It started out with tears of joy. BR and I finally found a way to take away his pain that worked.
The week that followed was full of family and friends. Laughter through tears. I told Jordan she was welcome to stay, and we would work out the details later. She's now putting down roots, buying a scooter and looking for a job nearby. I'm glad for the continued company, but I worry that I'm being a big downer. There are times in the afternoon when I need to go to my room, close the door, and pretend to sleep. Sleep actually found me today, and I'm grateful for that.
Then there are times when I become exceptionally productive. Bought a new battery for the minivan and had the electrical system repaired. Had both mine and my neighbor's sprinkler system repaired. (I mowed over one of her tree bubblers.) Started an inventory of the leftover medical supplies. Looks like I'll have to donate them to a charity that sends them overseas due to US and Texas law.
And then I'll go to make dinner. "What do you... hmm. What do I want?" I have to admit, there is more cheese in the fridge than ever before.
The feelings I have right now are similar to those I had when I spent my junior year in college studying abroad in Paris. I was alone, with limited contact to my familiar support system. The difference is that now, BR is gone. Back then, I still had one more year of school back home. It hurt like hell, but I became a better person for it.
Even disabled, BR was the glue that held so many parts of my life together. Now that he's gone, I feel like I have to do it all myself. But I can't. That's the whole point of marriage -- two people coming together through love to do more than either one could do on their own. So right now, I'm focusing on the immediate. The bills are on autopilot. The people I see get first shot at a smile. Everything else may have to wait.
In this big-ass world, though, there are people important to me who were unable to attend the memorial service. So I've booked some travel to see them. First up is KimmieG and her husband Mike in Wisconsin. She was my one and only girlfriend in high school, and no matter how far apart we are, we will always be connected. Then I'll head to Chicago to see Joy. I met Joy while participating in the first Texas AIDS Ride -- a 7 day bicycle ride from Austin through Houston to Dallas. A similar bond formed. Next, I'll spend Mother's Day and the day after with my parents in Belvidere, Illinois. From all accounts, Mama is doing really well since being discharged from the nursing home.
From there, I'll be hopping a flight to Boston with a connection to Paris, followed by a train to Amsterdam. After some sleep, I'll be meeting Herrad and Richie for the first time in the flesh, and letting them know what their online friendship has meant to both BR and me. They are the only other couple we'd discovered who have lived through the same rapid progression of MS. Just knowing that we were not alone made all the difference during the difficult times.
Upon returning to Paris, I plan to sit by the Seine in the early morning, reading a book and conversing casually with passers by.