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Today I felt happy. There were a few reasons why, but honestly, I actually felt better than I have in over a year and a half. I know that I’ve had these fleeting glimpses of acceptance/reorganization and integration before and I know that they come and go but today was honestly a good good day.

Grief is a circular staircase; but am I going up or coming down? ~ CS Lewis

In general I feel better these days. I don’t cry every day. I don’t feel absolutely terrible every single day, but when the grief does come, and it does, it still feels like a hard blow to the solar plexus. It takes my breath away. It pulls me down deep and I want to curl up in the fetal position or stand on a mountaintop and scream and scream and never stop screaming.

Yesterday I found these pictures of Michael at his job. He was smiling and I knew, from what he was wearing, exactly where we were living at the time the picture was taken. Then he had some pictures of his motorcycle and his boat from California. The house was drenched in sunshine. I thought, “We were happy then…” but we were happy everywhere.

The next thing I thought was how long it’s been since I talked to him. Some days he is the only one I want to talk to; the only one that matters. And the one who is not here.

My car needs repair and I need to make decisions about it. He did all my mechanic work for 12 years. I miss that reliability. I miss having someone to trust about what is that noise under the hood or do I need new tires. I miss not having to worry about those things.

On most days I talk about him a lot. I keep him alive. I say what he would say in response to something. I remind people of what he said about different things. It warms me and usually makes me laugh.

Other days I clamp down in silence. Afraid to go there because I miss him so much. When I’m doing television or radio I hear his voice in my head, “That’s great, hon, that’s great.” or “Great as always hon.” which is what he would say. Did say. I try to comfort myself with his words of encouragement, but it stings that he isn’t here to enjoy it with me. He would be so tickled about it all.

Still other times I want his counsel. I know that most times I didn’t ask and he would cosign any decision I made but sometimes he would have an opinion on it…and if he cared enough to opine on it, then I would listen. And he was never wrong.

I miss my best friend and my love. I miss having that strong and steady presence in my life.

I do this thing sometimes where I try to concentrate on Michael’s faults or his driving (which made me crazy) or something that is “bad” about him. Whenever I do that it seems to come back to me that he was such a good person, a good man. He was easily the best person I ever met. So I do need to stop doing that because there were so few things wrong and so much right. Because even when I try to concentrate on his faults, like I tried to do a few days ago…some random memory comes back to me…that lets me know I know.

When I was living in Texas but studying for the New York bar exam so that I could eventually move back to New York (I had already been licensed in Texas), it was June. The weather was so humid and hot with scattered thunderstorms each day. I stayed in my house office and just studied all day long. I had taken a week off prior to the exam to study and was planning on doing a marathon session of 20 hours a day.

The second day, lightening struck the house and blew out a lot of things including the central air units. The temperature in the house rose and rose. I said to Michael, “We need to go to a hotel. I can’t concentrate like this.” We could not find a hotel that would take us and our dog and 3 cats. Michael said, “You go. I’ll stay here with all the fans on and make sure the dog and cats have cold water and cool places to lay down. I’ll stay with the animals, they can’t be here alone in case one of them gets sick in this heat.” Both our dog and biggest cat were long-haired and might not survive the heat. I HAD to get my studying done. I had to go to the hotel. And so I did.

It was two days before the AC came back and we all survived. Michael never mentioned it again, never complained and never acted like it was something you didn’t do. He did this type of thing more than once (when we moved cross country and I couldn’t take the RV any more (about 3/4 of the way across), Gina and I stayed in a hotel and he stayed in the RV with the animals).

Over the stormy weekend I missed him a lot. I tried to think of some things about him that made me crazy (like his driving) but then this memory of a stormy week popped in. So no matter what, I know. There is a part of me that will aways know.

And the same black line that was drawn on you
Was drawn on me
And now it’s drawn me in
Sixth Avenue heartache
” ~ Wallflowers

I had a dream last night that Michael was dying and I said to him, “You can’t die. We’re like twins.” And he said, “I know we are hon. Don’t worry. It will be okay.”

And I realized that was a key to the summation of us. It was like twins. Kind of mirror twins but twins. He was the black sheep of his family and I of mine. And we both just toddled off from the families, deciding it was better to be happy than to be understood, and took care of ourselves and our kids. And that was that. We looked at life the same way and were fiercely protective and loyal to each other.

Our interests and hobbies were complete opposites, but in so many other ways we were exactly alike. A friend of mine said, early on, that we were like hummingbirds flitting around at a speedy pace but somehow in tandem with each other. We finished each other’s sentences very early on and knew exactly what the other was going to say before they said it from the beginning. We had a million inside jokes and running jokes. We talked with our eyes and expressions a lot. We could give each other one look and we knew more than a thousand words could cover. We did move in tandem like hummingbirds, like twins.

And I have a million things with hummingbirds on them that we bought each other (mostly he bought me) over the years.

I was at the feed store yesterday looking at hummingbird feeders. It made me sad, and I walked away. Maybe that is where the dream came from. Every one of my hummingbird “pieces” are two hummingbirds. On all the feeders were two hummingbirds. Twin hummingbirds.

It was like twins and as I thought about it all morning, it really did feel that way…like, yes…that is what it was about us.

That is what it was.