You would think that I would have regular crying spells but I haven't. For the past year most of my memories of Gerald were of Sick Gerald. I loved and adored Sick Gerald. He was so kind and gentle. He was not angry, he was Mr Mellow, just enjoying the now. All his pre cancer hopes and dreams went away. He didn't want to own a steam train, He didn't want to create a traveling exhibit about Tesla, he could care less about his new Toy Box. He just enjoyed being here and now.
Gerald's final months were very tough. I know it was God's grace that helped me through. Then afterwards I was numb. The first month I kept busy with Gerald's Memorial and his Celebration of Life. As I prepared the services I was combing through photographs, 45 years of memories. There was also the task of figuring out what my financial status would be along with all the paperwork of transferring our accounts into my accounts.
Then before I knew it, the holidays was here. I had made a decision to stay with family in Texas between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. I didn't think I could handle the holidays in Florida. Looking back at last year, I physically got sick during Christmas. I spent Christmas evening in bed while I listened to my family downstairs celebrating. I could not make myself join them. I wasn't crying and sad in bed, I was flu like sick. Maybe my body was taking over for pent up emotional stress. I don't know why, but I could not cry last year. The only time I remember crying was when I took Gerald's ashes up to Oregon Missouri and placed them in the ground next to his dad's grave. I burst into tears as the rain came down. I felt like my head was going to explode as the eruption of uncontrollable tears poured out. Since then I have not cried until this month.
I had gone on antidepressants soon after Gerald was diagnosed. I continued until a few months ago when I felt like It was time to loose the crutch. I'm not sure if this is why, but I have found myself swelling up with tears during this holiday. I put up a Christmas tree. I couldn't help but tear up as I unwrapped ornaments that we had hung for decades together. I find myself able to remember past the "Sick Gerald" and recall our full, blessed life together. I am so lucky to have experienced the loving relationship with such an awesome person. I shed tears of loving remembrance of special times. I'm to a point in this journey where I want the tears and I want to feel.
I have more big plans for 2020. I have another Model T tour, Spring Break Skiing, Grandson-Mimi trips and the biggest adventure is a 500 mile/six week walking pilgrimage from France across Spain with my Sister next fall. I miss Gerald, I ache for him, I look forward to the day I see him again in Heaven. Until then, I am going to live my life to the fullest. I have carried a small jar of Gerald's ashes with me along all my travels this year. Gerald's dust is next to his dad in Missouri, he's here in Florida, he's at Canyon Lake behind our old house, He's in the San Marcos, and Guadalupe River. Not only is he at the places we lived and enjoyed, He is at the places that I have traveled this year including London, Germany, Scotland, Madrid, Barcelona, the Atlantic, the Pacific and Mediterranean Seas. He's at our favorite Boardwalk in Santa Cruise, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, he's also in streams in the Smoky Mountains. I leave just a pinch of Gerald everywhere I want him to experience with me.
I know that I will see Gerald again and I know that he is with me now. I hear the wind chimes in the back yard ringing out and I remember the beautiful note he wrote me declaring that when they rang out they were singing "Gerald loves Doris". I still feel him holding me in bed and laughing at me being silly.
I rejoice at the Wonderful Life I have been so blessed with. Don't take today for granted, embrace it.