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Well, I decided against it after all.  Part of it is like walking into Best Buy dead broke and thinking that the 70″ TV for sale isn’t that expensive.  It’s only when you walk in with the money to buy it that it seems exorbitant and you walk out with nothing more than a Jock Jams CD.

The other part is that even protected, there are things that I hold sacred, that even my closest friends don’t get to hear about.  There are, in fact, some cards I play close to my vest.

About a month ago I met a woman who lives just around the corner who lost her husband in a car accident just before Christmas last year.  She’s boisterous, she’s over the top, and she finds a lot of joy in playfully playing the “dead husband” card.  There’s no malice or expectations when she does it, she’s just living on, so to speak.  Anyway, I think we’ve become pretty good friends in this short time and I think I owe it all to her.  She’s very open and honest and open and, did I say open?  I always felt that life should go on but it was hard for me to get out of bed every day and do so, and everyone says “I know,” or “I’m sure it is” but she’s one of the few people who actually knows.  She was married for a long time and is trying to do right by her four kids and herself, but she’s not turning off the part of her that died along with her husband that night.  She doesn’t know it, but I look up to her a lot in this.  She hasn’t let me down.

My boys were out of town for a couple days so she and I decided to meet for dinner and drinks Thursday night.  We talked a lot about many different things, and ended up closing down two of the three bars in this sleepy town.  Afterward, we decided to walk the two miles home instead of call a cab.  And no, there’s no romance in this post.  We won’t be dating.  We are in this shitty club that, thankfully, is highly exclusive.

It was a good night.  She made me cry.  She made me laugh.  She made me live for that one night out.  She made me find the strength to make the next day and the next day and the day after that be a good day, and be a man and face my fears.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the days to come now.  Maybe a little too cautious and not enough optimistic, but these are baby steps.  I had long conversations with another good friend the last couple of nights and that felt good, as well.  There are a TON of things that I have no idea what to expect from, but a few things are coming into focus for me, and I’m understanding myself a little more.  I’m becoming more self-aware, which despite what I said a couple days ago, may have slipped in the last few months.  I think I’m genuine, though, and however far that will take me is far enough.

3 comments

  1. Cylithria says:

    For over 25 years, the man of my life and I shared a strange, bizzare life. It’s such a long, convoluted story, how we met, how we married at 15 (me) and 19(him) and our subsequent secret life due to Duty, God, and Country. I never thought during all of it I’d become a civillian, that I’d live through, past beyond our secret military lives. But I did.

    He, did not.

    Our children also passed away during our lifetime together. War, secrets, duty, deaths of another so many; and we lived through it all, because we always had one

  2. Cylithria says:

    *continued due to odd glitch. *

    because we always had one another. When he died…..

    *words fail*

    I didn’t know your Dawn. I followed on twitter. I am sad I can’t say I was her friend. Since then I have followed your journey, often finding an odd sense of less agony because you’ve shared a touch of the secrets of this shitty club. Thank you. Truly, thank you. You have been genuine, and it’s somehow helped me to begin to grieve. So…. Many many tears of thanks. Wanted you to know that!

  3. Cat says:

    my sister lost her fiance a few years ago. witnessing her grief changed me fundamentally. i’ve never felt so helpless as i did in those moments. i know i was a comfort, but her real progress came from her time with my mom’s best friend, widowed almost twenty years ago. no one can fathom it without enduring it, i’m afraid. i’m so glad you have a club member to spend time with.

    wanted to mention something from another post. i was advised not to move *anything* when my sister lost her boyfriend, not a used kleenex. she slept in their dirty sheets for a month. you’ll move stuff when you’re ready, it’s an important step. i found this to be true after my divorce as well.

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