Those sparkles were such a wonderful surprise. I don't know who did this 'random act of kindness' but it is something I will never, ever forget. I assumed that anyone reading this blog had also been reading my CaringBridge posts previously, but learned that wasn't the case when I was asked by some what the sparkles were all about. So here's a quick explanation: Just before Vern passed I told him he would soon be running, skipping, jumping - even doing cartwheels if he felt like it - on Heaven's streets of gold because his tired body would not be traveling with him. The day before his memorial service, I came home to find our street "sparkling" like little pieces of gold were imbedded in the pavement in front of me. The sun was shining and making them sparkle - and it was especially heavy right in front of our house. I felt it was a message from Vern that all was well. He's up there walking the "streets of gold" and just wanted to share a tiny bit of that with me down here. It made me smile.
That special gift, however, wasn't enough to keep my spirits high on Christmas and the day after. I let myself wallow in my sadness and loneliness and dreaded having to return to work. I even thought about taking yet another week off, but eventually decided to make the effort to head into work on Monday. I am so glad I did. Alot of people were on vacation so it was a quieter pace which allowed for some extra conversations. When co-workers stopped by to ask about my Florida Keys vacation, I didn't hesitate to share my thoughts of Vern instead of keeping them to myself as I had been doing. I began to feel energized. During a couple of the conversations, the possibility of purchasing a home in Florida came up when I said how much I loved the Keys. I shared that Vern didn't have a huge life insurance policy, so buying a vacation home just wasn't in my budget. But they shared that friends and relatives have homes on the gulf coast and there are some that are quite inexpensive right now. Websites were shared and I spent time that evening surfing the 'net ... and getting excited. There are 55+ communities with manufactured homes in the $20,000 range! I could do that! The possibility started to grow in my mind and I began sharing it with others throughout the week. Their excitement for me just increased my own excitement. So I'm going to keep following this path and see where it leads me. I'm looking in the Ft. Myers/Naples area, so if you have any info to share ... please do!
This little experience has made a HUGE improvement in how I'm feeling. I'm actually thinking positively about what my future will hold instead of concentrating on all that I have lost. Vern & I used to vacation in Florida when we lived in Michigan and we actually considered moving there instead of Nevada. After our Crystal Pier vacations, we began discussing how we could easily live in a tiny space if it was near the ocean and dreamed of where we might move when I retire. Vern didn't want to have to deal with snow or hurricanes and we couldn't afford Hawaii or California, so we figured we'd end up staying here in Nevada. But now I see some options and I feel Vern's support with this idea.
This past week has been the best I've had since losing Vern. There are still tears when special songs or memories overtake me, but I haven't felt myself falling into despair when I'm here at home as I was doing previously. I struggled with some thoughts, however, that it's too soon for me to feel like this. But my dear friend, Deb, assured me that was not the case. This is a tribute to my dear Vern and is what he would want for me. I'm honoring him and the wonderful life we had together. He would not want me to continue as I was, with secluding myself in the house except for when I had to go to work. So instead of feeling I have lost half of me, I now feel Vern strongly inside of me ... encouraging me, pushing me, whispering support in my mind ... for me to be all I can be.
I know my feelings can - and probably will - ebb and flow, but I'm going to wrap myself up in these positive thoughts for now and make the best of them. I posted this quote from a poem by Mary Oliver on my Facebook page this morning that fits with how I'm currently feeling and think it's good for all of us to ponder: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"