26thMarch

Still out here!

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I posted.  I went into a pretty deep hole for a while there.  Things are a lot better now.  It’s been well over a year since I was on here.  I’m kind of surprised my site is still here.

So…where do I begin?  It’s been 4 1/2 years since Donnie died.  How can that be?  I still miss him.  I always will.  I’ve kept moving.  It’s not easy but things are getting better all the time.  I finally realized that there never is any closure.  You just learn to  live with the past and keep moving the best you can.

Some things never change.  Some things are just a part of us and will be for as long as we live.  Like having to watch what we eat and exercise and try not to fall into the abyss.  I went over the edge for a while but I’ve climbed back out.  I’m stronger for knowing that I hit the bottom and managed to claw my way to level ground again.

I still diet.  I try to exercise.  My weight is at 187 and I’m currently working on it.  Like I said, some things never change.

I met a man.  A wonderful man living east of St. Louis.  He’s a good man and he loves me and I love him.  He lost his wife a year or so before I lost Donnie.  She died of cancer.  They married young and spent 44 years together.  We share a bond that a lot of people can never understand.  We’ve managed to find a place of our own amidst the chaos of our lives and we’re happy there.

The only problem is that we don’t get to spend a lot of time in that happy little place.  We live four hours apart and he owns a crafts store and works there Monday through Friday.  He has another employee and can take off whenever he wants so we do as much traveling as we can.  I drive Andrew, my grandson, to work everyday Monday through Friday but can make other arrangements for him if Carl and I decide to get together.  I’m driving to his house this weekend and will stay from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.

We’ve taken two cruises and have another one booked for June.  I go to see him for long weekends. He has a 5th wheel and a trailer and we have plans to do a lot of camping this summer.  We sparkle when we’re together and spend most of the time missing each other even though we text all day everyday.

I loved Donnie and will always love him and Carl loved his wife and will always love her.  Still, we’ve discovered that the capacity for love never dies within us and we have a strong and deep commitment to each other.  Everyone is surprised when they meet him because he’s not like Donnie at all and not what they expected.  I guess they think since I spent my entire life with Donnie that I’m looking for a replacement but I’m not.  We never “replace” the ones we love but somehow, we manage to find different kinds of love and comparisons become impossible.

Still…I will compare.  to a certain extent… Donnie was wild and passionate and bigger than life.  Carl is sweet and warm and gentle. A very different man.  I went to see him a couple of weeks ago.  The weather was miserable and he asked what I wanted to do.  I said I’d like to go to the lake where he likes to fish and, just like that, we did.  It was snowing and the wind was blowing like crazy and we drove all around his little town and then drove 20 miles or so to a lake with a dam.  He said it’s the biggest man made lake in Illinois.  The water was crashing over the dam, the wind was blowing and the snow was swirling all around. The lake was full of seagulls, ducks and geese and huge white pelicans.  I’d never seen white pelicans before.  I’ve only seen brown ones on the ocean.  It was beautiful and I couldn’t help making comparisons.  Donnie would never have driven 20 miles in bad weather to show me pelicans in the snow.  He would have absolutely refused to leave and would probably have taken my car keys if I tried to go out.

That’s not to say Carl and I don’t share a passionate love life.  We definitely do.  I love this man.  I love him passionately.  And yet he still comes across as sweet and vulnerable in ways that Donnie never did.

And so, my friends, I’m still here.  And I’m not alone and I’m not afraid anymore.


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