Its Been A Year NowI guess I am no longer 'recently' widowed. My Leah died one year and 3 weeks ago. The one year anniversary was hard; I thought it would be just another day, but it turned out it was an emotional month. For the most part the pain was nothing that I hadn’t experienced already. I just didn’t expect to feel it as hard as I did. I’ve been dealing with this for 12 months and since the pain has decreased every month I figured it would continue to do so. Duhh.
I think back to the night I lost her. I remember we used to joke about how we would revive each other if one of us died – she would read me the penthouse letters, and I would put some popcorn in the microwave for her. The sound of popcorn used to always rouse her from a dead sleep. I never thought to try that. I can imagine what the rescue squad would think, working away on her with the tubes and the CPR and defibrillator, while I step into the kitchen and put a bag of popcorn into the microwave. Its stupid to think about it, but I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t have called her back. And later at the hospital, after the doctor gave me her wedding ring and told me I could be with her as long as I wanted, I could only put my hand on her thigh. I don’t know why I didn’t put my head on her chest. She had an occasional heart murmur, and she always said when I put my head on her chest it would calm her heartbeat, and I would lay there a long time while we breathed in harmony and her heartbeat became strong and measured. I should have laid my head on her chest. It would have made perfect sense if she had just woke up and said lets go home, I feel better now. I still believe in magic, and I still have those nights when I think she wasn’t really dead, and I could have done something to bring her back to me.
But the past is past, and here I am alone in this house, not really alone because the neighbors have become wonderful friends, and some coworkers have also stepped up and taken simple steps ( but heroic to me), and best of all my family, although not in this town, have forced themselves upon me, and all together they have saved my life. And several EP members also have been extremely kind and helpful – in fact I have met an EP woman with beautiful eyes and a big heart who has the patience to listen to me wallow on and on about Leah .
I had a performance review at work this week. I don’t put much stock in those things, in fact I didn’t do any prep work at all for it; I just figured I would show up and have a pleasant chat with my boss and then get back to work. When she said I had an excellent year I held it together for a few moments and then started crying. She just handed me a box of tissues and said I’m not surprised.
I can’t tell you how many times I doubted I would last a year. There were mornings I couldn’t face the day and there were some evenings I tried to crawl into a bottle, and there were a few pitiful times I said take me Lord, cause there’s nothing for me here. Of course it was mostly drama, but it was my drama and it certainly was painful at times. Leah was always my champion and she would have loved to hear about my review and say see, I told you you were special, and I knew they would recognize it. She was incredible.
I will be OK, and continue to heal.