I am back home after a great trip to Pennsylvania/DC/New York City. (More on that in another post.) Married Daughter and her husband will be moving to Wisconsin next month, so I took one last trip to see them before my new job begins next week. Ahh, summer.
D was always intrigued by the fact that there was a defined beginning and end to every school year. In business, the years must just pile on top of each other. But in teaching? There is always a clean line drawn between one classroom full of students and the next.
I like that order, too. I enjoy finishing a school year up and locking the classroom door behind me each May, heading off into summer. I remember my thoughts two years ago as I went home to face a terminal diagnosis with D that came to fruition six weeks later. I know my thoughts last summer were set on crossing the one year anniversary of that loss. I was convinced that some measure of closure would be reached--and it was. This summer? I feel as if I am stepping into a new life that is not clouded by the shadows of the past two years.
It has surprised me to discover that I no longer tell people who are unfamiliar with my past about losing D. If they ask about my family I will volunteer the fact, but I don't feel that his death is the defining point of my life anymore. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know what a huge paradigm shift this is in my life. I think of D often with love and fond memories, but the loss is no longer the largest part of my identity.
I know that I am standing on the thresh hold of a very clear passage in my life. I no longer wear my wedding bands after two years of off-and-on, on-and-off jewelry dilemmas. My goal during this last week of vacation is to put D's belongings I cherish the most on a set of shelves in his former study. I don't want it to be a shrine of any sort: just a special collection that will bring smiles and sweet memories.
In some ways, it feels like I have been awakened from a long, long dream. I realize that I totally let my yard go since July 2009, and am thankful for the grace of the neighbors as I scramble to hire a landscaper. I realized I've worn the same black purse for two years because it was simply easier. I find myself seeking out new colorful purses and clothes with a vengence. The fog has lifted from my brain and I am reading many books at once (oh, Kindle, you are my friend!), pursuing complicated paperwork that was languishing in boxes, and thinking in a pragmatic, clear and organized way that lets me know good changes are ahead.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep."