I used to be a vagabond. When Artie and I fell in love and eventually got married I still travelled a lot. He hated to travel and we liked missing each other so I would go by myself or with a woman friend. Part of the rituals of travelling were the phone calls - one in the morning and one at night. One when I arrived to say I was safe. Calls from airports to say I was almost home. I once called him from Timbuktu - my cell phone actually worked better in Timbuktu than it does in my apartment in NYC!!! When I got home there was always a welcome home love note taped to the door. Then a big hug and kiss. We were always so happy to see each other again. Sometimes I opened mail or watched TV - I wish I hadn't done that - I wish I had spent every minute with him as soon as I returned. I wish I never took his presence for granted for a second. I miss it so much now. I want all the time back I did unimportant things when I could have been with him.
I have taken a couple of small trips since he died but I haven't left the country. Halloween is my daughter's favorite holiday and we are going to Transylvania (in Romania). It should be fun but I am not excited yet. I know he is not in his clothes or pictures or even in his ashes - but it will feel uncomfortable leaving them behind. It will feel very uncomfortable not having him to call. The first time I went away after he died I got physically sick. I don't think that will happen - once I am there I will probably - hopefully - have a good time and come home with lots of great stories.
Every day when I open my eyes - even after a year - I am still a little surprised not to see him. When I come home from anywhere I want to say - "Hi, honey. I love you." When he first died sometimes I would say that - and pretend that we just missed each other and he'd be home later. I love where I live. It is very comfortable and I am lucky to have such a nice apartment. It is full and yet completely empty. I will try to stay in the present when I am away - and enjoy all the new things I will learn - and laugh - and yet in the back of my mind I will be reaching for the phone to dial a number that doesn't exist anymore. I will try not to think about what it will be like to come home and not have a note on the door - not have him eagerly awaiting me. I wonder if when I die there will be a note on the door of heaven! "Welcome home." Assuming, of course, there is a heaven and I get to be let in! Heaven for me will be wherever Artie is. That's why I feel homeless with such a lovely home - home for me was wherever he was.
I'll be off line until November 6th. I'll probably bring one of his shirts to sleep in. This letting go thing - just not possible for me yet. Let you know how it goes when I come back. xo
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