Sunday, March 27, 2011

The New Road

some where on the I-5 in CA heading south

862 miles

14 hours in the car

in two days
Less actually, because we left at 
1:00 pm on Friday
 and got back tonight (Saturday) at 7:00 pm.

It started with a casual comment.
"Hey, you guys wanna go to Sacramento to the State Championship Basketball games for the boys and the girls varsity teams?" I asked my kids on Tuesday.

"Sure." came their reply, unaware of the weight their casualness carried. 

The plan?
Drive to San Francisco, (387 miles) stay over night with Art's cousin.
Get up early the next morning and drive to Sacramento (91 miles).
Watch two basketball games, then drive home (384 miles).

The motivation is simple and clear.
It would be fun and
I think I can do it.

862 miles in 30 hours.

Crazy talk.

Overwhelming talk.

Why-didn't-someone-talk-me-out-of-it? talk.

Only this time, I notice, I'm on a new road.

It's unfamiliar.

It makes me grin.

The road is called SPONTANEITY!

 And I’m diggin' its slickness, its sense of adventure, its well-what-the-heckness, its I-can-handle-an-unplanned-event confidence.

Two years ago, I could not have done this.
Last year I could not have done this.
4 months ago, I could not have done this.
Today, I smirk.
I did it.

Spontaneity powers my grin.

Forgiveness powers my spontaneity. 

Death powers the forgiveness.

Because after his death,

after the grief lifts for longer and longer periods of time,
I see that …

kill me
(although I was sure it would).

I notice that...
I didn’t
to death
(although I tried).

I realize that...
the next day
showing up
(although I doubted it would come again).

I grasp that ...
life went on,

I have faced loss,
excruciating loss
I’m still hear.

Did you hear me??????


Nothing will be as hard as those moments.


In the realization comes freedom.

Spontaneity is my new road and I’m driving it, baby, on cruise control because
to hell

On Thursday, a friend texted me and asked
“Do you want to go see Lady Gaga on Monday? VIP seats!”

As if I need VIP seats as an incentive!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ghost of Art

I read one of his journals today.
I read it because
I sold
our bed,
in three hours.

I had to empty out his bedside table (they went too) before the guy came to pick it up.

Later, as I try to decide where
a mattress
on a floor would look best,
in MY room,
I get side tracked
and sift through
the box of stuff from the bedside tables. I sit down, pick up a journal and read.

It starts in June 1995, 6 months after we had been married.

I recognize his early fear of not being strong enough for us. I recognize my young self, but from his eyes. It is a refreshing and slightly embarrassing view. I am soften. I want to reach in and back and hug him and tell him it will all be ok.

The journal gives me a memory of things I had forgotten. He records our bike trips, the time he got fired from his job as a basketball coach. He records his fear and excitement about my pregnancy…and his amazement at how I just want to eat all the time. He records our trip to Paris and every single place we visit. He records his disappointment at work and his deep disappointment for his parent’s reactions. He records his love for me.

He records the good advice I gave him, calling it “another good thing Kim said..”

When I open his journal
I did not expect to see him,
Rising, like a ghost.
But he is no longer clear.
He is like mist.
I can see him if I stand still or far enough away from this life.
But up close, he looses his definition.

Reading that journal brought him back to me but not in a full form.

My life is past him, and here in this life 702 days away from loss,
I can only see traces of him.

It’s strange because I see
the idea of him, of Art,
doesn’t fit in this new place,
in this bedroom with no bed.

I could not be who I have become if he were here.

It’s almost like another death. A quieter
More gentle death
As I move forward, I leave him behind
In the mist
As a ghost.

I will lie on the mattress,
on the floor and cry,
for him, for me
for how I am leaving him,
and for all the good things I have
become since he has gone.

That is what needs to happen
So I can find a new bed.