Keeping An Eye on Me

Dear Jim,

I still miss you like crazy. It’s been almost 2 ½ years since you left. I think my sorrow is starting to lift, but there are still moments of pain. The triggers are random. The other day I pulled out my cookbook holder and I flashed back to when I bought it. We were living on Gilman Drive in La Jolla. I was pregnant with Brandon. My mind went swirling with memories of you and him. It took my breath away.

Yesterday, after work I wanted to go out for dinner and have Mexican food. The weather was beautiful and I thought how nice it would be to sit outside and have an ice-cold beer with some spicy food and good conversation. There was no one available that I wanted to join me. I wanted you to join me. I wanted to spend time talking like we used to. Remember how we would talk about our lives and speculate on our future and come up with plan options? I miss that.

I decided to go to El Sombrero’s. It’s not a big deal to eat alone. I can read a book on my phone and I don’t mind being a party of one. As I was driving there, some middle-aged blond lady was following me just a little too close. She was bugging me. When I pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot, I thought I saw her pull in also – oh, great. After I parked I looked around and it seemed like there were several, I mean a lot of middle-aged blond ladies going to the restaurant. It kind of freaked me out. I thought to myself I don’t want to be one of those, and especially one that is alone. So I went home and ate the pasta dish I had in the freezer.

I started to feel sad and lonely. Basically, I was feeling sorry for myself. I know a lot of people here in Nashville, but I don’t socialize much. Sometimes it just takes too much effort. I can count on one hand those I feel close to and comfortable enough with that no effort has to be made. You know to whom I’m referring.

It’s strange and humbling being a widow. I haven’t figured out the rules yet. Which is too bad because apparently I’ve been breaking some. Hence, why one friend told me to stay away from her husband and thereby I have been cut off from a whole family who I considered close and comfortable friends. Oh, well.

In March I went to San Diego to see my folks and celebrate Dad’s 79th birthday. (79! Can you believe it?) I made him a German Chocolate cake like always. Did you see when I made him a cake a couple years back and I shipped it overnight? It cost about the same as shipping myself out.

We had a really great visit and I made it a point to keep my time prioritized to spend with them. But I did make time to meet up with a few close girlfriends, because I was desperate for some encouragement and prayer. Prayer because I want joy and I want it now!

I asked S, who had lost her husband many years ago, how long does this sorrow-ing and grieving last? She had good and wise things to say that gave me hope. Then they gathered around me and prayed. And you know what? Prayer works. I have since felt stronger.

Sometimes I think about moving back to San Diego. I really miss my friends and our church. I would love to live closer to my folks, but my life (and daughter) is in Nashville now. It’s a good life, too. Going back would be exactly that – going back, and I must go forward.

My life is starting to evolve and change and become something new. I think you would be proud of me. In fact, I know you are because I think you’ve been helping me. Maybe directly through some spiritual connection? Or, maybe indirectly by what I learned from knowing you? Anyway, thanks for keeping an eye on me.