It feels like May Day was a big milestone for me. I was really worried how the mix of her birthday and the anniversaries would come together. I have no idea how it would have gone if I had been alone. Certainly if I had realized back when I joined the Morris team back in January that it would commit me to spending her 50th birthday five miles away from the spot where we met on her 19th I probably would have balked. But that was before I knew who these guys really were. It was before that connection between us and May Day or Beltane or whatever you want to call it registered with me.
If you wrote a book about how our relationship played out nobody would buy it as plausible. Too trite. All those coincidences, all those major events that played out on the eve of significant holidays. Her restless sense that she had to pack her life in so fast. All her loose ends getting tied up just before the end. But it all happened that way.
And now we get to the part where the hero has to somehow go on without his love. How the heck are you supposed to carry that off? The movie usually ends before they get to that part.
I keep using the term magical to describe her, my magician’s assistant. But all magic is based on sleight of hand and intent. It’s based on doing things no one expects. That was her forte, she just went for things nobody expected, and she pulled them off.
When I talk with people, all the interesting stories I can bring to the conversation seem to be stories of her. She was not just a story teller, she created them. She had a gift for doing things that were ever so slightly off-kilter.
In married life, couples often fall into divisions of labor. For thirty years, I left the creation of interesting stories to her. She was so much better at it than I was. But now I have to do that for myself, otherwise there won’t be any new ones, and I’ll just be that old guy telling the same stories over and over. Well, the guy that married her thirty years ago probably would not have joined a Morris team out of the blue. He probably wouldn’t have poured his heart out in writing to a bunch of people he barely just met, or for that matter ones he never met at all.
The guy who was married to her for thirty years has been doing just that.
I never would have suspected doing that would have such a profound impact on handling this much grief. I guess I did pick up a few of her tricks over the years.
After thirty years of living with her and wondering how she pulled off being who she was, I finally get it. And like all magic tricks, it’s so simple once you see it. Right under your nose.
Life IS short. It’s really, really short. Yes, I’m still grieving, but pass me the dessert menu, please.