Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4th

Waking this morning to a grip of pain. And then the realization came that it was November 4th. Our 18th wedding anniversary. And we were apart. And I was alone.

I sat up and immediately was overwhelmed by the rush of emotions that ran thru me. Pain, lonliness, confusion, terror, abandonment and a big major feeling of 'why'. The tears streamed down my face and I started creening in my grief. There was just a hole in my chest that had opened again, just overnight.

My hand went to Jim's shirt that I keep in my pillow, I pulled it out and held it to my face. I could feel the cloth and when I closed my eyes, I seemed to feel Jim inside. I took my time and cried myself out. I knew why I got hit with this, and wanted to let it out. There was no logic to my thoughts, just a swirling hurricane that bounced around. I tried singing our wedding song, but couldn't. I could hear it in my head so that helped. I moved over to a chair in the room.

I pulled out the 14th wedding anniversary card I had found and brought with me. Inside were precious words written by a man that loved me. Loved me as no other has. I read this over and over. "You still have my heart in your hands, my soul is forever yours, you are still so beautiful after all this time. Inside and out, I love you always my wife. Love, Jim"

Sitting in the chair and remembering. The first time we met. His proposal to me. Our first anniversary and Shadow the little grey puff of a kitten he gave me as an anniversary present. Of our anniversary weekend at the Halloween party. The weekend getaways for our anniversaries and the years that we were at home and relaxing - just being together. I cried. I cried at what had been lost and never to be again. The memories are still with me but the man to make them is not.

I wiped my eyes and thought of why I was in this strange hotel room in a strange city, all alone. My cousins 50th birthday is why. The party for Craig was great. It was a surprise and his wife executed it with superb deviousness. Craig thought it was a surprise party for his mother in law. His wife went even to make up lists and seating arrangements for the 'Mother in law dinner' and left them where Craig could see them. I thought that was a hoot. There was only one 'bad' moment throughout the whole evening. The first dance was for the birthday boy and wife and they played a romantic Kenny Rogers song. At the first bars I knew I had to leave.

I mean it was almost incredible how just a few words could set off such a reaction. I got out of the room fast and stepped outside to sit in the cold air, cry and wonder where my husband was. I did a smart thing and after not being able to get a grip, I called a friend and had them talk to me for a few minutes. They understood because they had lost a partner and knew exactly what I meant when I said 'that song did it.' I don't know if anyone else would have understood. I do know that when I came back in, I had several family/friends asking where I had gone. And if I was okay. I just told them a short "It was that song, I had to get some air." and they gave me hugs and nods and acceptance of my pain. Which is a good thing. Recognizing that the widow is still grieving and just being supportative of that is a nice sort of surprise.

I debated going to the party at all. Knowing it was going to be emotional because it was our wedding anniversary. I decided to go after looking at the Halloween costumes. For many years, my cousin would throw an 'after halloween party' on the following weekend. Often, Jim and I would drive down and join the fun. We loved to get in costume and partying with this gang. We talked about our going on our anniversary weekend and Jim said one time "why not be around the people we love and that were there for our wedding to celebrate the years of our love.' When I thought about it a couple weeks ago, I said yes, I should be around friends and family that love us. It seemed like the Jim thing to do.

My pain this morning eased as I thought about that. The need and want and ache to have Jim is still here, but the pain is not so sharp.

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