time (n): the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
It’s been a long time, Michael’s Loyal Readers. A long, long time. In fact, about two years time since I’ve posted on Michael’s site… Please accept my apologies. A lot has happened with Michael’s writing since then that I should’ve posted about, but time kept slipping away. Physically, a widow’s clock ticks its own rhythms and after almost four years, I still haven’t adjusted to the new way time moves.
Oh, speaking of “moves…” Moving is what has prompted me to poke my head out and say “hello” to all of you. Yep, I have finally decided to make the long over-due “big move.” It’s bittersweet beyond belief. Moving sucks in general but I’ll have to say, moving when one has become so mindlessly and emotionally rooted… is the worst.
They say there’s no forward progress without movement (by “they,” I actually mean my therapist, Jason). I guess that’s true. I used to think “moving on” or “moving forward” suggested having to leave things behind… I was resistant to that. I loved all I had. I didn’t want to leave any of it behind.
In this move, I have been sorting through so many things. Packing things up and actually “unpacking” things that had never been unpacked from previous moves! Sad but true. I’ve been struggling with what to keep and what to throw out. Seems easy to most people… Keep what you need and toss what you don’t. Well, duh.
This whole “moving thing” has unearthed a lot I’ve forgotten about. It’s also demonstrated how much of an emotional hoarder I’ve been over the years. Even though moving has been a total bee-otch, I am still very grateful for the experience. I feel I’ve gotten better at discerning what’s most important to keep and what needs to go. I’m also seeing that even with getting rid of so much, I still have all I need (and then some). In fact, I have enough that I can donate and share with others. Which is what feels best.
My new “roommate,” Kevin has comforted and supported me in this process immensely. He has lovingly assured me that there’s no timeline in which to decide what to do with every little “thing”… there are some things I will pack again and come back to later. Kevin reminds me that it’s okay to hold on to things until I’m ready to let them go. I’m lucky for Kevin. He has motivated me to repurpose myself in this life. He makes me feel it’s time to love again. Most importantly, he allows me to love in my own way and at my own pace. He is a good man.
Well, Michael’s Loyal Readers, it’s time to get back to packing. But, before I do, I wanted to leave you with a piece of Michael’s writing. As you can imagine, I have come across many of Michael’s letters while packing… Each one eliciting varied emotions from one day to the next. There’s one I found tonight that reaffirmed how special the love Michael and I shared and how irrelevant time has always been.
Michael continues to enlighten me every day and I’m grateful to share the love lessons he’s left behind for me.
12 years gone in the blink of an eye. So it goes, each wonderful moment spent in your company feels… unreal. I don’t know how I got so lucky. I know I met you, and had a strong reaction, and knew pretty early on, but I could never imagine things being as awesome as they are.
My life, for what it’s worth, for the ups and downs, for the disease, for the pain, for the ruined hip and ever-creeping fatigue, is a million times better with your love and care seeing me through.
You’ve always been a great wife, but with the onset of my illness you have taken your role to the next level and I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be without you. You are my REASON for living. You’re my hopes, dreams, and survival instincts, all rolled into one. Each night I go to bed with your kiss on my lips and wake to your smile and I am the happiest man on planet earth because of it. I could die tomorrow (but don’t worry, I won’t, I’ve got to hang on so we can enjoy this life together) and my life would feel complete. The mystery, the key, the point, is obviously to love and seek love in return. Many people stumble around trying to find happiness and make things make sense, but we already have it. Things are so simple and so clear. Twelve years in and everything makes perfect sense.
So we continue and hope the time we have lasts forever (it won’t). And while it seems pathetic to hope for something we know is impossible, hope keeps us going nonetheless. Still, hope or not, no matter how overwhelming things become, we will always have one another to lean on, guiding each other through the joy and (unfortunate) loss looming on the horizon.
Alas, I digress. Getting too heavy never turns out. The future is scary and uncertain. Thoughts and words veer toward the ugly. But never fear… All I have to do is shift this neural pattern or that and recall your gorgeous smile, your intelligent gaze, your rip-snortin’ laugh, and I am immediately transported. The world becomes a safer, warmer place. Through the aching muscles and screaming bones, purpose is evident.
We talk about trips and wasting away at the movies or the bookstore, but when it comes down to it, all I need is you. Twelve years in and I love you more than sentiment can even begin to express. Where does that leave this letter? What about these mute words? As feeble as they are, they’ll have to do in conveying my love to you. Just remember, what we have goes beyond ink, and word processing programs, and the sun and dust, and the rotation of our planet. It encompasses these notes, these forget-me-nots, but it’s also found in the beating of our hearts and the quickness of our breath and the dreams that never seem to last long enough.