Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jethro, St. Peter, & Bohemia

Dear John,
 
There's lots to tell today. First, the canine crisis: You know our smoke detectors are wired into the power in the house, but they have back-up batteries. Well, this evening the battery in the one upstairs needed changing, so it started chirping. And our big, brave German shepherd was in my lap trembling all over. I've never seen him so scared. Jen had to hold him while I got up on the ladder and changed the battery. Then he sat in my lap for another half-hour until he stopped trembling. We really have a neurotic dog, don't we?
 
Second, I realized last night what was wrong with me. Like St. Peter, I took my eyes off Christ and looked at the storm. I was doing just fine walking on the water, then I looked at the storm and started sinking. You'd think I'd learn. Well, you probably know me better than to think any such thing - if Pavlov had worked with me instead of dogs, we would never have learned about operant conditioning. But I expect myself to learn this sometime. Evidently, that time hasn't come yet.
 
So I woke up feeling wonderful this morning, and today I've been happier than I've been in over a year, since you got your cancer diagosis in June of last year. I met Tammy at the Brew for tea, and we had such a good time we stayed for lunch. (I know - I have a history of meeting someone for one meal and staying for the next. It's a girl thing.) At one point I was looking at the posters there, and found myself thinking that I need to check their schedule, find out who's going to be performing, and see if there's somebody I want to go hear.
 
I was shocked to hear myself thinking that. I realized that the one part of me that you didn't share was my Bohemian streak - you would hate doing that. But I would enjoy it, so it's logical and sensible for me to see about going. But it's also earth-shaking for me to think like that. I'm also planning to stay in Goshen after work tomorrow and go to First Friday. That's something we always wanted to do, but with you in restaurant work, you always worked on Fridays. I thought I'd never want to do that by myself, but I really do want to now.
 
Maybe I'm doing a little better? Adjusting? Adapting? Being normal, Heaven help us? I just know that I feel very different from the way I've felt for over a year. And it feels good. For today, I'm feeling for the first time that, while I won't miss you any less, I might one day enjoy doing things again. I might look forward to things again. I've been happy today.
 
I know it makes you very happy to hear this, and I appreciate that. It was me that always thought that the funeral pyre was a great idea, not you. You told me many times that you wanted me to happy if I outlived you - you gave me permission to life a full life without you. I still don't see how my life can ever be full without you. But I might be able to be happy.
 
None of this is linear, and I have no idea where I'll be emotionally tomorrow. But for today, I've been happy, I've enjoyed living. And that's more than I dreamed of or asked for. So I'm grateful for today. And for today, I'm grateful to be alive. I didn't expect to ever feel that way again.
 
Thank you for praying for me - don't stop now! And in case you forgot, I love you, adore you, and worship the ground you walk on.
Joan.

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