Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Widow for One Year

Just over a year ago, on December 3, 2016, I said "goodbye" to my WunderGuy.

I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. In addition to all the stuff that goes along with losing someone: planning a memorial service, spending interminable hours waiting at Social Security, and getting one's financial ducks in some sort of row, the year included a whole cycle of Normal Stuff. Christmas. New Year's. C's fourteenth birthday. Eighth grade graduation. Spring. Dad's birthday. Summer vacation. C started high school. Fall. My birthday. Thanksgiving. And here we are. Full circle.

The year included some memorably good things:

*  Thanks to the marvels of modern medical technology, and the blessing of the Affordable Care Act which allows me to have decent insurance, a routine test that showed some abnormalities turned out *not* to be cancer or anything else majorly devastating. *Whew.*

*  I finally signed with an amazing agent who gets what I write, who likes what I write, and who thinks we will be mutually good for each other's business. (The moral of that story: sometimes you've got to be bull-headed enough to plod forward, even in crisis. You can't get to "yes" if you quit.)

*  I spent a wonderful, carefree day in Chicago with some of my very favorite people, including my lovely daughter who is literally growing up in front of my eyes. We saw "Hamilton," which every single person should do at least once in the next 12 months, if you ask me.

*  My mother, who suffers from severe dementia and other physical and neurological issues, went on Hospice after dealing with pervasive pressure sores. Then -- in a move that stunned everyone -- she rallied! Her wounds healed, in direct contradiction to everything the medical pros expected. She even had a few good days where she knew my Dad and was able to communicate with him. We all know she is not long for this world. But her good days are a blessing.

Each of these events, in addition to other, smaller ones throughout the year, made me wish I could share them with Robert. For me, it's not the high holidays when I miss him most. It's lazy Sunday mornings, or hearing our daughter's handbell choir play his favorite song, or seeing something that references a family in-joke, or laughing at the antics of our dogs -- I miss him in all the little things that add up to make life richer, fuller.

Yet, I'm grateful. For friends. For family. For my daughter who graces me with drive-by "I love you's." For blue skies and orange leaves and fuzzy horses and fresh pumpkin pie and homemade sushi and YouTube videos of silly birds and political pundits. I'm grateful for the years we had together: though our time together was cut short, we had far more good years than many people do.

So, I marked the anniversary of losing Robert by doing the things I normally do. I directed the church choir. I wrote a little bit. Did some laundry. Made dinner. Watched a video with my kid. I was never one of those people who is defined by being married. Guess there's no point in being defined by what I've lost.

In case you needed it, here's your daily reminder to let the ones you love know it. Love may last forever, but people don't.

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