The night we met I had very few expectations going into it. I had gone on 11 short meet & greets through the dating site, and while I met a couple men that I still consider friends, and one of those men even came to Mikes funeral, nothing had stuck. Looking back on it I had no idea who I was post divorce, hadn’t dated since the Reagan administration, and dating in 2013 was way different than dating in my teens! lol
I have blogged about that first night before, but this is my blog and if I repeat myself It is probably pretty similar to how I am in real life, so you’ll just have to deal with it. I walked into the restaurant, and he was sitting at the end of the bar. He was wearing dad jeans, tennis shoes, and a blue nylon jacket that I found out later his dad had bought at a garage sale, with some obscure tool companies name and logo on it that none of us had ever heard of. I was wearing a low cut sweater, and a push up bra.
It was pretty much love at first sight for both of us.
On the surface we probably wouldn’t look like a match. He had no interest in whether his shoes matched his belt, and I have trouble changing the channel on the TV. In fact, the last couple of weeks before he died he was committed to teaching me how to turn the channel on the TV. He showed my daughter, and he showed me all the fancy gadgets on the remote like how to speak into the remote and find your show. In my defense I didn’t hold the remote for the 3 years we were together. How could I could I have been expected to just know how to use it? I have many pictures of Mike sleeping with the remote in his hand, on his chest, or beside him as he slept.
When he was sick the TV became his life line. He watched hours of programming on how to restore antique cars, sell old cars, live in the wilderness, and I spent hours watching him.
I am slowly trying to move forward at my own pace. Sometimes it feels like forever that he has been gone, sometimes it feels like seconds. His clothing is still in the drawers, his shoes in the closets, and his face everywhere. Yesterday I actually looked through the piles of medical supplies my cousin and sister bagged up the night he died and placed in the corner of the dining room so I didn’t have to look at them anymore. I made a few calls to see if I could donate these supplies somewhere, and I am slowly taking action on some of these things. There is always something to deal with when your spouse dies.
Of course the set backs are never far away. I pulled out a pair of his tennis shoes from the closet, and they had his worn socks stuffed inside them. He used to do that, stick his socks back into his shoes if he only wore them a few minutes or so, and wanted to get another wear out of them. I couldn’t resist. I pulled out a sock and sniffed. Hoping to find his scent even on a pair of smelly socks. His feet never stunk, and alas neither did these socks. I sat in the same spot in the hallway floor, and held his shoes for a while, and then I put them back into the closet.
A few weeks ago, I sold his motorcycle to a friend of his from work who said all the right things. He told me that when he rode the bike that he would think of Mike, and remember him. I wanted him to buy it, and I was happy to see him take it. I thought it would be difficult to see the motorcycle go, and so did my support system as evidenced by the phone calls, and texts I got after the bike was picked up. Strangely it wasn’t. I suppose after you watch your love die in your living room while you are holding his hand, things like selling his beloved motor cycle become a minor loss. We talked about selling that motor cycle all last fall. Mike had been planning to buy a new one before we found out the keytruda wasn’t working anymore. He just couldn’t sell it. It was too painful for him. In his notebook that he kept notes for me, he gave me a list of the upgrades etc that the bike had, doing what he could to make it easier on me to sell it, but knowing he wasn’t able to do it himself emotionally. At the end of the day, his good friend Joe sold it for me, all I had to do was agree to the sales price, and the buyer.
I hope you know how grateful I am for my support system. From my friends that I have had since childhood who have been in touch every day despite living so far away, to my new friends in my cancer support group, to my church, to Mikes family I have been blessed by your love and kindness during this terrible time.
I am going to be ok. I know you are worried for me, and I am worried for me too, but today I am ok.