nowhere in particular

August 31, 2012 at 3:03 am (anniversaries, how does it feel to die, the dr. says) (, )

watched anne  of green gables the adult years.  at the very end she says it is better to be anne of green gables than anne of nowhere in particular. at times i almost turned it off as the young girl anne was a bit over the top and definitely histrionic.  as an adult she was much more interesting.

it was all worth hearing that last sentiment.  until i met this amazing man the person from nowhere in particular was me.  until i was 14 my home was with my grandmother, however, the queen mother would demand our presence in her court a couple of times a year.  some years it may have been just once with several threatening messages to remind my grandmother that she had the power to take me away anytime she wanted.  my grandmother would say we just had to do what she wanted so our life could go on as normally as possible.

at the age of 14 my grandmother said we were going to california and this time i had to bring everything with me.  since i had been very young each time the call came i would tell my grandmother that she should “forget” my stuff.  until that call we knew she was never going to make me stay.  this time was different. this time we knew she meant it.  when we arrived she sat us down and told us she was pregnant and would need me to stay and help her. she already had one daughter (the middle sister) and she just couldn’t handle another one alone.  this was a bit of a shock to both of us and they wanted time to talk alone.  outside my dad(step) was working on a car.  we had always been close and he had never treated me like anything other than his daughter.

dad and i had a long talk and in the end, even at 14, it made sense for me to stay.  that new baby was going to need me and middle sister definitely needed my protection.  when the baby came, my beautiful baby sister, i was in heaven.  she loved to get up around 5 every morning and the mother would wake me up to take care of her.  at 16 it was clearly best for me to leave.  off i went back to my grandmother. it should be added here that i didn’t leave with her blessing.  after a few months the threats were made that i would be picked up by the police as a runaway.  the threats came more often and the decision was made for me to join the military.  at first we(my grandmother and i) were told because i was under age nothing could be done.  the recruiter said only being married would emancipate me.

you may have guessed, i got married.  when i went back to the recruiter he said my grandmother could have signed for me.  oh well, i was in and off to the world.  after years of traveling and moving i ended up in california.  at the age of 36 a widow and just lost.  for the first time in years i just wanted to be still and be from somewhere.

20 yrs ago, at work, i saw him.  the rest is history.  like anne of green gables said, it is better to be of green gables than nowhere in particular. it is better to be of a loving family, whether it is california or georgia, i am not of a geographical place but of a place of love.  that is the best place on earth.

my grandmother

corny but true, it was love at first sight:) and has been love for ever since.

 

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him without me

August 11, 2012 at 2:38 am (anniversaries, being remembered, how does it feel to die) (, , , )

do you ever wonder how life will be for those you love after you are gone? earlier in the week we were in savannah georgia celebrating our anniversary.  as this is most likely my last year (but who knows?) along with enjoying life and being in the moment there is this undeniable reality.  it is always just, right there, waiting for me.  like some shadow that is only visible when from the corner of my eye.  it does not overshadow our life, just waits there.

words fail me as i think of how to share what is attacking my body even as i type these words.  lying in the bed next to him as he sleeps, trying to ignore the rash that now covers almost my entire body, my mind wanders.  it wanders to the time to come.  that time when it will be just him without me.

in  the past my questions of that time to come has been met with resistance.  this, i realize, is how a majority of us react except when we think it is some vague possibility in years to come.  have you thought of this?  how will you be without that person who has shared your life.  that person who is like an appendage, that person who knows you as no one else has ever known you.

it crosses my mind how in many ways he will be in a better place.  no one to hold him back as he is now.  him without me may seem strange to him at first.  him without me is at times difficult to grasp fully.  him without me does not mean him without my love.  my love will live in his heart as long as he lives.  our family will remember this time of him with me.

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anniversaries

August 6, 2012 at 1:45 am (anniversaries, death, how does it feel to die, joy) (, )

17 yrs ago we headed to Lake Tahoe and got married.  a month later we had the wedding that had been planned for several months.  this was not the first marriage for either of us and yet it was the first marriage in my heart. from the moment i layed eyes on him 20 yrs ago life has been truly a joy.  not that we have a life without strife.  for some reason this is difficult for me to write about.  how to put in to words, without sounding like a braggart, the difference in life now vs. the b.c. (before chris).

b.c. life :  there had been a marriage previously entered in to with hesitation and doubt.  it ended abruptly with his death.  there had been little happy moments yet nothing memorable.  most days were white knuckled hoping he didn’t get drunk and gotten behind the wheel.  he was a troubled man with a troubled past.  i was a nurse and he was a patient.  after nearly dying of alcohol poisoning he turned his attention to the nurse who runs the stairs everyday.  when well enough he is off to rehab and sends loving letters.  they would be  the only loving words for the next 10 yrs.  that was then and i have let go of those times.

tomorrow we are off to savannah.  the trip will be exhausting, we both know that.  one more reason to love and treasure this man, the ease in which he accepts these changes that affect his life.  mornings in the past were early rising and chatter.  now it is late rising for me and so he  is on his own most mornings.  past trips were spent wandering the streets, antiquing, walking much of the time.  when first planning this trip the conversation addressed the possibility he would go on his own to do some of the activities he enjoys and are no longer an option for me.  just remembering the conversation brings a mist to my eyes.  my love dismisses being on his own and suggests carriage rides, the wildlife refuge, and a visit to a tea room.

will this be the last wedding anniversary?  it is likely to be a last.  since entering year 5 the thought is never far from my mind.  to think that statistically people with this diagnosis do not live to the end of year 5. that is an anniversary and a reminder of what is coming.  as we plan our getaway, our 17 years of love is the only anniversary that matters.

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