This morning, I woke up and the first thing I thought about naturally was Jerry. He's been the first thing I've thought about for years. Usually, I'd roll over and snuggle; today I stared at our picture. I wondered what advice he'd give me. I wondered what was going through his mind two months after he lost his wife. Jerry was such a confident man. He nearly always looked on the bright side. He almost always embraced and adapted to circumstances beyond his control. I so admired his happy go lucky attitude. I always wondered how he stayed so upbeat and carefree. He never actually had an answer, that's just how I roll he'd say.
Well, you know what? He had a great life, full of adventure and love and happiness, and his fair share of struggles. Everyone here agreed he lived and even died on his terms. He seemed to be charmed. He was so full of life, love and full of himself too I might add. I want what he had. I feel like he gave me the tools I need to get there but I don't know where to start. Just when I was beginning to spread my wings a little bit he up and died on me. Literally.
He isn't here to lift me up personally, but he left me with courage, confidence and his legacy. He left me with years worth of tidbits of wisdom. I'm scrambling now to put everything he was attempting to teach me in order and continue to learn from him.
The night he died after I flipped on the light and looked at his face I knew deep inside me that he was gone. I know it sounds insane, but I heard a voice telling me all is well and something better would be. Though the anxiety of trying to save Jerry and the fog of grief I'd forgotten about that voice. Franky, it gives me hope. I truly believe God has a plan for me. I just hope to recognize it for what it is when opportunities arise to lead me. It's scary for me to put this out there, I've only told one other person about the "voice."
It's a new world filled with discoveries and firsts, which go hand in hand with emptiness and yearning. It's incredibly easy to slip into the darkness of what was and what won't be. I listen to or read stories of despair every day and ask myself how I can help someone else and help myself. How do we stay positive in all this despair? Early on I read a book, I can't remember the title, but it suggested to come up with one thing every day that you are happy about or one thing that you want to do and enjoy without your dear loved one. Recently, I've forgotten life can be good. Perhaps even great, even without Jerry; the man that was the one and only man to ever have touched my soul. (My Jerry being a widower has taught me well. Life does go on in an unexpected way!)
Today I wrote this blog to remind myself and hopefully encourage whoever reads it that something positive can come out of tragedy. If you have the conviction to believe it, the motivation to look for examples and learn from them and the courage to accept the life we have left to live and most importantly the patience it to live each day as it unfolds. It's up to each of us as individuals to find the good in each day. Start a list and watch it grow.
Having a positive outlook takes more effort than I thought. It's a moment by moment choice. It doesn't mean you are "over it," doesn't mean you aren't hurting or didn't have an overwhelming love for the beautiful soul you lost. It doesn't mean that wave of grief won't be back to suck you under. It merely means you chose to honor yourself and the life you have left to live. Well, it's my opinion anyway.
When the waves come, when I'm in despair, I'm counting on my friends both here and in person to remind me to read my list, count my blessings, and reminisce about the life Jerry wanted me to have with or without him.