Thursday, February 13, 2014

Living On, Alone: Twenty-Two Months

Dear John,
 
Happy 22-month anniversary of your arrival in Heaven! You do know that I'm glad for you, don't you? You went through so much and tried so hard, and did it so gently and patiently. And, for you, I'm glad that it's over. For me, this is still terribly hard. But I really am glad for your sake.
 
This is kind like the summer that I moved to Durham three months before you did. I went ahead to start work at Duke and find a place to live, while you stayed at home to keep working and try to sell the house. You always said that it was harder for me than for you, because you were still at home with the dog and the family and our friends, while I was alone, working third shift, and renting a room in a house with seven college students. This time I'm here with the house and dog and family and friends, so I should be okay. But the parallel breaks down - you're not alone, not working third shift, and I understand that the living conditions are quite a bit different there - I can't imagine that you have to gang up on Tommy to get him to wash his own dishes.
 
We were only apart for three months - you came down for visits and we talked on the phone. It was something we decided together to do so you could go to seminary. And it had an end - I knew exactly when you'd be moving down. I know that this separation is temporary, too. We will be together again; I just don't get to know when. You can't visit me, and I understand that. If you could get the Skype issue worked out, it would help immensely. I do know that this is temporary, but from this side it feels so permanent sometimes. It's not forever, but it is for the rest of my life. And that's a hard thing to look at.
 
I guess it's really nothing like those three months, is it? It's not like anything at all. It just is what it is. And I'm happy for you. And when I get to come join you, then I'll be happy for me, too. Until then, know that I love you more than life. And I can say that now because I've found out that it's the truth. Only other widows can understand that.
 
Counting the months until I'm with you,
Joan. 

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