A thousand thoughts in my head and overflowing my heart.
Thursday was my 4th Thanksgiving without Rick. I was sad. The sense of being alone was strong, even tho I was not physically alone. Went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. The food was good, so was the service. But to be surrounded by so many that were there with family, with loved ones, sharing laughter and memories. It was a heavy heart time.
Friday made for 3 years & 7 months since Rick died. I wonder how long every 23rd, and every Thursday, will feel like a gut punch - one that takes the breath away? I don't count the days any more, even tho I have been accused of doing so. But my heart knows. How can it be possible that I have not heard his voice, looked into his eyes, felt the touch of his hands, nor rested in his arms in 3 years, 7 months, 1 day and 3 hours now?
Today makes for 12 years since Momma took her flight out of this world. I miss her so much. She could make me question my sanity at times. And make me wonder the purpose of going around her. Yet, she was Momma. I knew she loved me dearly. As I loved her. Today, my thoughts are filled with the good times we had - the stories she told as we worked side by side. The laughter when she would mispronounce a word. Trying to always follow her train of thought - that more often than not, derailed at the slightest disturbance. Lol. Oh how I miss her. She is the one person who gave me her undivided attention when she knew I needed someone to listen. I sure could use her perspective, her wisdom, and her counsel in my life and with my heart.
Tomorrow will be 23 years since Granny McCoy took her final breath. Oh how I loved that woman! I never knew my grandparents. Daddy's father and mother were taken during the flu epidemic in the early 1900's. Momma's daddy died when she was 2 years old. The only grandparent I almost got to know was Momma's mother - but she died in December 1959, and I wasn't born until May 1961. Rick's Granny McCoy took me under her heart and wing, and called me proudly, "MY granddaughter". Oh Granny! My heart hurts so deeply today, as I know it will tomorrow, too - remembering our talks on the early mornings when I would drop the kids off at school, Rick at work, and come by your house for coffee and sugar biscuits. I loved you then ... I love you more now.
Monday will be 12 years since burying Momma. Tuesday 23 years since burying Granny McCoy. Both of which invokes not only the memories of those days, but the cold realization that it was the last time to see their wonderful faces on this earth. Makes me feel even more empty than usual.
Wednesday is my Sweetheart's forever birthday. He will forever be 55. But on Wednesday I will wish him a Happy Heavenly Birthday - with all my love, all my heart ... and with, yes, a bitter taste in my mouth. For it ought not be this way. He should be here with me. I should be cooking him a steak dinner and a chocolate cake. He should be saying (in order to make my Irish ire rise up) - "Oh honey! It's just another day!"
No! Dammit! It's not just another day! This is YOUR birthday. A day of great celebration to my heart. A day when my Sweetheart made his entrance into this world, and started his life.
Wednesday is also our daughter's birthday. She was born on her Daddy's 22nd birthday. He always said she was the BEST birthday present I ever gave him. And was forever costing him ;) lol. It is a hard day for her, she misses that early morning call between her and her daddy. Both of them trying to beat the other one with the first call to say, "Happy Birthday".
Wednesday is also our daughter's brother-from-another-mother birthday, too. Scotty is no longer with us, due to a tractor accident a few years ago. So that makes it doubly sad to our daughter. And makes my heart hurt even more deeply as I think not only of Rick ... Mandy ... but of Scotty Joe.
There are those who do not comprehend the heaviness of sadness and grief.
I hope you never do.
Those who know the grief of loss, yet they are not willing to allow me to feel it?
My heart is heavy.
My spirit feels empty.
Yes, I will smile thru the tears.
I will remember with fondness, with love, and with a longing.
I will miss my memory keepers this weekend.
I will miss those who loved me best, loved me the deepest.
I realize now that one of the things I miss the most about Rick, and the others that have gone on before me, is the Memory Keeper part of our relationship.
What do I do with all these memories that no one else knows? That no one else shares?
I never thought the memories would become a burden, yet they are. Because I don't know what to do with them.
I talk about the memories some, but those who listen mostly do so out of courtesy - simply because I am talking. As I have been told, "It's kind of hard not to listen when you talk, and talk."
I miss the sharing of the memory stories.
Rick knew my stories, but he never seemed to tire of hearing them. Often he would ask about them, and I would say, "But you know that story!" His answer? "Yes, but I want to hear YOU tell it again to me." Oh be still my heart. How I miss that.
I've learned the hard lesson of letting the emotions come, embrace them even ... and then let them go. Not to camp out in the midst of emptiness. But not to deny it either. Sometimes it is a delicate dance that I do.
Life goes on.
Even when I don't really want it to.
For these days, selfishly, it would be easier to lock myself away in a hotel room - just me, my computer, my memories. A hot shower when the tears won't stop. A stiff drink and a long sleep to make it thru the dark and alone times.
But ... I don't.
I try to simply breathe ...
And paste a temporary smile on my face when others enter the room.
Knowing well that these times won't last.
But the warrior within will.
So, yes ... life goes on.