One day recently I woke up and realized I was full of anticipation instead of dread for what the day would bring. What a revelation! I’ve lived with dread for such a long time that I had forgotten there was any other way to feel. A long hospital stay and the death of a loved one tends to have that effect on a person.
I don’t usually have anything in particular to do or to accomplish but my day can, and often does, hold unexpected surprises. Even if I do nothing in particular, my day is a blank canvass to fill as I choose….instead of filling it with mandatory doctor appointments, hospital visits, worry and dread.
That doesn’t mean I’m never sad or that I don’t miss my husband. On the contrary, everything reminds me of him, some things more than others. For instance I saw a man in the grocery store wearing a western shirt and wham, the thoughts of my husband made me weak kneed. Anyone who knew my husband remembers that the only shirts he wore were western shirts, except on Sunday when the traditional white shirt took its place briefly. I have three sons who love western shirts too and my youngest grandson who’s not yet two, wore one of his grandfather’s ‘cowboy’ shirts around one morning with it trailing behind him and flapping off his arms. Maybe another western shirt lover in the making? Sweet!
When I hear one of my husbands favorite songs I get misty eyed; or when I make spaghetti [yes, I’m finally eating it again] I think of him and his abrupt appetite change in the last months of his life. Steaks and hamburgers will forever remind me of him; my daughter, who was never a steak lover, commented one day that she was hungry for one of his steaks….me too Julie, me too. When the lawn care people mow the lawn outside my apartment I’m reminded of my husband’s weekly all-day chore of mowing our four acres and how he complained about it but secretly enjoyed it. I’m always watching the birds around my area, one of his favorite hobbies. I have a Dove nesting in the high reaches of my front porch and he’d enjoy observing that.
All these memories have become more sweet than hurtful and my anticipation and hope are not dimmed by them, just enriched. How very strange to wake up with a sense of well-being and thoughts of what nice things the day might bring. I don’t know how long this feeling will last, I’m guessing as long as my health remains stable which is a good reason to work on that.
So I have nothing planned for today, what shall I do? Make some jam or pepper relish? Bake up some yummy [but healthy] treats? Read a good book? Do some on-line shopping? I do have three young grandsons with birthdays in the next couple of months. Take a walk? [not in this triple digit weather] Maybe nap while I’m deciding? Well yes, why not, that sounds like a good plan to me… see you in my dreams, and when I wake maybe I’ll have one of those unexpected surprises.