Friday, July 16, 2021

One Year

 July 16, one year ago today my life changed forever.  There have been days that I didn't think I could go on and days I wished I wouldn't.  Part of me left with Rick, maybe he didn't mean to take it with him, but he did.  

All has changed, nothing has changed.  I'm keeping the farm the way he wanted, the dogs are fine, the chickens are happy.  It has been a cooler wetter than normal summer.  That means some crops have thrived some have not.  The blueberries were the tastiest ever and the hens are laying like crazy.

I almost see him sometimes out of the corner of my eye, I feel him daily.  I hear his voice urging me on, saying you can do this.  

I am finding my way, I have stumbled blindly so many times and fallen.  I find the strength to get back up, though it takes awhile and there is nothing easy about it.  The love and support of friends and family has been my fuel, without them, without his voice in the back of my head the will to live would have withered.

Today there is weed eating to be done,  the chicken pen/house has to be cleaned.  I slept very little last night, but all through the darkness, his voice was there for comfort, "you can do this."  Before I go to sleep tonight, there is one more thing that will have to be done...I am picking up my guitar for the very first time since he left and just for him I am singing a song.  That's my gift for him on this unwanted anniversary.

I think of the phrase he told everyone he met... How you doing, they would say?  and his answer..".I am living the dream."  We had an incredible dream together, I am left with the fragments but somehow some way, I am putting them back together and adding new parts.    Nothing will ever be the same,  but my answer now for that same question,  How you doing?...."I'm ok."   

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

4th of July

 July has arrived, on the 16th of this month a year will have passed since Rick died.  It seems like yesterday, it feels like forever.

The Fourth of July was our last holiday to celebrate, who knew in 12 days he would be dead?

His sister, Mary Lois invited me to her daughter's house for the holiday.  My nephew Haven invited me to his house.  I chose to stay home alone.  I got up that morning, feeling a kind of sacredness and a realization of the difference between lonesome and loneliness.  For me, I will always be lonesome because I miss him so much.  But I am not lonely.  Keeping this farm going, friends calling and visiting, daily chores,  still sorting out my life has kept the loneliness at bay.  But missing I miss him.

On Monday, the 4th I decided to take a leap of faith, a giant one.  I got out my paints and canvas and started to paint.  Other than my cards, I had not painted since his death.  Deciding on a subject to paint was easy, I had taken a photograph of flowers in the kitchen window a couple of months before he died.

He loved the photograph and kept asking me to paint it.  I did do a small water color card of the image, but me being my usual self critical self did not believe him when he told me he liked it.  I wish that I  could have bottled his confidence in my art and drank a sip every day.

So with a prayer to Rick, I sketched out the canvas with the image from the photo, but I added something that I did not capture with the camera.  I added my broken heart.  Tears and paint cover that canvas, but something happened to me as the salt and acrylic blended.  I felt at peace with myself and love from Rick.

I knew that for creativity to come back to me,  I couldn't push or force, it would come when the time was right.  I still have not picked up the guitar, but I now know, that too will come when the time is right.

This grief process is  not for the impatient.  Sure you can push it to the bottom of your soul, but I can assure you it will fester and come out in ways you never expected or might not recognize.  I didn't deal with the grief of my parents or my brother and my body and heart taught me how powerful and destructive unrecognized grief can be.

So in a very unusual way,  Independence Day brought me my independence and started the loosening of the chains on my creativity.  My celebration was not the average one, but it was the celebration I sought and needed.

There are two photos with this blog this morning, the original one I took of my kitchen window and the painting.  Fireworks of my own making.