For what is the shortest calendar month, February has been painstakingly slow and well, painful… and it’s only halfway over. This month marks several milestones. Not those wonderful ones that you look forward to every year. But the heartbreaking ones that you dread. My mood is so like the weather we’re having… dreary and depressing. Or in my case, weepy and depressed. I will be so glad to see this sad and cruel month behind me.
First let me say this: I hate Sundays. They used to be my favorite day of the week. For as long as I can remember I would spend Sunday with Ric. It was his usual day off, and we’d make the most of it. Sometimes with our kids and/or grandkids, sometimes just the two of us. Sometimes we’d go out to eat, see a movie or watch a game…sometimes we’d stay under the covers all day watching tv and “snuggling”. I now wish I could find a way to remove Sunday from the calendar, at least until I’m feeling a little stronger. The Sundays in February have been horrible. Last Sunday can only be categorized as brutal… a day I am still trying to recover from and comprehend.
Then there was Valentine’s Day. My first without Ric in 26 years. Simply stated, it was awful. I tried to will it away, so that I didn’t have to cope… I spent most of the day in bed and finally dragged Alyssia and Alexa out for a quick bite to eat. Not to celebrate, but because I didn’t have the energy to cook. In the days leading up to the 14th I did manage to pick up a few gifts for my remaining valentines… those sweet, precious little grandchildren who have helped me survive so many days, weeks, months. But I can now say, I made it through Valentine’s Day alone. A minor success… but a hollow one.
In 9 days I will face what is probably the most monumental of milestones. One year. Without Ric. It doesn’t seem possible. As I type this I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. How can it be 346 days since I last saw his face, since I last held his hand, since I kissed him goodbye? How can something that has haunted me, pained me and drained me so that it feels like an eternity also somehow feel like it just happened? How will I survive February 25th again? I’m pretty sure a good deal of it will be spent beneath the covers, weeping. But I also feel I should commemorate the day. Commemorate… that makes it sound like a celebration… as if. I just hope that I can find the strength to do something special to mark the day, something to honor his memory without it being overshadowed by sorrow. At the end of that day, I will climb into bed, alone, and remember the panoramic, technicolor, sweeping saga of our lives together. And the next morning will be the 26th.
Oh wait, that’s Ric’s birthday. Yet another milestone. Technically we’ve already survived the first of his birthdays without him, since he passed away the day before. But I was numb with overwhelming grief last year. This year I’m not numb. I’m feeling every little emotion… and all the big ones, too. Last year Ric’s sister had the family over, and his daughter brought white balloons that we wrote messages on and then released to the winds. Maybe I’ll do something like that this year with the grandchildren. Maybe we’ll release those lighted paper lanterns, like in the movie Tangled. The girlies would like that. I think Ric would, too.
And then two days later, February will be behind me. And I will have made it through an entire year. Alone. That’s quite an accomplishment, in my book. I’ve been beaten up, beaten down, and wounded beyond recognition. But through this year I have been healing, too… little by little, bit by bit. I’m stronger now and someday I hope to be completely happy and fulfilled. That seems like a lofty goal, a monumental task. But I’m working on it, every day. In the meantime… come on March! You can’t get here fast enough.