It is hard to believe that 4 years have passed since you left us. In a way, I know your not very far away and I can feel your gentle support as I make my way through life.
When you first left, I remember sleeping. I slept as I never had and someways, now that I think about it, I probably sleep-walked through the entire first year. It was probably my body's way of recovering. As time passed, I, then had trouble sleeping without you. Staying up to the wee hours of the night and awakening before dawn. Each day was always a reminder that you were not there.
I made it a point to take road trips. Less about the destination and more about the desire to prove to myself that I was a capable woman. During the second year, I got myself a camera. Nothing too expensive, but it suits me fine. Since then, my camera has been my little companion. I have always been creative, but when we went through your illness, I wondered if that part of myself had been lost. It might sound strange but the camera saved my life. I enjoy the beauty that unfolds each day and I enjoy the patience of photography. Being still.
I still have a hard time with what seems like our shrinking family. My oldest is now out on his own, following his dreams and working hard at it. The youngest, is a teenager now. Very thoughtful and attentive, although, as you know with teenagers, that only can go so far as they really need their space. I try to remind myself not to rely too much on him and to learn to find contentment in my own space. It is something I work on daily. It is scary to think that I am completely on my own. I think the hardest part about it is not being able to share things with another who understands me. Certain thoughts and experiences to only be kept to myself. I have found though, there is a beauty in learning to thrive within the serenity of my own soul.
I have taken a few chances. Recently, I bought a very old cottage to renovate. One day, it might be my downsized home. When I am there, I feel happy. There is something about having a home that is just mine. It is the first place that I have owned that I have not shared in raising a family, or as a married person. Lately, I go there and paint on a canvas. Just simple abstract stuff. But, again, that is another thing that I stopped doing when we went through your illness. It feels really good to blast music and just mindlessly paint. It seems cleansing and healthy to me.
I am trying to make the conscious effort to be a healthy person. Not necessarily physically, although that is also coming along. But more about, up here, in my head. One of the best things I did recently is decide, that I do not want to be a martyr. Yes, I am a widow, and yes, only you and I know the ways in which I still grieve. At the same time, I have chosen not to be "In Mourning" my entire life. It was a personal choice that needed to be made. Since for whatever reason, I happen to still be walking on this Earth, should I allow my entire existence to be determined by your death? I want to celebrate in my existence. For instance, everyday, I have been playing music. Recently, I started to dance to the music. Really dance. To feel my body come alive, to feel sexy, female again, elevated my heart. I did this without guilt. I found myself happy for a moment and I have decided that is okay. I am still here, still ~Breathing.
I love you, Baby.