September 27

Some dates seem to have more significance than others. August 20 — my birthday. August 31 — the day I got married. November 20 — Karen’s birthday. March 25, April 12, May 19, November 4, November 8 — my children’s birth dates.

September 27 — the day my life and my family’s lives changed forever … the day Karen died.

We’ve been through the details before. If you’re interested, just page back to this date over the past four years.

For the most part, I’m doing fine eight years after the fact. I’ve been able to navigate through the early days of widowhood and the ever-expanding realization of life alone. The bright spot is you can get away with more — working late, sneaking snacks, watching what you want on TV, not sharing the covers — but it’s really just a flicker.

Karen and I were married for 40 years. That’s a lot of memories. That’s a lot of togetherness. So, yes, even though I’ve been maneuvering through life for the last eight years, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought of Karen. It’s not melancholy. But the joy of life is dulled. As countless widows and widowers following long relationships can attest, there is a hole in your heart. It closes over the years, but you still wear the scar. And it’s not just the same going through life alone … especially after being yoked together for so many years.

I’ve tried to maintain a relationship with Karen beyond the grave. I’ve maintained many of the traditions we had — like morning coffee and cartoons, flowers, our conversations still. Those, however, are less frequent because she is in Maine and at least half the month, I’m in New York.

I certainly miss her. But even more, it saddens me she never got the chance to meet three of her grandchildren or her two great-granddaughters. Even as I move forward, there is a twinge of sadness Karen isn’t sharing those adventures. You can blame her for my fascination with Maine and, while she is there now, it’s inside an urn.

There is a Funky Winkerbean cartoon taped to the file cabinet next to my {her} desk. I look at it every day. Les Moore lost his wife to cancer and he is driving with his daughter Summer. She asks, “Dad … Do you still miss Mom?”

Next frame, Les responds, “There hasn’t been a day. But after a while, you begin to understand …” Jump to frame three. “… That you can’t let your grief become the substitute for the one you love.”

We always kidded each other. I would say “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone” and she would respond, “No, no, no. You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”

Once again, she was right.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: What if you knew you had one day to live.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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1 Response to September 27

  1. Joe , prayers today for you and your Mate Karen. Live well and savor her touch that never left you. Go Bosco! Most of all you are a Leo, be Proud , stand Tall. Famous Leo’s De Niro, Pesci, Di Caprio, Sandra Bullock , and other boisterous persona’s even Bill’s old flame. Shalom and see you in Paterson. Give me a shout out if you are headed to central Jersey. Why can’t we speak the Queens’ English and resort back to silly idioms? Jimmy the Juiceman 78 Bosco


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