Two days before Thanksgiving I was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving party here in Carmel Valley. The couple that threw the party are wonderful people and I was happy they reached out and gave me an invite. I went with Bridget as she would meet James there and drive home with him later. It always helps to walk through the door with someone else. Their home was big, but cozy and because they are foodies the fare set out was amazing. Wine was passed to me within minutes and I began the venture into the small crowd of people saying hello to those I knew and introducing myself to those I did not. I was having fun.
I ended up talking a bit with a man named Bill. His wife and Kenny both had the same prognosis about a year ago regarding how long they were expected to live. I had met him before, but this was the first time I had seen him in close to a year. His wife continues on with good days and bad.... Kenny of course met the deadline. Anyway, it was a nice, heartfelt talk we had about some of the things one goes through when living with a spouse you know is dying. And then I sat down with Linda, his wife, who was weak but all dolled up in her black skirt and boots. I took her hand and another very heartfelt conversation took place. I felt a genuine connection with her and I believe she did with me. I am not afraid to talk about things that for some would find uncomfortable and I think she appreciated that.
The night continued with more conversations that went beyond the light chit chat that so often accompanies a party like that. I got to know people and people got to know me. And then the night was over and after being walked to my car I sat down behind the wheel and I knew. Something felt different. Yet not really different, but actually familiar. My spark was back. I felt that the old me, yet maybe a better me, was back. I had felt it coming, but that night was different for me and it has remained so. That doesn't mean I don't shed a tear, or think of Kenny and wish he was here, but I know deep down that my life is good. Not going to be good, but good. Now. And that I am happy, and light, and able to think of others and feel their pain....or joy....or.... yes....I feel like I am back, alive and vibrant and so very glad I am!