May 26th

>> Monday, May 29, 2017

I had regarded the approaching month with foreboding.  And now it was here, May 1st.  I felt a heavy cloud descend on me. Two years ago this month my beloved had died. When I awoke at 5:00 that morning, I felt tears hanging on the edge of my consciousness.

Can we just skip May?

The days crawled by…2nd, 3rd, 4th.  The hours leading up to the 26th grew darker. And the time – 11:20 am – loomed large. That was the day and hour that he drew his last breath…at home…in our bedroom.

I can’t do this every May for the rest of my life. 

Early on the 26th I needed my village, so I dressed and drove to Starbucks. These wonderful people had been there for us every day as we faced the inevitable. And then they formed a wall of protection around me as I grieved, available to help me in any way they could.

I just needed to see their faces.

I did not want to be at home at 11:20. I felt the urge to drive…my ultimate therapy. So after gaining strength from their love and camaraderie, I headed to the highway.

Thoughts tumbled in my head as I drove. 

Boy, there sure is a lot of traffic.  Oh yeah. It’s the Friday of a holiday weekend. I better pay attention to my speed.  There will be a lot of Highway Patrol on duty today.

Music has the power to soothe me, so I turned on the radio. The song Just Be Held came through the speaker. The words “your world’s not falling apart, it’s just falling into place” turned on the spigot and the tears fell. It sure didn’t feel like it was falling into place. I turned the radio off. It wasn’t working this time.  

I missed John.

I felt for my necklace, which held John’s wedding ring. That one moment was forever burned in my brain…removing his wedding ring from his dead finger. I remember thinking I can’t do this.

Lots of big sighs filled the car. But I drove on. I began to talk…out loud…to John and God, probably in that order. I spoke of our wonderful memories…the fun we had together.

God, I need to figure out a way to handle future May 26th.  

As the miles passed and my thoughts were verbalized, I felt the cloud lifting. No more sighs. Soon the sign said Ritzville next two exits. Taco Del Mar and Mexican food were just down the road.

I could make it. 

I had taken a notebook with me. As a writer, I never know when the words may start pouring out. Be prepared is my motto.

I ordered a burrito combo with chips and a drink. The time stamp on the receipt was 11:14. Only six more minutes and it would be over for a year. 

God, I need ideas to use next year. Let me have a different perspective. I’m not used to negativity.

As I ate, my pen moved across the page. I wrote these words I’ve just typed. But then ideas began to form.

When my kids moved out after graduating from high school, they were leaving for the next chapter in their lives. I did not mark the day and hour and grieve every year at that time. I was happy for them and their accomplishments.

So why couldn’t I see John’s leaving as the same thing?

More thoughts.

This is just the first in a trifecta. His death May 26th. Our anniversary June 1st. His birthday July 3rd.

I counted the days from May 1st to July 3rd. 63 days.
What if I wrote up 63 wonderful memories of John and made a calendar. Like a Rolodex. Each day I could turn over a new and wonderful recollection of him…one that gave me warm fuzzies. No more dark cloud.

The heaviness was gone. I climbed in the car and headed home. And, yes, there were patrols everywhere. I didn’t speed.  But my heart was light.

My world was falling into place. 

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)


Mark Butcher May 29, 2017 at 8:19 PM  

That is incredible Joy! I love how your writing turns things inside out. An the joy that is always near the surface.

Joy Bach May 29, 2017 at 8:39 PM  

Thanks so much Mark. I love so much that you comment.

Joy Bach May 29, 2017 at 10:05 PM  

Thanks for stopping by Roy.

Patti May 30, 2017 at 7:14 AM  

Joy, your writings touch my heart with tears and smiles. Hugs to you.

Joy Bach May 30, 2017 at 7:18 AM  

Thanks Patti. Love you.

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