Conversations with Karen

Do you remember the film P.S. I Love You?

Okay. Okay. It wasn’t the best film I ever watched {and it wasn’t a particularly good movie to watch when newly-widowed}. But I was struck by the plot where recently-widowed Holly (Hilary Swank) carried the cremains of husband Gerry (Gerard Butler) in an urn she designed wherever she went … from room to room in her apartment … to her 30th birthday party … at karaoke night …

Now, I never went that far, but I have scooped up Karen and hit the road with her. I brought her to Illinois the first Thanksgiving after she died. And I fulfilled a promise by taking her in the wee hours to the Jersey shore to watch the sun rise over the ocean.

Saturday, I fulfilled another promise. I brought Karen to Maine.

Over the years, I’ve had “conversations” with Karen, be it in the gazebo or while watching the faux fire in the fireplace. And this weekend I had more conversations with the love of my life.

I swear, as I was driving, I reached over to hold her hand. Of course, it was just the urn, but in my mind’s eye, I literally was holding her hand as we inched through Massachusetts and New Hampshire traffic. At one point, I blurted out how unusual the traffic was and as I glanced to my right I could mentally see her reading a James Patterson novel and feigning annoyance at the interruption. Of course, I always wanted to talk when she was reading … or cooking … or otherwise busy. And uncharacteristically, I needed to make more potty stops.

As we approached the Piscataqua River Bridge — the border between New Hampshire and Maine — it hit me. This was Karen’s first real visit to Maine. We had talked about it a lot and, of course, she had decided this was where we should retire. But she had never physically set foot in Maine. I couldn’t help holding her hands again — okay resting on the urn — with a sudden mist developing.

When we got to the apartment — our new, at least temporary home — I carried her across the threshold … just like I did when we graced our first apartment together. This was a little easier. You should have seen the small landing to that first attic apartment.

We toured the apartment together — the gleaming, new kitchen with an island separating it from the living room, flanked by two bedrooms. I placed her on a table — notice no fireplace mantle — overlooking the Piscataquis River in Dover-Foxcroft.

I didn’t hear much from Karen Saturday night. Just silence in the high ceiling, sparsely decorated slate, concrete and timber apartment with big, bright windows. But come Sunday, my mind was filled with the echo of Karen’s voice.

“Put the couch over there.” “No, change that. Put it on the other wall and the television over there.” “Don’t get new furniture. Old stuff — our stuff — would fit in better.” “You need to get a rug. {Of course, she didn’t specify what kind of rug, like I know rugs.} “Don’t forget the Precious Moment collection.” “And accessories.”

It was rough leaving Karen in Maine. I miss her already, especially during our time — coffee first thing in the morning.

But on the ride home, I continually heard her voice. It was “don’t forget” plates and knives and forks and spoons and kitchen utensils … and food … and cleaning supplies {who would have thought of those?} … and shower curtains … and towels and wash cloths … and … and … and …

Whew. It’s like starting a new life!

Oh, wait. We are.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Change your attitude and change your life.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in Karen, love, Maine, marriage, Memories, relationships, wife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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