April has been hard. No surprise I guess, as are approaching the one-year mark.

One year.

I was so angry the other day, I beat the bleep out of the heavy bag, until I developed a butt cramp.  Apparently my behind is not accustomed to the intensity of anger. She is a softy after all.

I had entered his domain, that being the garage.

Ever-so-slowly, I clear out the clutter of his well-lived life. The man saved everything, from bolts, screws, clamps, old wood planks, to an endless array of cords to items already discarded, sold, or obsolete.

I tidied up the mess.

Organize as I do when my soul feels in chaos.

His suits sit stuffed in an old suitcase on the garage floor–the makeshift purgatory until they can be released from my clutch.


I learned year’s ago my anger tendency is to stuff emotions, as a hoarder does useless objects, until there is no where else to turn. No more capacity. Full.

I woke to a partial verse. It covered me like a warm blanket,

Come to me, you who are heavy laden. I will give you rest.

Heavy laden, for rest. A fair trade.

I’m reminded of the prayer from last May, when in a desperate place of wanting to die with Bill, I gave God a year to rekindle a desire to live.

I said that I wanted to be like George Bailey near the end of, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, who stood on the snowy bridge, rubbing his tear-filled eyes, saying, “I want to live. I want to live.”

Somewhere around the eight-month mark, a transition occurred, without such fanfare as George, when I realized that I too wanted to live.

Shortly after, George entered his home with a new-filled appreciation of what he had. The old home he had irritated over, likely because it served as a reminder of an unfulfilled dream to travel, build large skyscrapers, and live a life of adventure, the one he would never embark as he was forever sidelined to the small town he wished to escape…

It was in this same space the lens of perspective changed.

He realized that everything he ever desired was in this home.

The shift occurred, even though his circumstances did not.

When we purchased this home, months before cancer stepped in without permission, this home was a dream come true.

A year without him here, and I am no longer sure of this.

I read this quote in the book, ‘Falling Free’, that is rocking my world,

Surrender is always the beginning of a better dream.

I lay down my fighting gloves, and release the pent-up emotion to paper.

In less than a week we head to New York, to a city Bill didn’t care at all to visit. We will celebrate his life, and our lives.

We will stuff ourselves with pizza at the original Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn. (Every 29th, we bring joy to the difficult monthly reminder on the calendar by meeting at a location here in San Antonio.)

George desired the city, but found his wonderful life in his home.

I desire this home, but without his presence, I may find it elsewhere, knowing my true home awaits when my time here on earth is over.

I’ve decided for the time being, to give him squatter’s rights in my mind and heart, as he refuses to leave, even though he is physically absent.

I also decided to give him back some closet space.

I stuff the now-crumpled suits back in place, and wrap my arms around them and hug them close.

I’m giving grief space to grieve.

And time, knowing that just because we made it to the major milestone on a calendar, doesn’t mean the evidence of grief is gone.

It takes time.

Besides, he just won’t leave me alone.

He lures himself into nearly every thought.

He breaks through the waterproof mascara without permission.

It is both unnerving, and comforting.


My mantra for months has been, “I look forward to the day that I look forward to a day.”

I realize as I look at this upcoming week that I am looking forward to a day on the calendar.

My heart swells with joy at the thought.


7 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. As crazy as it sounds I look forward to your writing, it makes me feel connected to you and the girls. I get to experience Bill through your eyes. I get to enjoy him. Surrender is uncomfortable but necessary. Surrender is always the beginning of a new dream. Love

  2. Love this. Making space for grief seems so much wiser than just barreling through it. And my prayer is that NYC is a time to laugh, cry, heal and EAT.;) Love you, Josie.

  3. Your just so beautiful and I love you dearly. I too love and miss him. I think of him quite often, with his picture hanging on my mirror above my bed and my ceramic manjor set right underneath of the mirror. I smile every morning knowing we have another amazing angel watching over us. It makes me feel a little bit safer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s