I was warned by more than 1 person that the second year would be tough, possible more so than the first one. That first year is so busy, figuring everything out and signing paper, meeting with official people about nearly everything. I don’t think people are aware of how interconnected their lives are until they aren’t. All of the past year was spent trying to figure out how to do it all on my own, so there was so much brainwork to do and boy it was busy.
Now, though, everything is in place. All that stuff of households, the bills and the meals and car repairs, doctors and vet visits and ALL THE THINGS…all set in place and clicking along. I can do those things on my own now. I know where to take the car when it grunts disapprovingly. I know which attorney to go to when something scary comes in the mail, and how to shoot that compact .45 in case someone unwelcome threatens the household. I’ve never had to do it in such circumstances, thank God, and hopefully never will. I know where the bag of crescent, socket, and monkey wrenches is (are? bag is singular, wrenches is plural…)kept. And now that all is in order, the mental stuff kicks in.
Oh sure, it’s happened off and on for the past year, in between business and trips to Green Truck and the beach, but now that a year has passed and everything is in order, it happens and I can’t find an excuse to set it aside. And yes, I can comfort myself by saying things like “He’s in Heaven and happier than I can imagine” and “I’m in school now and headed down a whole new path” and so on, but that isn’t making 4a.m. any less lonely when the only things I can reach out and touch are either a pillow or a small curly dog. (and yes, he sleeps on the bed. Goodness knows it’s big enough for him and me, and by doing that he doesn’t leave a puddle on the bathroom floor at 2a.m.)
So yep, pretty darn lonely. And not in that “maybe if I get a boyfriend” sort of way, but lonely for this one particular person with whom I can share memories. I think maybe that’s one of the biggest issues. I was remembering a trip he and I took several years ago, that we drove from here to Amarillo, Texas, all on back roads, then got on Route 66 and drove up through Missouri. My word that trip was fun! And now, half the memories of it are gone. I don’t have anyone with whom I can say “remember that pie place in Vinita? And Big Brutus? and Pop’s in Arcadia? remember the biscuits in …oh what was the name of that little town….Quanah! Right!” He could always remember the stuff I couldn’t. Now who is going to fill in all my blanks?
I know, I have an opportunity to make a whole new set of memories. There’s a grandbaby now, and maybe more in the future. There’s a house being planned, school being gone to, plans for the boys’ futures. I’m living very differently now. More out-reaching than inward-staying. I can’t decide if that’s because that’s how I am, or because staying home is uncomfortable. Now that there’s no particular reason to stay home, no one else for whom I can do things (#4 is wildly independent now, what with a car and all), why not go to Savannah and buy bacon from Lucky’s? #4 isn’t going to be home until 7 anyway.
I guess it’s still a change thing. it takes more than a year to get used to the demise of a 30 year relationship. I’m still trying to figure out WHO I am, now that who I was is a was and not an is. I woke up at 4a.m. this morning (I was pretty sure the time change would fix that nonsense but apparently not. My clock is still Amish Dairy Farmer) and pondered on the past year, particularly the week Himself died, which cause me to start bawling, to the degree that the surly little dog became concerned and licked my ear. He’s a dachshund so you know it was bad, as they are not the most empathetic creatures. Once the hiccups stopped and I wiped my nose on the bedspread (I can do that now, there’s no one to complain.), a cup of hot coffee and Charles Spurgeon reminding me that God knows what sorrow feels like set things to rights.
So I’m ok now. The reminder that this is the path I’ve been put on, and for a very good reason (even if I don’t know what that is), and the knowledge (even though I need to be reminded of this as well) that Himself is quite busy up there, probably swapping woodworking ideas with Jesus, and learning to play the guitar, set me back on course. There is always a bit of a hangover after a solid cry…a headache and stiffness and an inability to think clearly for a while. But that’s ok too. It’s all part of it. Maybe God gave me that fog so I would remember to rely on Him for the guidance through it. Not being able to do anything but sit down and talk to Him about what’s going on gives me permission to do just that. Otherwise the powerful Protestant Work Ethic would beat me over the head and cause guilt for not working on the top for the file cabinet.