Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Life Without Context

Dear John,
I've been thinking again. Remember that I've talked to you about adjusting to living when there is nobody who knows your past, nobody that was there for it? Tonight my mind is coming back to that.
It seems that people can adjust to that, too. It's taken a while to learn to live without context or background. Thank goodness there are people who've known me for a long time - Becky since college, Donna since eighth grade, Claire since childhood, Jim and Irene since we started dating. But none of those people live around here. My oldest friends here have known me for twenty years. I'm so thankful for that - it's one reason I don't consider moving away.
But there are different levels of "knowing." There are parts of my childhood that nobody but a sibling would know, parts of my adult life that only you know. You were the one I griped to when things weren't good at work, restored the house with, went to seminary with, took turns having health problems with, and on and on. No one has ever known me like you do. That deeper knowing is what is hard to to live without.
But I appear to be doing just that. I only rarely feel that lack now. I guess I've just gotten used to it. I'm comfortable with being contextless to the people around me. They're here and they care in the present, so it matters little that they weren't here for the past. There are days that are uncomfortable, especially around Christmas and New Years. But that's probably true for everyone who has lost a family member.
I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm becoming comfortable with this. I know I haven't explained it very well and I hope it makes sense to you. I'll let you know if I get it nailed down any better. I am alone in a sense that I never have been before. It feels different, but no longer sad or uncomfortable. And that is good.
That's my report for the day regarding what my mind has been up to. I may not write tomorrow - I'm going to the fair after work and may be late getting home, and I have to be at work at 7:15 Friday morning. So don't worry if you don't hear from me tomorrow night. I won't subject you to exhausted incoherence - you had enough of that from me during finals in college. And you married me anyway!
Love you so much,


  1. So are you saying the magic number is 3.? years. I am counting on you!

  2. For me, it got better at the 3-year mark. Not great, but better. I hope it does for you, too. <3

  3. I am about 8 months away. So far only one major breakdown in the last couple months. But I still do not give myself time to think.