I sold Michael’s boat on Sunday. I’ve been staring at it in the driveway for 19 months now. He was working on it when he had his seizure. He had planned a fishing trip with his work buds and had just gotten his NJ fishing license (where most of them lived). He was very excited to be trying out some new lakes and taking his buds out on the boat. He never got to do that.

The boat has sat there and we tried to cover it the best we could. Michael was messy about a lot of things, but not covering that boat. This house was the first one that did not have a garage fvor it and he had made a shelter out of PVC piping and had taken it down just a few weeks before he took ill so that he could work on it.

After that we tried to keep it covered but the tarps would blow away and none of us knew how to make that makeshift garage he made to keep it from the elements.

That boat was his baby. If he had to rate what he valued most it would be me, the kids, the boat. Every single house we looked at to buy, no matter where we lived, the boat was a priority in the purchase. We had to have the space for it to be garaged and we had to live near water that would take a large outboard.

I was on the boat once but I loved to see him coming or going with it. He was so into that boat and no one could back up a large boat and a truck like he could.

The pleasure he took in fishing always made me smile. I have so many images in my mind of him taking the boat out or putting on his waders to go down to the creek or when we lived in Texas, I’d be leaving for work and he’d be bouncing along the back woods with his fishing pole over his shoulder like Tom Sawyer. It always made me smile because it just represented who he was…so simple, so easy…

But he loved going out on that boat. He took all the kids out and I went once when Gina was little and we stopped on the shore and had a picnic and let her splash in the water. Then he raced it around the lake very fast and Gina was squealing with delight.

The boat was him and he was the boat. There were “boat accessories” and all kinds of things always showing up on the Amex card.

For the past 20 months the boat was in a parking space off to the side of the house and I never really thought much about it when I pulled in, except it was his boat. He loved it and I loved him so there was the boat.

But I knew that it was going to be ruined if I kept it there. It needed some TLC and none of us had a clue about it. So I realized that he would not want it sitting there rotting. He would want someone enjoying it. And someone came along who will restore it and baby it and will take his 12 year old son fishing the way Michael took our kids.

I had a nice few days of girly time with Gina and a lovely Easter with the little boys. I thought I was ready and able to handle it and while the guy was there, I was doing quite well.

But it was so bizarre and sad to see someone else pulling it up the hill. It’s weird/freaky to see the empty space. It was very hard for me to let that go. It’s like once it’s gone, it’s that he’s really gone. Because he would never be anywhere without that boat. It feels like he’s disappearing piece by piece. I really hate it. I felt like I was losing him all over again.

My last few days have been tough…like recycling. But I’ll move past it as soon as I feel it. And feel it, I do.

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