Monday, April 25, 2022

April and Life Goes On

 April brought Easter and for the first time since Rick died I went to a family gathering at my sister's and then at his sister's.  Both were difficult, I still feel suspended and not quite sure of where I belong or even who I am.  His younger sister and her husband lost their only child in a car accident just before Easter.  The funeral was held at that same place where Rick's memorial service was held.  I sat in the back and took deep breaths.  Our nephew James, my brother's oldest son lost a leg to sepsis, loss comes in so many ways.

My mother told me once  after my dad  died her life became one of loss.  Sure there were good moments, but the older she became, the more people she knew died, who became sick,  she just saw more and more loss.  Sometimes I fear that is what life becomes for all of us as we age...just acceptance of loss.

This weekend I went out to my shed to get my hoe to work in my garden.  My hoes were gone, so were several other old tools that had all belonged to my grandparents, then passed on to my parents and then to Rick and I.  There were shiny new tools, that the thief didn't touch.  More loss... Tools that had been used for almost a hundred years, that had seen sweat, tears and felt calloused hands.  Tools that been lovingly caressed, handles rubbled warm and smooth with appreciation. Taken from their home by someone whose only reason for existence apparently  is to find money for their next high.

And while there is ugliness there is great beauty in my life as well.  All around the farm, spring has delivered  her beauty in abundance.  The apple trees have filled the air with soft delicate sweetness.  Wild flowers have bloomed in the fields and woods with abandonment as though Van Gogh had tossed seeds into the wind and the spring rains and sun painted the earth with their beauty.  The blackberries are blooming now, and I can hear Rick's voice, "you are going to make a blackberry cobbler, right?"    The blueberry bushes are full of green berries and I walk barefoot through clover daily.

I have started a large painting.  It's inspired by a photo that a friend of Rick's sent me of a field of Texas wildflowers.  We will see how it goes.  I have written many pages, worked on some new songs and  cried many tears.  I know Rick's death changed me forever and I muddle through as best I can.  Using creative energy helps, so do friends and family who listen.  Regardless of whether it's a good or difficult day, Rick's voice stays in my head, "life goes on."  Yes, it does Rick.  The photo is of blackberry blossoms in the backyard.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

7th Decade

 Yesterday was my birthday.  I entered my 7th decade, it was my second birthday without Rick.

To be honest I don't remember much at all about my last birthday.  I made it through, that was my goal and I was successful.  

Turning 70 is surreal, not the aging part but it was such a milestone birthday that the two of us always talked about.  Rick would have been 70 last year, I know we would have celebrated in some form or fashion but it would have been different because of covid.

Yesterday I thought about him most of the day.  Life has changed in so many ways, yet much has remained the same.  The dogs and I walk daily, the chickens are still my girls and spring is arriving on the farm.  The redbuds are blooming, the dogwoods are budding, every day brings a different shade of green.

I have worked the beds, cleaned all the planters and containers, pruned fruit trees, cleared the fence line and ordered seed.

Friends called, texted, sent cards yesterday, family members dropped by.   I felt much love and gratitude, yet the feeling of emptiness stayed with me.  I just miss him.  The pain is not unbearable any more, just nagging, always that little twinge that has become a part of me like my blue eyes.

My mom traveled constantly after my father died.  It was her way of dealing with the twinge.  I am fortunate to have friends who live all over the globe and in their infinite kindness they issue invitations to visit.  Before Rick died, all I wanted to do was travel, now it is such a difficult thing to think about. 

This farm has become my security blanket, the last threads of a life that was not perfect, but content.

Building courage to continue new things daily is exhausting,  finding direction and purpose is painful, like being born again.  This freedom, thrust upon me by the death of a lifelong partner is nothing that I asked for but it is the hand I have been given.  The responsibility of it is heavy and the choices are not easy.  Life continues to go on.  Sharing my birthday selfie.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentines 2022

 February 14, 2022

Love is messy, complicated and difficult

Love is glorious, beautiful and life sustaining

A heart wrapped in love will celebrate the beauty of the roses and endure the pain of the thorns.

May you have an abundance of roses and an absence of thorns.

Happy Valentines


Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Gift

 New Years Day, 2022

It's interesting how the celebration of New Year's has changed through the decades for me.  Once upon a time, it was all about dressing up, going to a party and lots of champagne. As the years went by, it became spending time with good friends, enjoying good food and making memories. Then it was just Rick and I, a great meal at home, and a good bottle of wine and sometimes we didn't stay up to welcome the new year.

Rick loved New Years, it and Thanksgiving were his two favorite holidays.  He made elaborate mind maps of his resolutions, he would make recordings of his resolutions.  For him, a new year was like getting a new life.  I never got into resolutions but I always did vision boards.  A couple of months after he died, I picked up my vision board for 2020 and threw it in the trash.  Everything on that board, every vision I had included him.  I no longer make vision boards.

Last year as 2021 came calling, I had expectations.  You probably had them as well.  A vaccine would be distributed, Covid would be contained, and  the divisive craters created by politics would begin to grow smaller.  

This year, I have no expectations of 2022.  As a matter of fact, I smudged my house last night, opened the doors and hoped that any kind of negativity that existed would disappear into the darkness.

 I am living one day at a time with hopes that I can spend time with my friends and family, play music once again and travel before I am too old.  I am practicing kindness as much as I possibly can.  This farm is a full time job but the hard work outdoors has been good for me.  I am grateful for family, friends, my dogs and chickens.  My life is very different, but it's good.  Painting and music give me joy, so do books and conversations with friends. 

This morning when I walked the dogs I spied a flash of golden yellow on the trail.  I looked down and there was a heart shaped leaf.  I think it was a gift for the new year.  For this year, may we all be kind, to each other, our selves, to the world around us.