Is it just me or do Wednesdays seem to come around faster now?
I’m off again at the end of the week for Louisiana. We’ll be returning to Slidell, where there is still work to be done. Can you believe it is three years after Hurricane Katrina and there are still roofs that need repair? Homes that need drywall? People who need help and healing?
Can you believe that tomorrow will be two years since Jeff has been gone? As many of you know, I am not happy about the situation. But I am peaceful now, in ways that cannot readily be described in a few words or a million words. I know how he suffered, I know how he loved, and I know that he did not want any of us to see him weaken. He wanted us all to have the brilliant memory of his laugh, his quick and frequent smile, and the knowledge that his heart was big enough to hold everyone, and still does.
PS. You might get a newsletter next week from Louisiana, but then again…. you might not.
Guess we’ll both be surprised to see how that turns out.
Scholarly times, significant times, self discovery and soul expansion; whether we realized it or not.
First year scared, uncertain, going through the motions and just trying to keep up. We don’t think about seniors because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be them.
Second year more comfortable, finding routines to follow, not so much worried about being lost, we know our place, for now.
Third year holding our own, established, feet planted firmly in ownership of our roles, noticing a new class of freshmen.
Fourth year – accomplishment, realized a pinnacle, and confidently measured our success and scholarship. Some of us went on to college and some of us decided not to take another quarter ride.
Widowhood is a lot like that.
First year scared, uncertain, go through the motions and just try and keep up. We don’t think about happy because it’s unimaginable that we will ever be that again.
Second year not so uncomfortable, not so much worried about being trampled by anniversary dates, holidays and every days since we’ve already been through a round of those.
Third year it seems we’re holding our own, sort of established, feet planted firmly because we’re tired of change, noticing more freshman faces and wondering if they’ll survive.
Fourth year – taking careful measure of each minor success in our educational journey, we don’t really need to decide to go on pursue a higher education. It just comes with this particular type of scholarship; not exactly a free ride – this one comes with a moral obligation to guide, if we can. Some of us will decide we’ve learned enough. Some of us will seize the opportunity to further our education.
So here I am, four years later having completed a reluctantly personal four year scholarship to widowhood. Not a freshman, or a sophomore, not even a junior anymore: I’m a senior.
I’m sure I haven’t learned all the “alone” there is to know in the universe, but I’ve established a pretty firm, well-rounded foundation. I’m sure additional unanticipated lessons will come my way. Circumstances seem to dictate further education is in store. Never content standing still, I guess I’m headed into the college years now.
Maybe, after another 4, I might qualify for some sort of teaching certificate. Although after another 4, I will no longer be a “young” widow, so I’m not sure how much help I’ll be to the younger accidental scholars. On the other hand, I anticipate, not with happiness, that there will be more peer aged victims of the inevitable.
I keep coming back to the conclusion that timing is everything. So how we count it is important.
Whether it’s a four-year program, a five or eight year program or an accelerated path, time doesn’t change the way you hurt, it merely adjusts your tolerance for the pain and moves it towards a strange and previously unimaginable acceptance.