|I went from counting days to weeks to months|
I've been cleaning out Eric's office for the past week. I don't think I had been in there alone ever. There were probably 5 different occasions in the last 5 years that I have even been in his office. It's in the basement of our home. In there is a keg orator, flat screen, computers...fabulous man cave. He built it himself. He wanted to finish it with logs from a cabin and giant animal heads (after they're dead, of course).
Tons and tons of Wacky Packages. If I had to guess, which I'm very bad at, I would say there are 5,000 or more. My son thinks I'm wrong but they fill 4 green tubs. Ahhh, whatever, there's a lot. Hundreds of music cd's and VHS tapes. I'm a little afraid to watch the tapes however.
Then I found what I was looking for. Photo albums. The prize. I had never seen any pictures from Eric's childhood. And possibly see the other girls that won his heart. Sadly there were only a couple of girls, and I mean a couple. Nothing like me at all. They looked sweet, and Midwestern, and not like me at all.
He was a cute cute cute baby. Not that cute from 7-14ish. But then 18 came and oh my god what a fucking hottie. I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I hit the hot jackpot. By the time we had met he had a rounded belly, a "not" full head of hair, beautiful blue eyes, and a look like, "I'm a little bored."
What if you knew while you were playing football in college that you'd only have 30 years left to live. That handsome 18 y.o. man'ish only had 30 more years to find a job, find a girl, get married, have children, have grandchildren, retire, die sometime many years later. What if Eric knew that he would only get through half of his life list. (That isn't assuming he would have lived until 96, but 90 isn't unreasonable these days.
Tears rolled down my face knowing that this beautiful 3 y.o. boy has so many less years than he was supposed to. Looking at the pictures of him in his early years, I was seeing a child. Not the man I married but a boy that didn't know the fate that awaited him. Maybe he would have done his life differently. Maybe.
I hardly slept last night. I kept replaying the last two breaths that he took. Now wondering if he knew he was about to die. Was he scared, sad, struggling? I want to ask him. Are you sure you are o.k.. I do ask sometimes, but I keep getting no answer.
When I woke up, which means I kind of slept I guess, my hands were shaking and I felt the breath leave my body. It was as if I wanted to experience the same feeling of taking in your last breath. I wanted to know if it was o.k. or just horrible.
I miss you Eric. Our children are so brave and loving and oh so sad. Your son sleeps with my mom or me every night. Whoever he's with he demands that we hold him. We always do. Our daughter sleeps with one or the other. We each just get one child each night. Anyway, Adelaide just holds my hand to make sure I'm here with her. She asked me today, "What happens if something happens to you." Very normal question from a child whose father or mother has just died. I told her I am not sick and don't have cancer. I do tell her I'm here for her always. Don't know how I can say that I'll be here forever , this considering their father never thought he'd leave them after only knowing them for 9 years.
At the end of the day, my husband has been dead one month. My neighbor has helped me take out my 1000 lb. garbage. His beautiful wife brings me Starbucks whens desperate. My dad changed a lightbulb for me yesterday. Yes it's true, I don't know how to change a bulb. It's scary when you've only been the CFO and Disciplinarian of the house and have had nothing to do with the home we live in.
Here we are one month later. It gets harder every single day. Everyday I realize that I have to do all of this by myself. Sure I have my parents to help and give advice. Since meeting and marrying you, it has been you and me making all of the decisions that concern our home and family (well mostly me and some of you). Although it did depend on the subject, and then came the "I defer to you."
I miss you so very very much. I cried today like you died today. I miss you more today than yesterday. It's not getting easier. There was a thought right after you died that I was now free. No more sickness, no more care taking, no more fighting over in-laws, just no more. It was more quiet. Well, now it's so quiet it's deafening.
Think of me often. Somehow, show me you're here and you'll help me make the right decisions for us. Don't let me just figure this all out by myself. I've never had to do this before and what if I don't have the skill set. There's no manual to follow. You're favorite pass time was reading directions. My favorite pass time was seeing the finished product.
Enough babbling today. I will keep the paper that represents the 21st of each month from my rip off calendar.
I love you my darling husband. Be well.
A poem I found for Us.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.