Back in the old days I liked June.  It meant summer was officially underway and there were fun adventures planned over the next few months.  Sometimes my cousins had gatherings in the West, to which we usually traveled by motorcycle.  Occasionally we traveled overseas, other years we moved from south to north, and back to south again.  In 2001 Rick motorcycled from Michigan to the Arctic Circle in Canada before reaching Anchorage, and back again – he and his buddy racked up more than 10,000 miles that summer.  He loved that trip and always wanted to do it again.

Last year June came on the heels of a special Memorial Day weekend.  For the first time in about a year and a half, Rick had his entire family visiting us in Florida – both daughters, grandchildren and son-in-law.  Although he was weakened by then, his eyes were alight with love and he smiled widely with pleasure.  He was so interested in each family member’s life and thrilled to the promise seen in his grandchildren as they entered adulthood.

It wasn’t easy.  Both of us were exhausted.  I don’t know how Rick remained so resilient, motivated and focused on surviving his cancer, even as his body shrank and failed him.  I was worn by the personal care he required.  Sometimes we hugged each other before sleep, making sure each of us knew how much we were loved.  What I would give today for turning over in my empty bed to see his face resting on the adjacent pillow, smiling at me.

I have cried every day this week.  I remember the joy of that last family weekend and I dread the anniversary of his death later this month.  I don’t know what to do with that day.  I can’t comprehend how long each of the hours in that 24-hour day will feel.  What do I do?

In this past year I have worked to get back to the memories of a strong, robust man filled with life.  Now the memories of the havoc both cancer and cure wreaked on him are what I see.  His head and heart were there until the end; it was the rest of his body that withered.  I know I will get back to remembering better days, but not this month, not June, maybe never in June.

3 thoughts on “Junebug-ged

  1. fellowwalker

    Mike and I love you, Mary, and believe both with our hearts and from Mike’s experience after losing his first wife that this pain will subside, tho your loving memories will never fade. Time takes time, they say. I hate that saying!!!

    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone…


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Straley

    I am sure other widows will have ideas for the date of the anniversary of Rick’s Death. Maybe a celebration of when his life was robust, pictures and conversations with those who knew him then. … or maybe going to the place where you feel him most and sitting and chatting with him… Maybe you just decide to draw the shades, pull out the kleenex and wait for the flood. Maybe your widows club has a tradition that will become yours. Hugs to you, Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s