Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Dream

At some point this past night, I found myself in that place between sleep and wakefulness, and she was there beside me, in the bed, facing me, our legs intertwined together, one arm under her head, the other one hugging her. I lightly kissed her hair and she smiled sleepily and told me to 'behave.' This morning I woke and as I stretched in the bed, I felt wonderful! She must already be up, maybe using the bathroom....I got out of the bed, "Linda, if you're in there, we're sharing!" But she was not. Ah, maybe making coffee. I entered the kitchen and, what the hell? Where could she...? Then I realized. Like getting hit in the face with ice cold water. Reality. Foolish boy! She's been gone now nearly two years. And yet, I had started to look around for her. I even called out her name! I woke up actually believing that she was somewhere in the house with me. It just felt so, so normal, so like she really was here. Tricked by my own self. Crushed. I thought that this kind of sudden and intense feeling of sorrow was over with. I always miss her, but today, this day, I had actually forgotten for a moment that she is dead. Now I am heart broken all over again, and I haven't yet stopped crying. I look out the window, and the sky is crying with me. We raised our kids and they are on their own now. Linda and I enjoyed just enough empty nester time that we had developed a routine which included spending as much time together as possible, at home, sitting on the couch holding hands and talking, reading, and playing games. When she was first diagnosed, we still sat on the couch talking, mostly about the treatments and what we at first referred to as the 'adventure.' With the exception of only a few of days, Linda and I spent all our time together now. I still had the house to care for, and bills to pay, groceries to purchase, and 'scripts to fill, and it seemed she was in hospital as much as not, but when everyone else left for the day and went to their homes and their family, it was just us, together, alone, by ourselves. As the treatments took their toll, and she grew weaker by the day, I began to realize the gravity of our situation. Slowly, and without noticing at first, my life became all about Linda. That is not the burden, don't misunderstand me, again. I was up to the task, but no longer is there any semblance of routine, or schedule, however it is very demanding, and it is completely different than anything we had done in twenty three years our life together, and therefore became routine Then one day at home, with friends and family around, she died. Just like that. Linda no more. So tiny, drawn, ravaged by the effects of the cancer, and barely recognizable from the vibrant and active person she was just ten months ago, we were holding hands when she past, and my life changed completely once again. To say that surviving a spouse is a rollercoaster ride would be an understatement, to be sure

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