So. The weekend.

The morning that I was supposed to leave, I got a call from the car rental company about half an hour before R and I would go pick up the car. Apparently they were all rented out and had no cars available. I called R and told him what happened, and he showed up on my doorstep to pick me up and go see what we could scare up. Thus began a two hour hunt for a rental vehicle. Apparently there really aren't that many rental cars in Y, and the ones that we could find, well... we kept hitting snags left and right. For one reason or another, two places weren't able to rent to him, which would have saved us, oh, an hour and a half, but... it was a fun/interesting time of riding around with my new father in law and getting to know him a little better. It's not like we talked about anything deep, but it was just... enjoyable. I'll freely admit that I've been intimidated by him in the past, not because he's scary but because he's so... robotic. (Wonder where C gets it from? LOL) I am naturally pretty good at making friends, but in the past he just didn't really engage, so it was unsettling for me. Now that he and C's mom are divorced, though, he's actually happy, and that makes all the difference in the world. So despite the frustration of delays, it was a rather enjoyable time.

I finally got on the road during the heat of the day, which made me SUPER grateful that I wasn't in good ol' Shenadoah, because she's already running hot. I ended up with a Mazda 5, which was sweeeeeet! I've never driven that nice of a car. *sigh* It makes me want one of those new-fangled fancy new cars. The drive itself was uneventful. I stopped at a rest area with nice grass and trees to eat my lunch of watermelon, and I needed to stretch out my aching limbs so I ended up doing some yoga right there on the grass. Funny thing was, I didn't even care if anyone saw me! I used to be so self-conscious about so many things, but I find that as I gain confidence within myself and just do what I need to do, I worry less about what others will think. This is a gift that chronic illnesses and healing from abuse have given me-- learning how to do what is needed for me and not worrying about others unduly. I need to follow my own healing journey in my own time. Of course, there should always be a basic respect for those around you. I'm not advocating narcissism, here! Just a healthy sense of boundaries and self-confidence.

Upon arriving at the hotel, I brought my bags up to the deserted room (C and the girls were at a pre-service for D that I missed because of the timing of my trip, thanks to the car snafu) and proceeded to crash for three hours. Apparently driving wears me out more than it used to. I'm not surprised. I doubt I'd be able to pull off the 24 hours straight trip to Id anymore. When I woke up from my nap, I read a book (A Game of Thrones!) until C and the girls trickled in. They were exhausted, both from their long trip down and from the emotions of the service. We all got ready for bed while chatting among ourselves, and let me tell you, it was so good to be around them again! It was easy to fall back into the routines and rhythms of getting ready together.

That night, however, was a loooooong one. I could not sleep. I dozed fitfully now and then, but sleep was not forthcoming. Early in the morning I took a hot soak in the hotel's deep tub, which relaxed me enough to finally sleep for an hour before everyone was up and getting ready for the day. Surprisingly, I made it through the whole day and into the afternoon before getting dizzy and lightheaded from fatigue, at which point I napped in the church sanctuary until it was time to leave.

I'll be honest and admit (again) that I've felt pretty isolated during this whole process of grieving D. It seems that not many people know or understand that the S's thought/think of me as part of the family, so I'm just that girl that lived with them for a while. Even the P's, who know me and visited the S's multiple times while I was living there, completely left me out of the list of grieving family members in their tribute, opting instead to include the girls' boyfriend and fiance. Um, hello? I've been a part of the family for just as long or longer than both of those guys! Aaaaaaanyway... nope, no bitterness here! lol So in addition to being ignored or marginalized, there is no one down here that even knows D. BJ met him once, in passing, as did my grandparents, but that's it. J knows them better, but she's all the way across the country (well, halfway right now, anyway), so I've pretty much been left to mourn alone. C has been fantastic about comforting me and listening to my stories of D and the S's, but again... he doesn't know D. It's not the same. He talked to him for a few moments on Skype once.

The man who performed the service, though, made it a point to include me. It may not have seemed like much to him, but it is something that will stand out in my mind and which I will always be grateful for. When we introduced ourselves, he said, "Oh, I know who you are. I saw you in the S's pictures." Then he asked if I'd like to give a tribute during the family time, which of course I jumped at. I just really appreciated the inclusion. In addition to that, I had let C know how important it was to me to sit with her and the girls during the service itself, and that was accommodated, which I appreciated an unspeakable amount. K and I cried together during much of the setting up hour, and I cried on J's shoulder several times throughout the service.

As much as I hurt for me and the girls, though, it was C's loss and pain that struck me the most forcefully by the end of the service. Now that I have C, I can't fathom losing him. The pain would be almost unbearable. Yet here is a woman who shared 30 years with the love of her life, and now he's gone and she's alone. The loneliness... would be unspeakable.

It got me thinking about life, and love... and whether it's all really worth it, you know? Because really, when you love someone, you are opening yourself up to the inevitability of loss. People die, and unless you and your spouse both die at the same moment then one of you will have to face the incredible pain that comes with that loss. Is it worth it? I was thinking about that, and wondering... but then I think about C and D, and how much I learned by watching their love lived out in their lives and in their family life, and I realize that it's greater than just two people in love. It touches and affects the people and community around those two in love. It is because of C and D that I really felt okay in moving forward with marriage, having the assurance that yes, a healthy marriage and family is actually a possibility and not a wild goose chase. And even when one of those two is gone, or even both of them, their love has left a legacy and a mark on the world around them that is worth the inevitability of pain and loss.

I also thought of C, my C, and when I thought about him I concluded that whatever time I have to know and love him is worth the pain and loneliness that will come when he's gone. Maybe it makes it even a little sweeter, knowing that there is a shadow in our future that nothing can prevent. What I took from my conversations with C about her loss and loneliness, though, is that it was also worth it for her to have known and loved D, even though he's gone now.

Love is a special thing. I'm glad that I have so much of it in my life. I am truly grateful for the abundance in my life, as I tell myself frequently... and I find it fitting that even after passing away, D is still influencing people in a positive manner. His life was such that it cannot be silenced, even in death. I only hope that I can live that well. It would be an apt tribute to a gentle giant of a man.

1 thoughts:

  • Transitional Gypsy | June 28, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Love is always worth the risk. Especially when you find that one person who is absolutly perfect for you.Which it sounds like you have managed to find in C and the other C found in D.
    May we all one day find that love that is worth the pain of loosing them.

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