Since that horrible day, I have gone through so many changes… physically, emotionally, residentially!
The first step was altering my hairstyle and color. I needed a change and I thought that would help. How Naive! I was new to this widow thing… had no clue what was yet to come.
Sure, I realized “surface” things, but even now I find new realizations… right down to a change in the types of clothing I can now wear. I don’t have anyone to zip that dress up the back anymore… and God forbid I should wear that “itchy” one… back itch is a pain when you are out in public. I wonder if anyone would notice if I carried my backscratcher with me wherever I go!
Emotionally… well, I can’t even begin to describe that! To scratch the surface, I would have to say that a small “bump” can feel like a mountain when encountered during a bad day! Even during a good day, a mood can turn on a dime.
Many of you are aware of what I mean by residentially as well. I found it impossible to live in the house we had called “home” for so many years. Unsure of what I needed at the time, I chose to take the least permanent option I could find. I rented a small apartment and realized very quickly that it was not for me.
As I have found to be the case so many times during the past 9 months, a solution showed itself to me… without much effort on my part. I found a house on the internet that was up for auction. I placed a “low-ball” bid and was quickly overbid. Having never seen the house except for pictures (and my parents conducting a drive-by), it was sight unseen. I was not willing to risk any more. The bid closed and my heart grew heavy. 1 hour later, I received a phone call that has changed my life almost as much as that knock on the door had done just hours after his death! It was the auction house. The higher bid fell through (at least that’s what they told me) and did I want to reinstate my bid? I jumped at the chance, and 25 days later I closed on the house that seems to fit me like a glove… right down to the neighbors.
The biggest drawback (at least for some people) is that the only internet available here is my cell phone hot spot. Hidden among what most people see as a disadvantage emerges a huge advantage. The neighbor kids play outside… and offer to help out with projects every chance they get. Having just purchased and hauled home 60 pieces of brick edging yesterday, this was a wonderful benefit. In fact, I had to stop them from taking over my yard project last night so I could do it my way… a great problem to have.
Anyway, as so often happens in my writing, my mind wanders and I stray from the subject that lead me to sit down at the computer in the first place. Today is a prime example. Today is yet another notable day (the 8th of every month is just that. I try to avoid using the term “anniversary” since it is truly not something I chose to celebrate.) Maybe I should create a “catch-word” for it… people all over the world will join in with an attempt to describe something they would rather not even acknowledge, but can’t seem to help it… a “memorialversary” or something like that. I will give it more thought. At any rate, here I go again… mind wander seems to be more of an issue for me today than most days!
The real reason I sat down here this morning was to recognize the memory of someone else who, since Andy’s death, has been on my mind so very much. Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She too departed from our world… many years ago. I was too young to feel that loss so much when it happened, but over the years I have grown to miss her so very much. Ironically, I now find myself in a boat so very similar to the one she was in all those years ago… “young-widowhood.” Grandma Halfacre became a widow at the age of 42! I know that some of you may think that 42 is not necessarily young, but blink a few times and you’ll see just how young it really is! As the story unfolds in my mind, I realize that we encountered many similar issues. The most important one that I think about frequently is the birth of a new grandchild… the second one to be exact (in both cases – hers and mine)! My brother (named Thomas after her recently departed husband) was born shortly after Grandpa Myers’ death. While ours differed slightly as I/We welcomed a new little girl into the family shortly thereafter, she too bears a name that pays tribute to the grandfather she never got to meet. Andrea “Andi” will never have the opportunity to realize the strong arms and warm heart that so eagerly awaited her arrival just months before.
Grandma found love again several years later and married a man that I grew to know as “Grandpa.” That’s a shoe I don’t really ever seeing myself even attempting to fill however. I stood by obliviously as a young child and watched as she went through the grief of burying yet another husband… the man I had grown to love as my grandfather. Shortly thereafter, she developed cancer and suffered for nearly a decade until she departed to be reunited with lost loved ones.
Since Andy’s accident, I have given her situation so much thought. I now see her as possibly the most respected and influential person in my life. I just wish I realized then what I know now. But then again, I guess we all wish that from time to time. I hope someday that my granddaughters can look past my weak moments and see me as a strong person, though I hope they never feel the need…
Not a day goes by that I think “What would Grandma do” or “how would Grandma handle this?” I guess I’ll just add a few more to that list of eternal questions that I one day hope to ask!
Andy, month after month the day rolls around! I think about the “7th” when I saw you for the last time… and the “8th” when that early morning knock at our front door changed my life drastically… forever. All my life, I heard it said that “time heals all wounds” but can’t imagine how something so deep could ever be healed. I lost part of me when you died! I know that healing is not an option, so I look for strength to cope with the pain that my heart deals with every day. With all my love… Forever and Always Baby!