I see another storm coming, too. The storm of “firsts”. The initial wave already hit – my birthday – and it was crippling. It really knocked me down, and I wasn’t expecting it. But I am happy to report, that I am back up, hobbling around. For the moment. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to post something “softer” than my last rant. I actually wrote this before my birthday, before I realized just how hard some of these upcoming anniversaries would be.
I am slowly approaching some of those “firsts” that people refer to. My first birthday (since his death)…my first Christmas (without him)…though, I am realizing some of my firsts aren’t even “official” firsts. Some of them are creeper firsts. Sneaking in, hiding behind the furniture, waiting to burst like a surprise party.
This past thanksgiving I thought back to what I had done the year before. I had gone to yoga, and in the class, the teacher asked us to dedicate our practice to something, or someone. I remember dedicating it to my dad. I was very worried about his health. I was also worried about my husband, who wasn’t acting quite like himself. Little did I know it would become the unofficial beginning of a very difficult year. The year of my dad’s somewhat expected (well, dreaded) death, and my husband’s completely unexpected death.
Today we had our first snowfall. My first snowfall without my husband. It was bitter sweet. I took the dog to the park, and while she ran and leapt, and frolicked in the snow, I ran, and cried as the flakes melted on my teary face. Tonight I will attend a tree lighting-remembrance ceremony at the hospital where my husband spent a lot of time during his last months of life. I feel so heavy in my heart just thinking about going there…”the” hospital, or any hospital, for that matter. But I know I need to go. I want to go, for him. It’s not like he enjoyed any of the time he spent there. So tonight, I will go to the hospital – my first time – without him.
But today, I had another first. Nothing big…just a little something that I thought might balance my sadness. After the emotional storm in the dog park, I took my dog to get a picture with Santa. Something I never thought I’d do. This, too, was emotional for me, when I looked at the picture. It broke my heart to think it was a photo my husband would never see. But the picture also made me smile…and made me realize that as best as I can, I need to keep trying to bring in positive “firsts”, along with the inevitable hard ones, even if it’s only one step forward for two steps back, as I continue on this path, and slowly build this new picture of a life – my life – without him.
So, if I could make a request, of the weather gods. If it’s gonna’ storm – and I know it will – I’d like thunder snow. Massive tectonic plates crashing in the sky…jolting me out of bed, shaking me and waking me…bursting! Not into molten burning lava, but into light white fluffy stuff that lands softly on my head, and melts on my, oh so weakened, heart.