I took today off from work. I’ve taken the last three Earth Days off… well, I guess technically the last four. Although I love the ol’ Earth… I’m kind of attached to it!… it’s not the actual reason that I have taken the day off… and plan to not work on another Earth Day for the rest of my life. Nope, I took the day off because four years ago today was the last day I woke up to Kateri by my side. Four years ago today… was the last day I touched Kateri’s warm skin, ran my fingers through her hair, or could listen to her breath as she slept. Four years ago today… was the last day I could lean over and whisper, “I love you.” in Kateri’s ear and kiss her on the cheek. Four years ago today… I was holding Kateri’s forearm, I could feel the scar and indentation from her “shark bite”… and I heard her take her last breath. Four years ago today… is the worst day of my life. Four years ago today… Kateri died. Four years ago today, I didn’t know how I was gonna wake up and face… Tomorrow.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
- A neighbor of mine lost his husband and he recently wrote a blog where part of it was about how people kinda go away after a while… they stop “checking in”… they simply go on with their lives. Widowhood is an isolating experience, even at the beginning when you are surrounded by friends and family. Even though I understand that people love me, care for me, and are there for me whenever I may need them, I still have that sense of being left… “alone”.
- I’ve known Kateri’s Death Date was coming up, but I haven’t really been able to give it much thought until today. With my Mom dying on February 27th, Kateri’s mom passing on April 1st, and with the normal wear and tear of the daily grind… I just haven’t given it the time. I guess that’s one of the reasons I took today off…!.. I wanted to take the time… and to have the space… to remember Kateri and my life with her.
- Kateri taught me soooo much in life. I’m not the same person I was when we met. Kateri showed me how to be a better person. Kateri gave me daily examples of how to treat other people, how to find beauty in unsuspecting places, and what the important things in life are. One of the things I love about Kateri is that she didn’t change much throughout our life together. She didn’t need to. She knew who she was, what was right, and she stayed true to herself throughout her life. She was an impressive woman.
- The time she rode a bucking bronco, flannel shirts & hoodies, “Balls!”, flowers and flower gardens but not tulips in a row, The Band, outdoor showers, long walks on dirt roads, Hopes n Dreams, chickens, “Yes please!” and “Who makes the best coffee in the world?!”, Lippy/Lipper/Lipstorm… but not Lipstick, a Toyota with a wooden bed, bowling balls on the side of the road (fyi… it costed around $23 to mail a bowling ball across the country in 2002… and she called it a “gutter ball”), bathtubs deep enough for boobs to float in, yard art, sufferin’ succotash, going to the beach in the summertime… going to the ocean in the off season, mini-Fridays, overalls and Darn Toughs, New Hampshire is a state… Vermont is a state of mind, the floor couch, “pills” & Pocket People, 1973 Super Beetles that were five different shades of orange, Dancing the Trump away, Dancing in the car/dancing in the living room/dancing in the kitchen or anywhere and at whatever time it needed to happen…….. Kateri’s Dance with Cancer. My life with Kateri was cut short by powers beyond my control, but I have a million and a half memories that remind me of why I loved her so much and how much she gave to the people in her life.
- I’m gonna have a good day today… I am. I mean, I’ve already shot the shit with the dude who is gonna tattoo Kateri’s Birthdate and Deathdate up and down the spine of my back, I got outside and walked The Loop with Xander… and he didn’t run off!, and after a nice little drive through Vermont… I’m gonna spend the evening with people who have a deep love and steadfast bond with Kateri.
- Life can be sad, challenging, confusing, and overwhelming… but that’s just part of the gig. It may be hard to see at times, but there are some pretty cool people, beautiful moments, experiences, and adventures mixed in there, as well.