on Mars, today,
A person very close to me lost her husband, suddenly, last fall. She is keeping busy, but the loss is immeasurable.
She always decorated her home; all holidays were serious business. She mentioned to me that she wasn’t going to get out her Halloween and fall knickknacks. I suggested that she should because that decorating has always been a part of who she is. I went on to say that I know things are so very different, but she can’t lose who she is.
The words and the sentiment came out of me organically, but since this was a text conversation, I had the opportunity to revisit it. Upon review, I thought it was great advice, if I said so myself, land based on the way it just popped out of me, I knew it was ingrained. I don’t know how or where it came from, but it now lived in me.
I next had to ask myself, do I follow this credo myself? Looking at my life since the loss of my vision, it appears that I do. I still need to figure out some things, but I have worked very hard to do the things I love, no matter how difficult or how different for me now.
Still challenging, still learning, sometimes still struggling, still me.
I had put the tea kettle on the other day to make iced tea, then sat down to read a bit using my Merlin CCTV. After a few minutes, I felt Piper on my foot. He had walked across the floor from where he had been playing with his toys, and climbed onto my sneaker. I reached down and picked him up, and he began to preen himself while perched on my right index finger. Seeing that he was content there, I decided to continue reading.
The Merlin has a movable tray under its monitor. You place your reading material on the tray, then slide the tray as needed to view the rest of a line, page, etc.
My right hand occupied by a comfy little parrot, I began using my left hand to move the tray. The kettle began to whistle, and I said to my husband, “Would you please get that? My hands are full with the two of the things I love most.”
My husband and I have been married for 23 years. We have had what I hesitate to say (but here I go) is the normal amount of ups and downs. Most recently, in the past three years, we have gone through, and managed to survive, my sudden blindness, the illness and loss of my mom, his sudden serious heart condition and the sudden loss of his dad.
But I don’t know if we will make it through this current football season.
I love football too, but as of week 2, my husband’s fantasy team and his beloved Seattle Seahawks are 0-2. He has been a 12 since I met him, but with the recent success of the Hawks, expectations are newly high in my household, which means the fall is more dangerous . . . to me. I liked it when the bar was set low, way low.
My even-keeled and super laid-back husband becomes someone else each weekend, and I’m pretty sure I did not marry THIS guy. I remember the richer and poorer part (check) and in sickness and in health (double check), but not through wins and losses.
I can honestly say we have come out the other side of the deaths and our illnesses listed above stronger, but Super Bowl XLIX, held seven months ago, still hangs over our heads like a dark Seattle rain cloud. In this house, February 1st. 2015 is the day the music died. As well as the laughter. And any mention of the New England Patriots. Or Katy Perry.
I wanted to tie this blog post up with a blue and green bow (yes, I have been brainwashed), but after struggling to do so over the last few hours, I finally figured out why I am unable to end this the way I normally would.
BECAUSE THE END TO THiS TORTURE IS FIVE MONTHS AWAY!!!!!
Previous chapters of ‘A Love Story’:
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9
My father-in-law passed away suddenly last November. He was an avid fisherman.
Today, my mother-in-law held a garage sale at her house and she had a lot of dad’s fishing gear for sale. A potential customer said to my husband, in a casual way, “Someone is giving up fishing”. My husband replied, “My dad passed away, so . . .”
The man, who was in his 40s, said, “I’m sorry” and my husband responded, “What can you do?”.
The man covered the few steps between them quickly, extending a hand to shake, while seamlessly pulling my husband to him in a man hug, saying “You can do this”.
I was the only witness to this exchange, and I feel blessed to have seen it, and grateful to this stranger. I could speculate what caused this man to reach out, both literally and figuratively, but that somehow sullies the moment.
For it was pure. It was profound. And amidst a long driveway full of items for sale, it was priceless.
My closest friends are always so considerate of me and my visual challenges when we are out and about. In planning an upcoming day trip, one friend suggested some things we could do, but wanted to be sure I only did what I was comfortable doing.
My reply to her was that even if I am leery because of my vision situation, about doing something or going somewhere, I do it anyway. It is so true that I have to live my life despite what has happened to my eyesight. Of course there are times when I don’t have the mental or physical strength to power through every unsure step or navigate through crowds and I will sit an event out, but I can honestly say that doesn’t happen much anymore.
Is it always bittersweet because I can’t properly see things like a movie or a theater performance or the ocean? Yes, it is. But I hear the laughter, the shared confidences and feel my friends right there with me, whatever we are doing. And that is the furthest thing from uncomfortable.