My “Random Thoughts” blog took flight just over a year ago. I have posted 65 entries; those 65 have been viewed 10,140 times. Some of the popular bloggers probably get that much attention in a couple hours. I don’t do it for the numbers; however, I appreciate each of you that follow my stuff. I am not a writer, I just like to write or maybe I have a writing habit. I like some of the things I write better than others; in fact I wonder what possessed me to write some of it (this one my fall in that category).
I honestly think this will be the most difficult one I have written, not for emotional reasons, but because I’m not sure I can put these thoughts on the other side of the keyboard. I have written it at least fourteen times in my mind and I decided not to try it thirteen times. As I said, I have a writing habit, so here goes.
One year ago tonight I sat in this chair, yes I am back at the lake, and wrote one of those I like. I called it “Leave it in Hughes County.” I talked about leaving our problems and responsibilities up in Hughes County while we were here. The last paragraph started like this: I hope I can learn to litter the Hughes County roadways with some of the things that trouble me today. Over the next few weeks or months I managed to do that. I left all that stuff up the road somewhere and picked it up on the way home.
What I didn’t address or even recognize is there were things I needed to deal with that resided here in Haskell County.
Prior to Sharyl’s illness I spent a lot of time here alone, especially the spring and summer of ’08. I had retired and we were in the process of doing a little upgrade to the lake place. We were moving across the street into a new to us mobile home. It wasn’t all work and no play, but normally if she wasn’t with me, most of my time was spent doing some kind of project. If I needed to I did some laundry and I kept the dishes and kitchen kind of clean other than that I did nothing inside the house. She did the inside things when she was here, not just the cleaning, also the hang a picture here or maybe over there. I helped her move the loveseat but she told me where to put it. She was a long way from being through with the inside, we all know she never got to finish and enjoy the “new place”.
That was the way we did it for the 20 years we had a lake place. Before we went home I made sure the boats and all the outside stuff was bedded down and she did the same inside. I continued to do things that way; I took care of the outside stuff and did a little laundry and the dishes.
A couple weeks ago I noticed the inside was pretty cluttered and looked like it could use a good cleaning. I don’t know why it took that long for the light to come on; I needed to do some housecleaning. I have been doing that at home more than four years. I think at home it just kind of evolved.
Last weekend I dove in with both feet and both hands. I realized how I had neglected the place when I started to mop the non-carpeted areas. I couldn’t find a mop, it is just about 15 or 20 miles to a mop store and I needed some other stuff anyway. I found one later in a closet where only Sharyl would store a mop. I still need to do a few things but I’m getting there.
The physical part of the process was not nearly as difficult as the emotional experience. It dawned on me that my trips to the lake these past fifteen months had been just like the past years when I came alone. I think subconsciously I couldn’t handle the finality of accepting that role. I wanted to believe I was just here doing some projects and WE would be back in a few days and I would take care of the outside and she would do the inside stuff.
I have crossed a lot of bridges the last few years, especially the last fifteen months, and even burned a few. I know what they say about burning them but if there is nothing left on the other side, there is no reason not to light the match. I want to believe this was the last one but I know better, there will always be one more to cross and maybe burn.
I am doing some things inside now. The chair that was over here is now over there, and yes that picture was on the other wall. I am doing it like I want to, not necessarily like I think Sharyl would do it. I’m not doing anything stupid (I don’t think) so I believe she would be OK with it and I get and respect the girls’ opinions.
It took a long time but I believe I have accepted reality and made the necessary adjustments and I can now leave that stuff in Hughes County and enjoy my time here.
I hope you understood what I tried to say.
Thanks for going down the road with me, and keep me in your prayers.
Good Night and God Bless.
Thanks for letting us go down the road with you! Hopefully we will be enjoying some time down there with you soon.
I understand what you are trying to say and I think your comment about bridges “if there is nothing left on the other side there is no reason not to light the match” is spot-on and quotable!
Loved this. It is hard to let go of the feelings. For years I was convinced Betty was just traveling and she would be waiting for me at the gate. I have scanned a million faces for hers over the years.
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Well said my friend
Thanks for taking me down the road with you!
Well said, Dave. You’re always in our thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for letting us travel the road with you. Hope soon we can all be down there.
You are always in our thoughts and prayers.
You may not be a professional writer but you do a darn good job at it.
I think you are wise in doing little changes here and there.
I pray for each passing day to get a little easier for you. Of course, you will always have those special memories no matter where the picture may hang. What a joy to have those memories with a special person like Sharyl