This will be the last entry from this journal. The rest of the journal I used for notes for my genealogy. Between the dates, I transcribed there are some personal things I have left out, but I only wanted to paint a picture of who I am, and the circumstances that brought me here. It’s now time to set free a couple important truths I decided not to include.
Before cancer, before the hospitals, we were just two lost souls, set adrift by our own loss’ and addictions. We came here to escape, to refresh and start anew. Although it was not always easy financially, and while some questioned our purpose, we both came to believe in our hearts we needed this place. We needed the healing waters, the forests, the trees, and the peace. We just at the time didn’t know why it was so urgent we escape the distracting menagerie of the metropolis. We were fortunate to have had the loving support of Tim’s Dad. Tim’s parents bought the cottage when I believe Tim was 14. This place has been his refuge ever since. After the death of his Mom and then the separation from his long-term relationship, this was the place he thought of as home.
In October of 2010, Tim and I had a huge fight that brought to light a whole stream of lies and deception. Due to his lies, I lost a lot. I lost money, I lost faith, and I lost the contents of my storage locker. Things like the negatives for the photos I’ve posted. I lost my Grandmothers antique writing desk, the side dresser that goes with my Great Grandmothers dresser. I lost the lock of my Mom’s hair when she was a baby. I lost some very precious things. So when I say I have had to forgive, I mean it. I came back because I believed we had unfinished business. I came back because, as my sister said “He loves you, Paula. I don’t agree with what he did, but he loves you”. I needed to find out if I really loved him, and if that would be enough.
I have always believed in second chances. I believe that good people can and do do bad things. I know that Tim always meant well, he just lacked confidence and felt he had to pretend he was this “big man”. He wanted you to think he had it all at his fingertips, that he was wealthy and not to worry that it was all taken care of. Well, that was a great big pile of steaming cow poop, as I found out October 5th, 2010.
Even to this day, there are a lot of questions that I don’t have answers to. When I came back in mid-November of 2010 I had intended to go back home to Dodge for Christmas — alone. I was going to spend the month of January at home. After which I would decide if I wanted to return for good. Well, that didn’t happen. Tim went into the hospital for the first time in December of 2010. That started off our journey through all the various diagnosis from Diverticulitis, even Fibromyalgia at one point. Over the spring and summer, he just got worse, in and out of the hospital. More false diagnosis, more pain.
Then finally in September of 2011, we found out the truth – Pancreatic Cancer. By then any questions I had, any lies I knew still hung in the air, well, they became far less important. At some point along the way, I forgave him. I remember the day I realized it didn’t matter anymore…and I told him so. Life goes on. I now think of those things I lost as sacrifices to gain my heart back, to heal my soul. They were just things. I am blessed with the memories and the great stories my family gave us (plus a whole house filled with more old things).
Yesterday it was exactly two months, to the day, since he died – December 18. Yesterday I found myself staring at this screen trying to focus, trying to express what is on my mind. The date explains a lot. It was one of those days where I found myself standing in the kitchen a complete wreck. When I open the cupboard with our dry goods, I never look at the first shelf anymore; that is where we kept all the different teas he liked, the supplements we tried. Can’t look there some days…it reminds me too much of the faith I had once that he would recover. I even yesterday in a fit of “stupid” tried to go through some things in our old bedroom, THAT was not smart.
I know all about this, the different stages of grief. All that is irrelevant though. I don’t care what blawdy stage I’m at. I don’t care what he did, or didn’t do, couldn’t do maybe. I just miss him. Today it just seems like it’s crazy he’s gone. Crazy crazy crazy. How can this be? How? Damn him. He was larger than life in some respects. He was all the things he pretended to be, just not in the way he wanted. He had wealth, but it was in his ability to always reach out. Always he was the one helping others. His Dad the other night on the phone said he would often get in trouble at school for helping other kids with their work, rather than finishing his own.
In the last days of Tim’s life, he had a friend of ours go and buy me a ring. He gave it to me not long before he died. When he saw me trying to put it on my ring finger, he said: “no, it goes here, it’s a friendship ring”. He saw past his own death, saw past my grief, and he knew someday I would meet someone and maybe they would have a ring to put there. This one, this ring, it represents something that no one can take away. I love that it is square, the design symbolizes the four years we spent together.
I look back at that first page where my ex-husband wrote “I don’t care” and I wrote underneath “well I do”. I haven’t spoken to him in almost 10 years now. I don’t know if I ever will; or if I even want to actually. We said to each other all there was to say. Then Mom died and he was irrelevant. I needed someone with more conviction behind the promises they make. Conviction on anything was not my ex’s strong suit.
I bought this journal more than a decade ago. If you go back in my journal links you will find all those early entries. There are huge gaps because I for a long time didn’t keep a journal. I didn’t write at all, I didn’t take photographs, I didn’t garden. I had become dead inside, and then I met Tim. I came here, and I fell in love with him, this place and I began to heal. We both did.
September 29, 2012
You know, people who ask you how you are as they’re walking out the door really annoy me. How am I to summarize within the door frames as they are leaving how I feel? If they don’t want to know, why even ask in the first place? I know people mean well, they care, I guess I’m just feeling overwhelmed this morning. Oh, but its more than that. It’s complex. I find it difficult to stay in the moment. I get sometimes so distracted by what happens after? What than? It will be just Irish and I. Where will we be? What will I do for a living? What path career wise should I take? Than of course there are all those unanswered questions. Should I ask? Is any of that important anymore?