When I was Young…
When I was young, I never once dreamed that I would be alone by my forties. When I married Doyle, I thought it would be forever. We joked about growing old together and laughed about how we would still jokingly aggravate each other. We laughed a lot. I still cannot get used to the silence in my home. I talk to myself. I talk to my little schnauzer. I talk to Doyle. No one answers so I just continue talking to myself. Sometimes, I think I hear his voice, but it turns out to be something on the TV or the radio. I leave one of those on during all waking moments. The silence is just too overwhelming. It is odd. Most of the time, I could not tell you what is on the TV, I just need the noise so my heart thinks someone else is here. Sometimes, my heart gets confused because I lie to it so much. I will carry on a conversation with him and my heart starts beating again—just for a moment. Then it realizes it is still broken and alone—and it breaks a little more.
When I was young, I learned about things that life does to us and the way fate sometimes plays tricks on us. I learned about the birds and the bees and the way thunder always followed lightning. I learned that cows sometimes die. I learned the ABCs. I learned how to spell and read. Oh, how I loved to read. Words were like magic to me. When I was about four feet tall, other little girls were dreaming of being princesses, I was dreaming of writing. I learned so many things, but no one taught me about grief.
I wonder why no one explained that the man I fell in love with could disappear with just a whisper. I wonder why no one told me that I would be a forty-something-year-old widow who talked to a little schnauzer. He has been gone for a day; he has been gone for eternity. No one ever told me. Maybe they were afraid that I would never take the chance of falling in love. They would have been wrong. I would not trade a moment I spent with my love, even if it meant that my heart could now be free. It would only be empty, having never known love at all. Sometimes, I worry that my broken heart may allow all the love to just pour out from it and drift away in the wind. Then I think I hear his voice and my heart starts to mend and beats again.
When I was young, I learned about football and I learned about a place called “Heaven.” I learned so many things but I never learned about the pain of losing someone. I never knew what it meant to be so lonely that you cried yourself to sleep every night hugging a pillow that lays where he should be—beside you. When I was young, I met a man who taught me about love, honor and trust. Then that man disappeared forever but the things he taught me will stay with me—forever.