Saturday, November 7, 2015

Six Months - My Reflections

Rudy has been gone six months.  I've written this post over and over and deleted it over and over.  I don't want to keep writing the really sad stuff. It makes people worry about me and they don't need to.

I'm continuing to change.  I have no idea how I'll turn out, but I know I'll never be the same.  Many things I used to like no longer have my interest.  I am no longer involved in selling antiques.  I don't have a booth.  I don't promote any stores. That chapter is over.  New interests are filling up my time.  I've become obsessed with hiking.  My friend, Susan, is a willing partner in this activity, but we hope others will join us.  A few friends have expressed interest.  Susan and I need to figure out how to coordinate it.

I love this quote, but the meaning  of wild for me is different from what it might have been in the past.  I had some wild days in my youth.  My daddy can attest to that and he's no doubt mighty glad I'm no longer that kind of wild.

These days wild is more about not being tamed by expectations.  I am refusing to do things that don't feel right, even if it goes against the norm.  It affects me in ways that are shallow - like letting my hair go absolutely crazy - and ways that are deep - like grieving in solitude because it feels more sacred. I'm sure some people think I'm having far too much fun than is respectable for a widow of six months.  Those people are ignorant.  I hope they stay blissfully ignorant as long as possible.  One day, they'll get it.  Meanwhile, it's not my problem and I don't worry about it... because I've gone wild.

Losses keep coming.  Three people have died since Rudy and truthfully, those losses left me reeling in very different ways.  Rudy's cousin, Vicki, is the most recent.  She died this past week.  Rudy was close to her, especially when they were young.  We haven't seen as much of her these last years.  She moved to Alabama.  When we did see her, the time gone by didn't seem to matter.  My memories of Vicki all include her laughing and joking and lighting up the room.  When I got the news of her passing, I felt sure Rudy had been one of the people there to greet her.  Rudy and Jimmy are no doubt teaching her how to make funny things happen here on earth so those of us still here will always be reminded that they are looking out for us.  Jimmy, Rudy, and Vicki all have a wicked sense of fun and are very creative when it comes to pranks, so I imagine those of us they plan to "communicate" with, will be very entertained.  I can feel them laughing about it right now, which oddly makes me cry.

The losses have made me a bit obsessed with thinking about how important it is to appreciate our friends and family while they are here.  I have a bit more fear about it than I should.  I keep wondering when I see someone if I will see them again or if some crazy thing will happen and they will die. I even wonder if I will be the one to go and if my last visits with people will have been good.  I need to stop dwelling on death, but I hope when I do, I will remember to be fully in the moment while I am with my friends and family.

I'm also finding myself less judgemental about people's crazy sides.  I don't have to agree with what anyone is doing with their life.  It's their path, not mine.  The crazy parts are what makes our lives most interesting.  In fact, maybe it's better to love  and enjoy the crazy parts - they always make good stories.  If the story is a cautionary tale, then I figure they are learning a life lesson and just love them all the while.  Lord knows, when it comes to crazy life lessons, I've learned some doozies myself and I was loved through those.

I am trying to spend more time with people I care about.  I don't turn down many opportunities to get together with loved ones.  You can take one look at my house and know that I haven't been spending quite enough time here.   Life is short and what matters most is connecting with people we care about.

As Forest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."

Here are a few random photos that bring back happier days.  These were taken when people were truly in the moment and feeling joy.  These little moments were all so much more important than we realized at the time.  I'm so thankful I live in the age of easy photography.

This was taken out at the barn.  I'm up in the loft.
I think I was supposed to be handing something to Rudy.

Daniel and Rudy - so serious

Carly and Rudy

Rudy and Kelly

Rudy and Nancy

Rudy with Annie and Sadie soon after they came to us.

Rudy with Lucy - the once-in-a-lifetime dog