This photo was taken 6/14/14. We didn’t know it, but Kevin only had 2 more weeks left.
Christmas Eve 2014, the hallmark of the end of a very bad year.
After a day of hard laughter, dancing, eating and singing amid my favorite group of people, the night has quieted to four children who are on guard on my behalf so I’m not alone tonight.
As I pine for 2015 and greater possibilities, I sneaked away to my computer in my darkened office as the kids listen to Christmas music from the 1940s to share these thoughts. The cadence of their chatter is comforting. The kids were talking about how peaceful old Christmas songs sound compared to today’s newer, sexier versions. I reminded them this music was the product of a highly stressed generation, during terrible years. These songs were created during the middle of a world war. While the country fought fear, these songs permeated our culture and calmed it like lullabies, reminding us of the possibility of peace and warm memories – even if only imagined. What an amazing legacy – to resist fear and sadness and meet it with grace and lullabies to calm the masses.
It made me think of this horrible year, and the fruit of my actions. The year of sadness. The year of fear. Giving during critical times carries a magic. Did I take advantage of that, and give merely because there was injustice and sadness?
So I thought about this hateful, dismal past year, and wondered whether I gave enough in spite of it. Was my good better because everything was so bad? I hope so. I hope my very finest was spent on Kevin, to help launch him into an eternity of happiness.
The very best often comes from the ashes of the unimaginably terrible. Have my actions resulted in the peace of others? Have I offered my very best to be the calm in the storm? Has the fruit of my actions been good? And more importantly, did I give powerfully enough to create waves of goodness to inspire others? I speak of myself because of the couple we were, I am all that’s left, but I know Kevin faces these things now – the fruit of all of his actions, the tapestry that his life became.
These are the real gifts that can change the world – even a world war. Giving amid the worst of times is the most powerful thing we can do. It is soul-changing for others. Just as music changed a nation. The funny thing about giving is that you can never over-give.
While I wrote this post on Christmas Eve, I didn’t actually post until tonight – January 25th 2015. It’s 6:28pm – By the way – I still see “28’s” all of the time – 4:28, 9:28 and occasionally 6:28. Kevin died June 28th, and his and my birthdays were 4/28 and 9/28, and one of the kids’ is 7/28. It happens so regularly I now take a screen capture of my phone when I catch it, and have over a hundred of these on my computer now.
It’s insane that we’ve gone almost 7 months now since Kevin died. He still feels here, like he could walk in the door any minute. I still talk to him when no one is around. He’s still the first person I think of every morning and the last I think of every night. I still have his wallet and his underwear drawer intact as it always was, and his work clothes in a drawer. I still take moments out to remember what it was like to have him near me, and what ‘us’ felt like together.
Tonight I read his old Facebook messages to me, and revisited his incessant, flirty, glib sense of humor. God I miss his wit, and the way he shrugged his shoulders when I made him laugh really hard. I miss the way he crossed his legs when he sat, and the way he called my name. I miss the way he was always kind and sweet on the phone when I called, no matter how busy he was. I miss his weakness for me, whether I didn’t balance our checking account right, or whether I didn’t do laundry, or went to bed early, he loved me with his life – all of his being. How did I ever deserve that?
I think sometimes perhaps he is no longer him, but an evolved spirit now – having long forgotten my ways down here, like an out-of-range radio station. We searched so long for each other, and yet I wonder, does he remember me now? I lost his ring the other day. I lost it in his easy chair. I tore the chair apart, pulled it upside down and every which way, and once again the next day, and it’s gone. Gone. It jumped off of my thumb as I fiddled with it, and disappeared. I keep asking him for it back. Another thing lost of Kevin.
Attempting to keep my sanity I decided to go on a date, and have met a nice man. He was married a very long time and endured a very sad divorce. I imagine we both think of our former spouses first and last each day. We have helped each other to stop crying all day long, and while we’re both somewhat still broken inside, we can laugh and dance now. That’s good. It’s also a lot of therapy under the auspices of a relationship, but we both figure, what the hell. It’s nice to eat dinner, laugh and visit. We talk a lot about spirituality and our former loves. We talk about the future and ideas. We are lifting each other up, and ourselves.