An old friend - a long-time widow - sent me a lovely "thinking of you and the holidays" letter. I decided to post my reply because it tells much of what it feels like right now. As well as some of the things I am learning about what I can and cannot do with comfort and ease.
This is a new life. Nothing about it is like it was before.
November 13, 2012
And I know the holidays will be hard. I try to blind myself to the decorations and to the Hallmark TV movies but they seep through. I am flying to CA early December for the holidays. 3 months ago it seemed like a good idea - now I wonder. Just the prospect of the flight alone and into San Francisco makes me tear up. I am also going to Jim's hometown to see his family - how about that for walking on hot coals? All our kids and grandkids arrive a few days before Christmas so we will all be together. ( at a favorite time-share resort that Jim and I really enjoyed.) Did I say I was the one who thought this up?
Some of the over-whelming emotion right now may be coming because I bought a car last week. First MAJOR decision I have made in-my-life without Jim. It was not easy. I had to. The faithful red Toyota Van collapsed, poor dear - and the guy at the filling station refused to take any more money to keep it on the road. I was furious - and sobbing - but he was probably a real friend. After 12 years of dailies and great trips it is a powerful and real physical connection to Jim. I kept it - to sit in the driveway for awhile.
I love the new car by the way - found the perfect 2010 Toyota Van waiting for me on a dealer's lot. Had to go with the 2010 because Toyota has blown up the new ones so that they are school buses and I could not step up into them. The one I bought is a one-owner vehicle that is so pristine inside it looks like they never drove in it - well I can fix that quick enough. It has every electronic gimmick they made in 2010 - - including heated front seats which I have yearned for every winter. Jim would love it. In fact, from the serendipities that led me to the car, I think he sent me out there to buy it. Oh, damn - I guess I didn't do it by myself after all.
Thinking of you too and your clean sweeping to be ready to move. That's awesome. I hope I have the courage to follow suit come January.
My cousin, Sandra told me ten years ago that the best thing to do was park a dumpster at the back door and pitch stuff out. I am thinking about it - but first, have to call the shredder truck to eat up 45 boxes of patient records that are stacked in the basement. Feels like I have one more funeral for Jim coming up. Is that how it is?
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Did you decide to "order in". I am overwhelmed by the crowd you will have at your table - but - then - you are a couple of months younger than me!
Karen and I are going to my sister Lynda's in North Carolina for Thanksgiving. She is talking about cooking but I am I hoping we will eat at the nearest Cracker Barrel - I tell you one thing I am really looking forward to - Lynda works at Southern Supreme during the holidays taking telephone order. She LOVES it, especially the owners and people who work there. I want a tour of that place - to see everything and breathe it all in. The cake is fine but their PRALINES are out of this world. Do you know about Southern Supreme - surely yes.
Its great to hear from you. Appreciate your sharing your understanding - not everyone does - but you have been there.
A real hug. Thank you. I