Saturday, October 9, 2010

How Many Emotions Can I Have in One Day?

I think the answer to that - is how many emotions are there?  I woke up hearing the footsteps of people walking in the house where Artie and I lived together and I don't even know if they are physically in the house yet. (If you are reading this for the first time - our house is sold).  Then I got a phone call from a wondrously loving and wise friend whose husband died 20 years ago.  She still misses him - especially when she sees other older couples holding hands.  She wanted to grow old with her husband.  Her only son also died.  She is full of love - and joy - and yet she said something that summed it up for me.  With all the love and joy in my life with Artie no longer on earth - I am not first in someone's life. Artie and I, as independent as we were - we had our own friends, and spent time apart - were everything to each other.  We held each other first thing every morning and last thing every night. We belonged to each other.  It isn't like I had a husband slot and he filled it and now I can find a replacement.  I might fall in love again - I might even remarry.  But no one will ever be Artie.  Artie and Jan.  Jan and Artie.  All of you that have had that kind of love and live on - whether it is a spouse or a child or a pet - they are not replaceable.  There can be something new - but someone precious and beloved is forever gone. As difficult as it often is now,  I think it's a blessing to have that kind of love. 

I think that's why I posted on a site "I don't know why but I have to keep saying it.  I don't like the word "recovery".  I like remodel, rebuild, reinvent, weave.  I don't want to recover from my grief for my husband.  It is a measure of my love for him.  I want to learn how to use that grief to inspire instead of block me.  Not always an easy task - but when I can grieve and live my life fully it is a measure of my husband's love for me - and how it still supports me even after his death. I like the image of us being warriors marching through life proudly carrying the colors of those who have gone before us."

Then I had a lovely day - for those of you who watch the Food Network - I got to see three Iron Chefs (Bobby Flay, Garces, and Morimoto) speak and then Paula Deen.  I was inspired.  Then I walked into a bookstore to buy a book for a friend and saw a book I had been reading out loud to Artie and never finished.  I didn't cry but I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I came home to friends - turned down their dinner invitation - and slept.  Now I am up and I read that someone planted a tree in memory of someone they love who has died.  I thought of all the trees Artie and I planted in our garden and that no matter who lives there - they will always be the trees that we planted - growing and full of life.  Now I am writing and thinking what to do tomorrow.

It's like some crazy carnival ride.  Holding on - trying to be inspired and not paralyzed - a rodeo guy only has to stay on a bucking bronco for a few seconds - we have to stay on for as long as we live.  I'm not willing to get off the beast - so I have to try to tame it - and I don't think bucking broncos eat ice cream.  :)  I'm mixing my metaphors terribly.  Anyway...that's the widow Warner's thoughts for today.  Keep strong. Be kind to yourself whatever you are feeling.  You deserve it.

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