But since Vern died, it seems that May takes me to a dark place. That long, incredibly hard cancer journey began in May. And even though it's been 7 years (how is that possible?) I can still see in my mind's eye the day when we first heard the word cancer. I can see us in the dr's office looking at the scans, hear the dr tell us how bad it is, that immediate surgery is needed and I must check him into the hospital now. I recall driving down the street towards the hospital, but then pulling off into a residential area. I found a shaded spot and pulled up next to the curb. Holding hands. Silence. Tears. Drawing strength from one another to face the challenge. During the 4+ year cancer battle I don't recall thinking much about May. Or any specific dates. It was such an effort to just keep doing what needed to be done. But now ... now that I'm alone ... May seems to be the month I will find myself crying at the drop of a hat ... songs, comments, stories ... it doesn't take much to get the tears flowing. I'm not consciously thinking about it, but it's there ... those memories ... lurking just below the surface. And I can tell you that spending a birthday without Vern is just not something I can enjoy. I miss him. And it's just a reminder that one more year has passed without him.
I sometimes get so tired of feeling it's my responsibility to always be the positive one, to always be strong, to always set a good example of how to survive losing the love of your life. Really tired. But I can't help myself. It's who I am. And who I am is because of the years and the love I shared with Vern. So I keep on keeping on.
- Had a wonderful long lunch with my friend and fellow widow, Linda.
- Received lots of online birthday wishes.
- Saw a couple of posts from widows who have appreciated my comments and support.
- Had a nice phone conversation with my "little" brother and one of my sisters.
- Received a lovely bouquet of tulips from my brother and his sweet wife.
And I smiled when I saw Google wishing me a Happy Birthday.
So I made it through today fairly well, actually. I got out of my pajamas - that's an improvement from previous years. And I ventured outside the house ... another improvement. And it's one day closer to the end of May.