Every day, I get up and I feel ok. I’ve become used to the empty spot next to me in the bed. I’ve become accustomed to making the coffee myself. I’m even ok with that early morning silence. It’s even peaceful some days. I remember not too many years ago, looking out the window each morning and wondering how I would make it through the day. I don’t do that anymore. I am confident that each day will come and go and I will survive it just like I have survived all the days before it. I have adjusted I guess. I’m a sole parent, a widow, a survivor.
I think I’m a pretty hopeful person. It was only hope that saw me through the darkest days I’ve known. It was only that little glimmer of hope in my heart that allowed me to make it from one day to the next. I wasn’t looking forward to the next day coming. Each day was just one day further away from him. Each day I survived beyond him dying was another day away from the time he walked the planet. Even with this, I hoped. I hoped I would be able to survive, if not for me, for my kiddos. They needed me to make it so they could see making it was possible. I hoped that the love I shared with him and the pain I knew after he died would make my heart even more capable of loving.
So on I tread. Every day, every week, every year I become more of who I am without him. Hopeful? Yes. Happy? Not as much. I keep telling myself that things will get easier. I keep telling myself that if I work hard there will be relief. At what point does my hope become denial? At what point does my wishful thinking become lunacy? There are still so many things I miss about the person I was before he died. There are so many splinters of me out there somewhere that I’d like to possess again. I want those pieces back that didn’t feel the constant weight of my responsibilities. I want the person back who could file some of the worry to the back of her head and have fun. I miss the woman who played with her children joyfully. Hopeful or not, many days, the weight of being a sole parent overcomes me. Hopeful or not, many days, the loneliness is too much.
So, everyday, I get up. When I shower I imagine all my worries and my loneliness washing down the drain. It helps … at least it helps me. “Every day is a new day”, I tell myself daily. I try to remind myself that I’ve come a long, long way. I don’t cry every day anymore. I can have conversations that don’t include the circumstances of my husband’s illness and death. I can even drive in the car, hear a song that reminds me of something sweet … and only feel the sweet, not the heartbreak (sometimes). I think that’s progress.
But I still have a long way to go. I want to bring some of the parent I was into the parent I am. I want to find joy and silly again. I want to be happy. So when does hope become denial? I’m not sure. I knew when hope became denial when he was sick … I knew when hope had to change into helping him let go. It just happened.
So, I will keep my eyes open and my heart hopeful. Loony as it may be, I will keep looking for my joy around the corner … who knows, maybe I’ll wake up one day and happy will just be here … hopefully.