Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grief: Taking Artie's Yankee Jacket On The Road Again

This is the first time I've ever done a blog post on a computer in an airport lounge. :)  I'm on my last on the road summer trip.  Spent yesterday with a long time woman friend who lives in Michigan.  I'm so lucky in my friends.  I wish they didn't have lives and they would all move to NYC.  Only kidding, kind of.  We went to the factory where they make Ford  Rouge trucks.  I can't even explain how amazing this assembly line is.  All these moving parts carrying heavy and light bits at exactly the right time and speed to get them in the right place at the right time.  A blue door and a white door in a moving compartment timed so that the blue door doesn't wind up on the white truck and vice versa.  All the people working together in teams.  There is a team leader who knows all the jobs of his 10 team members.  I know that because I asked, "What if you have to pee!"  The team leader can step in for you.  The whole plant shuts down for lunch.  If one person makes a mistake - or one cog in the line goes wrong - the whole line shuts down.  I need an assembly line for my life.  I'm spending too much time trying to fix all my wonky cogs even though I have a great team!!

When my friend had to leave - we cried.  It's sad loving someone and hardly ever seeing them.  It's even harder loving someone and having them die.  I woke up in the hotel room by myself not wanting to do anything.  I do have a lot of props in NYC to lean on - at home - and also out in the world.  Things to do and people to see.  I used to love travelling.  Now it is always uncomfortable knowing that there is no one at home waiting for me. I try not to think about it - but I dream about Artie a lot.  I often dream that I am supposed to meet him and everything goes wrong and I can't find him.  After two years it's still weird not calling him to say good night - and calling him again to say good morning - when I am away.  I talk to him and feel like he hears me and answers - but it's not the same.  I found myself touching my lips last night - not in a crazy way - just remembering how it felt when he kissed me and how long it's been since that happened.  Hard to know that he will never kiss me again - not while I'm alive anyway.  I can hear him - but spirit lips don't count.  Okay, honey, they count but I'm still earthbound and I miss your real lips.

I got up anyway and I'm at the airport.  Going to Denver to see two more women friends, one who lives in Tucson and one who lives in Wyoming.  We have a lot of fun things planned.  Artie's Yankee jacket is safely packed.  I sleep with it like a little kid with a favorite blanket they won't let go of.  It's not a person - but I don't feel comfortable any more without it.  Will there ever be another person - romantically?  I have no idea.  So lucky to have such a great love - with all the problems.  I said this a long time ago - but soon after Artie died someone said, "After a while you'll only have good memories."   I said - "Are you kidding - I want to remember my husband!"  We didn't have a perfect marriage - I've said this before too -there are many many things we would have done differently if we knew how - but we always loved each other and we had this rule that nobody leaves. We trusted that no matter what happened the other person would always be there.  Then Artie had to leave because his body was too riddled with cancer for him to stay. 

I'm going to have my first grandchild in December and my husband's dead and the circle of life, the dance of life keeps going on like it has for thousands of years.  My job is to join in the circle, join in the dance as much as I can.  Maybe even invent a couple of new dances!   As long as I still have the Yankee jacket!

Hope whether you are having an adventurous day or an ordinary day (although I find since Artie died there is no such thing as an ordinary day) that you have time to kick your heels up a little without falling on your....you fill in the blank.   xo

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