So it was a lovely realization that I have absolutely nothing on my calendar this weekend for the first time since Christmas. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And I intend to lounge in my jammies as long as possible with good coffee in reach.
I have been very mindful that being busy cannot take the place of continuing to work through grief. I have learned over the last 18 months that pushing down thoughts and feelings will only allow them to fester, grow and present themselves at the most inopportune times.
I continue to think, pray, reflect and talk with friends about my loss, but I've noticed a wonderful thing emerging: the memories I am now dwelling on are the happier ones from earlier in D's and my relationship. For so long, the forefront of my mind was focused on those last intense and wrenching years of continual hospital stays, unimaginably brutal operations and hearing doctor's words that left me stunned for days.
But now? I'm remembering the sweetness of a courtship that began during a beautiful autumn, a perfect honeymoon in Hawaii, long leisurely trips in San Francisco, Chicago, Pasadena, Asheville, Maine and Missouri. Special trips to Disney; cruises to the Caribbean. Life was good for many years.
One of my biggest frustrations as the cancer ramped up was that I could not be physically close to D. Walkers, medical equipment, lift chairs and hospital beds often kept us from holding hands while walking or even sitting beside each other for years at a time. It is a gift to remember the times when we were able to walk closely alongside each other, holding hands and kicking sand. A subtle reminder to married couples to take nothing for granted.
So, I end quoting Barbra Streisand, thankful that she had already put my newly formed thoughts into words:
"So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were..."
Thanks for the years of laughter, D. They continue to fill my heart with The Happy.