An Irish headstone says this: "Death leaves a heartache/no one can heal/love leaves a memory/no one can steal." In the midst of my crazy, busy life, heartache often stops me in my tracks. I often find myself in a place where I need to just suck it up and keep a stiff upper lip or else I will not be able to stifle the flood the wants to cascade forth. As I've often said, I refuse to succumb to despondency. I do my best to bite my lip and force myself to save the tears for later. If I turn my thoughts to the memories of love and the things that make me smile instead of fixating on the loss, this works well. I do my best to live my life, each day enjoying the happiness that God grants me; in the midst of this, I make my visits to his grave, knowing he is not in it, but using that time I've specifically allotted to let out the anger or sorrow, whichever emotion chooses to rise up. Sometimes it is just poignant nostalgia and a sobbing, "Why?"
Last night I had a dream that included - for the first time appearing together in one of my dreams - both Pat and my mother. I thought this was great because they always enjoyed each other so much. Seeing them together was so fun. In my dream, I forgot a bag on top a refrigerator at a store because I left due to a stomachache (one actually woke me out of the dream). Pat offered to go back to the store and pick it up for me before it closed. This made me smile because that was how he was -- if I ran out of contact lens solution, he would offer to run out and get it, even if it was late. No matter what it was - now he most likely used the time to sneak a sneaky cigarette. At some point in the dream, I was buckling my grandson, Zane, in a carseat while talking to Wendy when I realized that Zane was born after my mother had passed and she couldn't really be there. As Pat headed off to get my bag, I realized he couldn't be there either. The dream faded and I woke up with the very real stomachache.
Kenny Chesney sings, "I'll take this heart break and tuck it away and save it for a rainy day." I think there are some that think it is cold or heartless to adopt this perspective. I don't. I call it grit. I call it survival of the fittest. It's the drive to DO THIS that has kept me afloat and kept me sane during this awful eight and a half months since his life ended and mine changed irrevocably.
It's no secret that lately there ain't no escape
And that I've been waking up alone
Just me and the TV and a sinking feeling
That you ain't ever coming home
The tears ain't gonna hit the floor
'Cause the boat's in the bay
And it's calling my name
So I'm heading on out the door
'Cause the sun's too bright,
The sky's too blue
Beer's too cold to be thinking about you
Gonna take this heartbreak and tuck it away
Save it for a rainy day
Death - I used a word up there - irrevocable. Irreversible, unalterable, unchangeable, immutable, final, binding, permanent. He's on the other side of that and until I join him, this change in this life cannot be changed. My love for him will never change. My memories of our life together are always with me. This is comforting and I can lean on that whenever need be. But the sun is too bright, and the sky is too blue...