Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"You Go First"

Kenny firmly believed we would both live to a ripe old age since both parents on both our sides have/had lived long healthy lives. He thought we would live to be one hundred and I sort of cringed at the thought. I didn't think I even wanted that but Kenny did. He wanted a long life with me and said we potentially had about 40 or 50 years to look forward to. We were on this subject in our early years, driving home from someplace when Kenny said, "I think you should go first". "GEE! Thanks a lot!". But then Kenny said something that teared me up and brought me to a deeper place of loving him. He said "because I think you would be scared". Yes. I would have been scared. Left alone at a very old age, without my true love beside me. Dazed and confused, I'm sure. I remember thinking at the time that this man knows me. Still, at such an early part of our relationship, he knows me. And cares. And thinks of me. I thought of that little conversation many times over and it always made me teary. It was for me a sweet revelation that this man was not in the relationship for his own purposes, to see what what was in it for him and what he could get out of it. I realized that day, and every day after, that he was in this relationship for me. Me. Kenny had a way of making me feel like I was the best prize he ever won, and he was going to spend the rest of his life taking care of it. And he did. He really did.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I have never dreaded my birthday before. Never bummed out that I was turning the big 4-0, then the big 5-0. Growing old and birthdays don't bother me. But tomorrow is my birthday, and yes, I dread it. Not because I am another year older. No, I dread it because Kenny is not here with me and I have a feeling that tomorrow will feel especially void without him. In all honesty, I am sort of surprised that I feel this way. I have not put a huge amount of hoopla when it comes to my birthday celebrations so I didn't think it would matter much. For me, birthdays were mostly a day that I had the courage to say and do whatever I wanted to do. But when Kenny came along, he knew how to make them special.

I remember my first birthday with him. He had four presents (jewelry which I cherish) and with each present he had a different card. "I couldn't decide on just one card"! Each card had a sweet sentiment, and with each card Kenny wrote his own birthday love note to me. We sat by the pool and drank margaritas that day and I remember feeling that my life was going to be good with this man. Yes....life was definitely good with this man.... just way, way too short.

In the past, Kenny had been used to giving gifts and having them returned, so he was a little gun-shy about buying gifts for me. One of my birthdays was approaching and I already knew he had my gifts purchased, mostly because I was with him when he bought them for me. Then he asked me if I would like him to buy me a dress for my birthday. Not just buy me a dress, but actually pick it out and surprise me with it. "Yes! I would love that"! I was thrilled that he was ready to take that small risk with me and I knew no matter what, I was not going to return this dress. He bought me ten. TEN dresses, and I loved them all. That Kenny.

So....tomorrow will be a little hard for me. I am a free agent and can do whatever I want to do just about any day of the week, and tomorrow will be no different. But I actually can't do what I really want to do. I want to sit by the pool and drink margaritas and open sweet cards with love notes inside. I want to wear a pretty dress and.....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I am so glad we got a cat. Just a simple act that has made a big difference for me. She is often waiting at the door when I come home and if not, she makes her way to greet me. She sleeps on my bed at night snuggled up against me. She loves to play and is extremely affectionate but not obnoxiously so. It is nice to have another beating heart in this house and for that I am thankful.

I find myself being thankful for quite a lot these days. Simple things that maybe I would not have considered as "thanks worthy" before but now I do. I am thankful that the days are longer. I imagine how differently it would feel for me if it was getting dark at 5. People have a tendency to stay in more during the winter months and I am sure the loneliness would engulf me. Now, people are out...going to grab a bite, or a glass of wine..."would you like to join us?".....yes...I get out a lot, but I think it is only because everyone else is getting out a lot too. I try not to think about what is up ahead since the days from here on out are just getting shorter. But hopefully I will be ok and there will be new things to be thankful for.

Of course I am thankful for the big things. For family....and kids... grandkids....good friends....and God. I am thankful that I live in a lovely home that I feel comfortable and safe in. I am thankful that I don't have the burden of financial stress that could be so overwhelming. I am thankful that I am healthy and strong and have the hope that I will be ok and life will be good again. And I am thankful for Kenny....always for Kenny....will ever be thankful for him. I am even thankful for the way Kenny died. His final journey. How well it went. I am thankful that he was always able to talk, and eat, and enjoy life to the end. That his great attitude never wavered. Hospice was "spa time", our home was like "living in Tuscany", the hospital bed in our room was "the day bed", the wheelchair was called "Chairy".... He saw it all through lighter, brighter eyes and for that I am most grateful. He was wonderful, sweet and amazing and so much more.....and he was thankful too.