March 3rd, the one-year anniversary of Rick’s passing. How is that possible? I wrote then that I could not imagine her without him. He’s been gone a year, and I now I believe that she does not go on without him. He’s with her in the eagle she spies circling overhead or the antler she finds in the woods. She talks to him daily on her walks through the familiar trails where they spent so much time together. His occasional ‘visits’ at night help her get through those days of putting one step in front of another until she finds that yet another 24 hours have gone by.
Her new normal keeps her busy with the house, the dogs, her kids, her friends. She runs marathons and cleans like a demon. I talk with her daily and am constantly amazed at the strength she shows when I know just by her voice that maybe today wasn’t a good day.
She even braved her first solo flight and came to Florida for a visit. It was wonderful. We spent time at the beach, on bike rides, and just talking until her short trip was over. She said it was the first time in more than 7 months that she felt ‘normal.’
She’s started reading again. She’s letting go of unrealistic expectations both of herself and others. She’s getting her ‘moxy’ back. She’s beginning to look forward to what might be, what he prepared her for, never letting go of the memory that makes her strong enough to face a future on her own.
Well, not really on her own.