I'm sorry for not writing much over the recent months, and I'm so touched by people's concern. The problem is, even I get tired of reading myself saying "I'm still sad..." And the fact is, this roller coaster of emotions just isn't stopping. Friends keep dying; people I thought were good friends turn out not to be friends at all (I do a great job of imagining people are who I desperately want them to be, when they so obviously [to everyone but me] are not... a habit my therapist and I definitely need to work on breaking me of); I do things I said I wouldn't; I don't do things I said I would. A dear friend was fired at work for totally trumped-up and outright made-up reasons. I went down to Alabama, to the singing where Jerry and I met, to the singing where we held his memorial last year, and a friend led Jerry's song in his honor, and next thing I knew I was crying for what seemed like forever (20 minutes? Not sure). I have my rescheduled hysterectomy coming up on the 29th of this month, and am getting just the slightest wee bit nervous about it.
And Jerry is still dead. No matter how much a little vestige of my mind is pretty certain he's coming back. I catch myself having moments where it makes so little sense that he's not here that I just know it's not really true and he's coming back. Because something so, so wrong as him being gone forever just cannot be true.
In the past few days I've gotten the sense that the things that have piled up in recent weeks, one painful thing on top of another, have reached the point where I've reacted by going numb again. I may not know where my breaking point is, but it seems that my subconscious does and is doing its bit to make sure I don't get to it.
So yes, I'm still here. I still go to work. I'm trying to count Weight Watchers points again (although my therapist questions the wisdom of beginning an eating regimen with everything else that's crashed down in my life recently... when, as she put it, my life is a mess). I wake up in the dark now... summer took forever to go by and flew by at the same time. I haven't gone running but twice in months.
Marie Jones Ivey was a dear woman with whom Jerry stayed for years before I met him, when he went to singings in northeastern Alabama, and she and her husband Coy had us to stay after we were married, for years, and treated us like family. Marie and Coy were the first people in the Alabama Sacred Harp community that Jerry told about the two of us, that we were a serious couple. He felt such love for them that he knew they were the first people who would need to know. Although of course I'm a Yankee fan and the Iveys root for the Braves, I loved sitting in the Iveys' living room watching Braves games with Marie. She also introduced me to the Southern expression "mash"... as in what you do to a button on a remote control. The weekend before 9/11, Jerry and I brought a cabinet down from Illinois in our checked luggage on a flight to Nashville, to fill in a space in the Iveys' kitchen that needed a cabinet - Jerry matched the color and got the pull as close as he could.
The last time I saw Marie was at the end of July, when her son David, daughter-in-law Karen, and Lynne and I stopped by to visit at the house after the singings that weekend. It was strange for me to be in that house without Jerry there. The cabinet was still where we'd installed it in 2001. There was probably a Braves game on the television. We hugged Coy and Marie as we left, of course.
A little over a month ago Marie was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Her funeral was this past Sunday at Liberty Church in Henagar, and I so wished I could have been there, both for my own sake and for Jerry's. I keep wanting to tell Jerry about Marie.
Although she'd been sick for quite a while, the swiftness of Marie's journey from diagnosis to decline to death was shocking, as of course any death is, to me - no matter whether expected or not, whether the time for it has come or not, the absence of a person is a shock to those who are left behind to struggle on without him or her. Or to me, anyway. Marie should still be there. Jerry should still be here. This world makes no sense to me.
This is what I haven't been writing. More pain, more incomprehensible suffering and loss. And I'm numb and stuck in inertia, the house still not ready to sell, lots of stuff still to be cleared out, tasks to be done. Loneliness for Jerry. I didn't expect this to be the situation after over a year. I guess I had no idea what the situation would be. I just feel very stuck and very... numb.
I love you all for caring, and I guess in closing I would say, I'm still soldiering on...it's just harder than I thought it would be. But I'm soldiering. Someday, I have to think, I insist on thinking, things will be better.
(P.S. Auburn with a mere mortal as a quarterback is a new experience for a one-year-old Johnny-come-lately Auburn fan. But I'm glad the season has started again, and am hoping it turns out to be as much a diversion and pleasure for me as last season's, er, season was. Win or lose, Family All In! And come on, NBA, give me back my Johnny-come-lately Bulls fandom, too... no lockout, please.)