Henry Scott Holland

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trying to make something out of this

I've always been a planner. Always looked forward to the next challenge, the next event, the next fun thing to do with my Baby. Now, the days slide into each other and I feel so adrift. No anchor. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing has any meaning. This is foreign territory to me.
John always told me things happen just the way they are supposed to. It's hard for me to believe that right now. I struggle every day. But because I trust him, I am trying to learn.
So this new year I am trying to see if I can find some gift, some blessing I can hold on to.
I have been given the gift of friends and friendship.
I have been given the gift of learning to take things as they come and plan less.
I have been given the gift of not taking life and myself so seriously.
I have been given the gift of gratitude. Gratitude for the life we shared, the love we were blessed with. The gift of a mate so perfect that I felt almost perfect too. No, he was not a perfect person. None of us are. But he was perfect for me. I could not have become the person I am now had it not been for him.
I have been given the gift of fearlessness in the face of death. I welcome it now and that has freed me to see life in a different way.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year - and a lesson from the old

I can't say I hold out much hope for 2011. It's not that I am a pessimist. I am sure 2011 will bring good things to many people, perhaps even me. But I have learned many things from 2010. The most important thing was "don't plan". Don't assume things are going to turn out a certain way, don't assume you will have more time with loved ones and friends, don't assume you will get even get another minute to do anything.
But it's a good lesson.
I am learning not to put things off. I have learned that every moment is precious. I have learned that the time is now to say I love you or can I help you. I have learned that I can't take anything for granted. The chance to be with someone or to do a good deed is fleeting. Grab it when you can. Don't assume the chance will come again. It may not.
Life can change in an instant. It did for me. One night I went to bed assuming John and I were going to be going home the next morning - back to our life, back to our furchildren, back to being together for ever and ever. I awoke mere hours later to all that being over - forever.
I am still learning what that means for me, trying to understand what it means to not have John physically with me in this earthly life. It's something that will probably take me the rest of my life to fully understand. But one thing I do understand now is that life is short. No matter how long it is, it is never long enough when someone you love is gone from you. One of the few things that makes it bearable for me is knowing that John and I always appreciated the life we had together. We loved our life together and we knew we were blessed to have each other. It's a lesson I want to apply to my relationships with others. It's a lesson well learned.