I removed this post from my page several months ago whilst experiencing a 'fit'. A fit of insecurity? Anger? Hopelessness? Desperation to feel 'normal' and not wanting to feel like a widow anymore...I don't know. But now, after reading the posts of our unfortunate 'new' friends, I wonder if it still rings true, this feeling of homelessness. I wonder if it helps give a voice to a broken heart. This damn feeling...or am I having another 'fit'? If so, please my friends, forgive me.
I sat on a jury this week. The case was 6 counts of assault and battery against fellow ‘campers’ in a tent city filled with homeless people.
One fellow got mad at two others in this tent city, dowsed them with gasoline, and set them on fire. Amazingly, the two that were burned survived. (We, the jury, considered the evidence presented and found him guilty on all counts.)
I sat there and listened to the gory details…looked at the horrible pictures of these poor bodies so badly scarred. I wondered about each one and what brought them to this tent city. Did they choose to live there willingly? Did they wind up there as a result of bad choices, bad ‘luck’, as a consequence of what someone else did to them?
I will never know those answers, but what I did know is that they each lived I a tent by themselves. They had no one else but their neighbors in the tents beside them.
Now that I am past the jury duty service, judgment made on the accused, sentence awaiting…I realize with a start that I, too, am homeless. Before Rick left, I thought of this place as my home. But it isn’t. Rick was my home.
For 32 years, 2 months, and 19 days, Rick and I wandered life’s paths together. We struggled together. We survived feast and famine together. We laughed, cried, worked, parented, loved, and grieved over our family and friends that went before us together.
I remember one family funeral in particular. It was about 3 years ago when Rick’s last uncle on his father’s side had passed. He was a good man, this uncle was. He was the patriarch of the family and he was loved mightily. Rick and I had to go to the funeral home in separate cars…we were transporting other family members and there were too many for one vehicle. I got behind Rick quite a way, and it took several minutes for me to arrive with my passengers.
Finally, I walked into the place filled with people we knew and loved. But I was looking for Rick. It was jammed with people who knew me, smiled and hugged me. Lots of ‘How are you’s’. But I was looking for Rick. And, finally, there he was…standing in the middle of a packed room looking and looking. In every direction he was looking.
I don’t know what made me stop about 20 feet away. He hadn’t seen me yet. He was still looking. I thought to myself, “Who could he be looking for? He looks concerned, worried.”
Just then, he turned just the right way…and he saw me. A look of such relief washed over his face, it brought tears to my eyes. He was looking for me. For me.
And as I sit and write this entry, I realize why…why that look of relief.
I was his home…ME. When Rick saw me, he was looking at his home. The heart, my heart, where he was always important, wanted, loved, understood, forgiven, cared for, needed. It is my heart that was his home, not a place. And when he saw me, he knew he was home again.
I will never wonder again, notwithstanding the obvious reasons, why I feel so completely lost without him. It was his heart that was my home, not this place. The heart, his heart, where I was always important, wanted, loved, understood, forgiven, cared for, needed.
My home was the heart of a man.
And now…I, too, am homeless.