There are so many things I used to take for granted. Often Himself would say things like “let’s go to Savannah and get some crab legs” or “Let’s ride over to (wherever) and look at/do (whatever)”. If it weren’t for him, likely I would have stayed right here in my own small world and shrunk into one of those people who doesn’t see much beyond the boundaries of our 1/3 acre yard. Not that I fear going out, I don’t. I tend to think in terms of what needs to be done, rather that what possibilities exist.
He traveled a lot with work. Europe, Mexico, California, Maine…he went all over the place. For a South Georgia Small Town Boy who didn’t like flying coach because he was 6’3″, he flew a lot and there were a bunch of stamps in his passport. He found something to enjoy everywhere he went, too. A lot of time was spent in Birmingham, England, industrial stuff. He would go into a pub, and order whatever the person in front of him ordered. He learned that, for some reason, most things that weren’t meat were mashed. Like mushy made with cream and herbs and shit, according to the person he ordered them from. Also that dark beer really was better room temperature. He told this story of one of his drivers, assigned to him by the company…Himself asked if he could get a beer on Sunday (you know, Southern Blue Laws are powerful forces) and the driver stopped the car in the middle of the road and turned to look at him, saying “IS THAT EVEN A QUESTION?” So Himself explained, and the driver glared at him and asked “Do you really think you’re saving a man’s soul by denying him a beer one day a week?” Thus, Himself reveled in his brown beer and bangers-and-mash that Sunday afternoon.
All this to say, Himself knew I loved to get out and around but was unlikely to instigate the traveling on my own. Agnes McCalvinox has always been here, and he knew of her. He disapproved and sought to convince me to do impractical things like drive 3 hours to Atlanta to look at stuff. I often think he would have rather been doing other things, but he knew how much fun I had smelling the foods at The DFM and looking at the Dale Chihuly installations at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and fingering the incredible fabrics at GailK’s.
Now I have to be the one to do that and…it’s not very easy. however, friends are helping. I made a comment recently about wanting crab legs (Himself somehow knew that intuitively and would announce that We Were Going To Savannah for just such a thing), and a friend said ME TOO LET’S RIDE TO SAVANNAH IN YOUR CONVERTIBLE. I was like…uh. Ok when? Which, for me, was a HUGE step, just taking that “me too” and turning it into solid plans. The thinking with all this started yesterday, when a friend talked about going to San Francisco and seeing $5 buckets of crab meat. I thought “oh, I love crab!” then thought “Oh crap, Himself is always the one I went with. Who am I going to eat crabs legs with now?” eating them by yourself is sad, because all that cracking and picking means there’s time for conversation. #4 is violently allergic to shellfish, so I don’t even take him into a seafood restaurant anymore.
Other friends do things like find a house on Fripp Island for really cheap, and offering a mountain house for a few days in July. It’s like, they’re filling in this one small hole that wasn’t as small as I thought it was, and I know they’re not thinking of it that way, but it is happening.
Now, Agnes is pretty sure I am being irresponsible, somehow. All this fun surely can’t be good for a person in the long run. And yet, I can’t figure out her logic. Usually when someone admonishes me about something I can find the logic in their thinking but right now it seems more like the devil is trying to bust my bubble.
I am trying to make sure #4 has some fun as well. He turned 16 recently and wants a party of some sort. We are working on that. I also want him to take a friend or two to the beach for a day, so we’re working on that as well. He needs to take his driver’s test but all the excitement of the last couple of months have set back the time frame, especially since Himself was the one tasked with teaching #4 to drive. I think we will go out this afternoon and work over the list.
You never really even think of how connected you are to your spouse, until he’s gone. Suddenly you aren’t having conversations in the morning, or blowing off the day’s responsibilities to do something fun with him on a Saturday….here I am, it’s Saturday now and right now he would be still asleep, catching up on rest and I’d be putting together something tasty for breakfast and contemplating a blow-the-day-off idea if he didn’t have to go into work (which normally he did, but in the event of that rare unicorn of a day off, perhaps we could do something fun). Instead of that, I am going to have brunch with a friend and get to see her wonderful new kitchen! Fill up that lonely time, laugh a bit, maybe make a plan for some later date.
I still haven’t gotten to the point of being able to think of him without feeling sad, but I do so love to talk about him, remember things we did…How can I not? My entire adult life (we married when I was 21) included HIM. Everything I did for the last 29 years, involved HIM somehow. I can’t talk about my history without HIM being a part of the conversation. I like that, too. I am grateful to my friends for not tip-toeing around it, for recognizing that HE is a part of me and talking about things I did will inevitably mean talking about him as well. I love that, having had him in my life. It still feels normal, and this new bit still feels strange. I still catch myself thinking “Oh, I need to show Himself this” and “I’ll be glad when he gets home so we can (whatever)” One of his coworkers told me some fabulous news and the first thing I nearly said was “Oh, Himself will be THRILLED!” and immediately remembered 2 things- that Himself would have known before I did, and that Himself wasn’t here to tell. So, I reminded myself (as I frequently do these days) about Hebrews 12:1-3,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
because Himself is a part of that cloud now, and knows all this stuff anyway. I also think he would be wanting me to get out of my personal bubble and DO STUFF. So I am.