Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Upriver Dawn Beckons Me
In 2008 my husband and I built our dream log home overlooking a sparkling river and layering shades of forested mountains in North Idaho. Yes, it is a shame he's not here to enjoy it, I usually nod in fake but polite agreement to that inevitable comment.
Except with those with whom I feel the closest, I refrain from informing anyone that my husband's absence is merely an illusion. He's here, alright. That's been made quite clear to me.
A profound experience hit me yesterday when I suddenly realized that all the weeping, mourning and introspective soul searching I've been doing since he died has all been for me, not for him. I have been so sorry for me. I still am, frankly.
I was driving down the road admiring the January sunshine and blue skies when, like an epiphaney, I fully grasped the concept that my husband is happy now. Boom, like a clap of thunder, I suddenly got it, and tears of joy welled up in my eyes for him.
This has been my belief all along; in fact, it's why my initial major emotion at the time of his death was anger at him for leaving me here and going off, tra la laa la laa, on his merry way to Heaven. "How nice for you," thought poor wittle me.
We've come to terms with that since then, you could say, and I sincerely am happy for him. I sense that he wants me to be happy, too. He worked so hard to provide me with all the nice things around me. If I don't enjoy them, then his efforts will have been in vain.
This makes perfect sense to me, and so with that in mind and a life-insurance check in the bank, I'm Googleing a road trip with Bric the Wonder Dog and my brand-new Nikon D90 DX 12.3 Digital SLR. Yesserie, Bob I me got one.
We're heading to where "the weather suits my soul," as Glenn Campbell once sang. There's an art show, a best girlfriend I miss a lot, and a mini-family reunion with my long-lost Pennsylvania cousins that I plan to indulge myself in enjoying. I can't wait to see the Southwest February desert through the lens of that new Nikon.
Of course I will share with you. I'm really into this blogging thing, which my son jokingly refers to as my "pretend job."
Last year, to attempt this trip would have never occurred to me. For one thing, my mother would have freaked out, fretted herself sick, and tried to tell me I couldn't do this alone. She needed to hear from me at least every-other day or she'd get worried. She didn't really have a life, so's to speak, near the end.
Mom had never in her 86 years ever traveled anywhere at the wheel of big powerful, shiny pickup truck with a 95-pound-powerful male German Shepherd at her side. The ability and depth of Bric's devotion to protecting me was beyond her grasp. Whatever is the opposite of a dog person, that was my mom. Yes, as a matter of fact, she did like cats, but only one at a time.
She also, bless her heart, lacked much faith in a higher power. More than anyone I've ever known, my mom lived steadfastly in the now. She refused to examine her past and lacked the courage to contemplate her life beyond this one.
Near the end of her years, I sent her a Bible verse in the hope she would look it up and find comfort there. When I asked her later if she did so, she replied, "No. I was afraid to." My mom had a strong aversion to crying. To be seen weeping publicly would have completely mortified her. Yes, I am of Protestant German descent. Why do you ask?
I know I'm not being delusional, nor am I under the influence of anything except Prozac. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I have the feeling I'm embarking on a spiritual quest of sorts. My old pal Jack Daniels is definitely staying in the liquor store where he belongs, Bric will be always at my side, and in more ways than one, I will not be traveling alone.