I couldn't ask for better weather. Temps into the 70's and low humidity. I took my dog for a walk today. I'll take her for another. I've also been trying to get my back deck ready to enjoy some barbecues out there. Also, looking forward to spending time out there where I will gaze at the stars through my Celestron telescope.
With a friend's help we lugged an umbrella and its 80 pound base home today from Costco. We felt the deck needed another umbrella. After 2 pm the sun makes it almost impossible to spend any time out there, especially in hot weather. This week we also managed to get rid of a round wooden table that had been rotting away. It was just too heavy for me to move. So we took it apart where the wood had rotted through and managed to get it off the deck and out of sight.
I still reminisce about summers when I had a nice above ground pool in the backyard. That is long gone now. I miss it but not the work involved with its upkeep. For a number of years after my late husband's passing I would go out on the deck and think. And then become amazed at how fast the years went by. Summers were always my favorite time of year. Vacations were spend with my in-laws in Florida. And then backyard barbecues, and having family over to celebrate special occasions.
All of it stopped in 2002 after his death. No longer did I celebrate much of anything. No longer did I enjoy my backyard, or look forward to these summer months. Instead I spent most of the time away from home, either at a gym, or at a dance, or at family and friends' gatherings.
Slowly, and I mean slowly as the trauma of losing a loved one began to heal, I would get these glimpses of normalcy...quite fleeting, nonetheless enough to remind me that perhaps one day I could feel "normal."
I don't think I'm quite there yet. That sense of "connection" many feel when around family and friends still eludes me. I still feel that I am not really part of things, and that I am looking from the outside in. Some parts of who I used to be do continue to struggle to come to surface, but the "new" me (a result of widowhood) either ignores this struggle or deliberately pushes it back down.
Buying the umbrella today, planning to put outdoor carpeting on the deck, and persuing through cookbooks for unique barbecue recipes is helping me to reconnect to a life of certainty rather than a life where I seem to float along wondering where life will take me next.
Couples who have been together for a long time I'm sure don't feel this sense of uncertainty in their lives. Yes, of course we all know what happened to me almost ten years ago will at some point happen to everyone, even more than once. But if it hasn't occurred, it's hard to understand the myriad of levels that are affected within someone who has experienced this loss.
An ambulance with its siren wailing just went past the house, triggering emotions and memories of a similar ambulance making its way up here to attend to a stricken husband.
No we don't forget.
Yet, the act of buying an umbrella to make more shade on a deck helps someone like me to move forward. And the only thing I've found is to keep doing just that, move forward.