Coffee thoughts and memories -
Guess because it is just days from that 8 year mark the memories seem especially sharp and clear these days.
So does the emptiness of my life without Rick.
I’ve heard it said that once someone dies, we really don’t miss them - we miss our life with them.
And yet, I vehemently disagree.
Yes, I miss my life with Rick.
Conversations. Laughter. Arguments.
Sharing our days and moments.
Having one another to listen, to bounce ideas off of.
That perspective that he brought to my life.
Meals cooked and shared together.
TV shows and movies watched, and discussed.
There is not one part of my life that I do not feel his emptiness.
But I also miss RICK.
The man he was.
That gentle giant.
That big tough guy who was so tender with a fallen hummingbird, or an injured butterfly.
The light in his eyes when he talked about his passions, or his job.
The way he walked. With confidence, and yet with humility.
The way he smelled. A mixture of diesel smoke, sweat, soap, foods, and his own unique smell.
The sound of his laughter. Rarely did he get his “giggle box” turned over, but oh, when he did!
The sarcasm in his voice that was so much HIM.
When do I think about him the most?
It would be easier to answer the question - “When do I not think about him?”
After 8 years, I still listen for his ring tone on my phone.
I hear a semi-truck, and I think about him.
When I see a late 90’s Ford truck, I think about him and his “baby”.
A motorcycle is still enough to make the tears sting my eyes.
- Last year on a trip to Northeast Texas, I stopped at a gas station. Parked on the side of the building, went inside for a potty break. Came out, and there was a motorcycle gang parked next to my truck. No, I was not afraid. I am forever to be a “motorcycle momma” ;) But I hesitated, and then I stopped. There was a Honda Interstate, and the guy standing next to it could have been Rick’s brother - and not just a motorcycle brother. I know I must have been gaping at him in a stare. He looked at me quizzically and asked, “What?” I stepped forward and said, “I’m sorry for staring. My late husband was a motorcycle guy, and you look so much like him!” He smiled and said, “Awww.” Which that simple expression became my undoing. With tears in my eyes, I asked him, “Would you mind if I gave you a hug in his honor?” He smiled the sweetest smile - opened his arms wide and said, “Not at all! Come here baby!”
Oh my. That leather vest of his has salty stains. I will forever be grateful for that bear hug he gave me. The way he smelled. The way he patted my back. The look in his eyes when I pulled away.
When I pull into a Sonic for a hamburger and a drink. Our favorite restaurant for 35 years.
Watching the older movies and sitcoms that we watched, talked about, laughed over.
And a thousand (or more) moments each day.
Some have said that I am doing nothing more than wallowing in the grief.
But I know in my heart, that’s far from the truth.
Yes, there are still tears - hot, sticky, heavy.
But there is a lot of laughter too.
And so many smiles.
No one truly ever understood our love, our life - so it comes as no surprise or shock that they do not understand my grief, my life now as his widow.
Just as it was ok for all those 35 years together - it’s ok now.
This is MY life to live.
This is MY grief to carry.