Keeping the Promise

Ten months ago my wife died. Now for the world at large that is not earth shattering news, hell it happens to thousands of people every day; their loved ones die and leave them alone. Ten months ago it was my turn. Her number in the Great Law of Nature lottery came up and mine didn’t. It has taken me ten months to come to grips with that fact. This morning I fully grasp it.

Don’t get me wrong, I did not just wake up this morning and a light bulb flicked on in my head, no not that. Actually over the past week or so it has slowly dawned on me that I am not really keeping my last promise to my sweetheart. You see, she knew how I was and she knew how much I loved her so when she felt the end approaching due to the Cancer and the heart failure, she made me promise her to go on and not try to follow her. She made me promise to live the rest of my life as fully as I was able and to find some measure of happiness again. She made me. Promise. I did not want to.

So at any rate, it came to me a few days ago that I was not really trying too hard to keep that promise. I was still mired in sadness, my world was still a gray-tinged wasteland, to be endured and crossed, not embraced and enjoyed. I was merely going through the motions. The idea came a few days ago, unbidden like a gentle reminder of promises made but not kept and I firmly believe She put the idea in my head….that would be just like her.

So this morning, when I awoke from a sound sleep, I padded into the kitchen and got my first cup of coffee like always and I let the pups outside, like always, but then as I stood at the back door and watched them do their morning ritual of chasing the squirrel and making their puddles, it came to me….Today is the day I start to live again.

Yes, it was just that simple, yet at the same time, terribly complicated. It does not mean the sadness of the loss will magically disappear. It simply means I will now seriously try to move past it and not merely do the backstroke in the Sad Pool. It means I will start looking forward and not backward. Oh I will still tell endless stories in which my love plays a large part, but that’s who I am….a storyteller…and the stories I have mostly involve Her but those stories will be told to illicit a smile or a laugh, not sadness or loneliness.

The truth of the matter is hard to accept but I think I have. That truth is that I am no longer part of a duo act but now I am solo. Like Martin and Lewis….Martin went on without his partner and was quite successful, though he was different and that will hold true with me to. I will not be the same person I was with the David and Mel show. There will be differences and if you like what I have become, or am becoming, by all means hang around and enjoy the show. If, on the other hand, the changes in me do not suit you, feel free to change the channel because I am going to be too busy living the Life to worry about it one way or the other.

Well there you have it…a man moves forward or gives up, lays down, and dies. I was never much for giving up. I may walk with the occasional emotional limp, but I’ll walk. You are welcome to join me if you so desire. It won’t always be pretty, but damn it, it should be fun.

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