MY JOURNEY – Grand Marais, April 2017

Stuck in a rewind

Another Minnesota winter has come and gone. The weather was pretty good, not too cold. March came in like lamb and went out like a lamb, as the saying goes. Getting into a spring state of mind is a bit hard this year. I am at the North Shore as I write this, looking at the wonderful sunshine bouncing off Lake Superior. But I don’t quite feel the happiness that I usually do as spring begins bursting out all around. I think it’s because I am stuck rewinding Barry’s last years and death in my head.

As I backed-up my phone the other day, I was startled to see some very late pictures of Barry that I took when he was so sick and horribly thin as he waited out his last few days on Earth. I am trying to work on the second draft of my memoir and reliving our entire story yet again for a third time. I never knew this would be so hard.

I keep having thoughts about how I could I have done things differently. Why did I go home on Barry’s final night and sleep in my own bed while he laid alone, perhaps scared, at the care center? Why didn’t I try to keep him at home longer and try harder to take care of him. Should I have paid for physical therapy to slow the atrophy that would eventually take over his limbs? I know it is useless to think about these things over and over, but I can’t help it. Most of all, I think about how unfair it is that Barry can’t see this beautiful spring day. I know this is normal thinking for a person who is just five months into the loss of a spouse. When people ask me how I am doing, I always tell them, “Fine, because I lost Barry a long time ago.” That’s true, but why is it so hard now?

I also worry about my future. Will I sell the memoir? Should I write a picture book instead? Or should I just get in my car and keep driving until I find a new life? Can’t do the latter, because I would miss my family too much. I have to keep reminding myself that planning a new future is not the right thing to do during the first year after losing someone. But I am impatient by nature. I want to know what I will be doing over the next few years.

On this spring day, I’ve decided to take a page from my very own playbook. I am going to stop working on the memoir for the afternoon, tie up my boots, get out and do what has helped me from the very beginning of this journey. I am going for a hike. I must continue putting one foot in front of the other. Instead of second guessing myself and wishing I could escape this loneliness and uncertainty, today I am going outside to look for signs of spring — because in that there is always hope!

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13 comments on “MY JOURNEY – Grand Marais, April 2017
  1. Judy Peterson says:

    So many of us need to simply “put one foot in front of the other” to get through those difficult days. Maybe the reason we can’t always plan our future is because we would then be limited by those plans. Keep following your heart and let your head follow. Best wishes…

  2. Nancy Glades says:

    I found that the first year was naturally spent looking backward – processing the profound events that had happened to me. The second year I tried to focus on the present, in particular: Some exercise every day. Eat something healthy every day. Have at least a conversation – something social every day. And, make some progress, no matter how small, on something – every day. The third year was for looking ahead, opening new doors. And now I’m in the fourth year. Not sure what this year’s theme is.

  3. Jill Harding says:

    Beautiful

  4. Keep on, dear one. KEEP ON!

  5. Jeanne says:

    This drawing captures Minnesota spring colors so well. I just have to try and imagine how much of a transition you are going through. Not making too many drastic decisions is a good plan. Right, left, right, left……

  6. Karolyn Lee says:

    Very insightful thoughts today. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I have learned a lot about myself reading your memoirs. Your thoughts, I believe firmly, have helped a lot of people….. like myself! Thank you!

  7. Nancy Paxson says:

    Very touching sharing, as usual. Thanks so much. Our experiences certainly effect who we become, like it or not. But we do have choices about how to use those experiences. You are do good at that part.

  8. Diane Creager says:

    Sending lots of love Nancy and trusting this journey serves you well. You express many words of wisdom and truth.

  9. Audie Gillespie says:

    Nancy – I am quite sure your memoir will be unforgetable, wise, heartfelt, inspiring and life-changing for you and your loyal readers (myself included). Thank you for so openly sharing your experiences with Barry’s struggles, and all the profound emotional challenges that they brought. Audie Gillespie

  10. Audie Gillespie says:

    Nancy – I am quite sure your memoir will be unforgetable, wise, heartfelt, inspiring and life-changing for you and your loyal readers (myself included). Thank you for so openly sharing your experiences with Barry’s struggles, and all the profound emotional challenges that they brought. Audie Gillespie

  11. JoAnn Griffin says:

    Thank you for sharing, Nancy. One foot in front of the other–one day at a time. Hugs!

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