It took me almost 2 years, but today was the day that the boxes got packed. In hindsight I should have dealt with the items back in the fall of 2015, or any of the following months. But hope kept me from tackling the task. Now, after nearly 30 years of “Protecting and Serving” I have capitulated and packed up all my husband’s work and military uniforms for passing on. It has not been easy to come to this point for either of us, but work will not be something he is able to return to. And for anyone who has had a career identity that was a lifestyle, you know how hard it is to make the change. For someone who has a brain injury it is even tougher, as part of your mind still feels you can do the job, even as you know you can’t. Trying to adjust to this new life we have has been a varying challenge, but there you have it- life does that and the options are, stay locked in place or continue to move forward in a new direction. Accepting uncertainty, and going off script has never been easy for me, so this is a whole new terrain to navigate and one we both often resent having to navigate. It has brought restrictions to both our lives that we didn’t expect. It has also brought time to spend together that was missing when duty called. Light-dark. up-down, yin-yang all part of our new season.
I know summer must be coming even though spring never arrived. And thus, I am gearing up to do “things”: field trips, hikes, website updates, workshops, visits with friends and more. The season is fleeting even when it doesn’t start slowly, and I cannot afford to waste a moment. Old gears can be coaxed back into action, it is just a matter of effort and getting the rust off.
Joe and I went to Calgary and then on to the Banff area. It was a very different time, we were young for one thing, had 2 very small children and the future unfurled before us uncluttered by any debris of life’s upsets. Now and close to home, it is also very different. Both children grown, we are older and a TBI has shifted the course we thought we were on. Life does that to everyone in some form or another, at one age or another. It is inevitable, yet so far the sun has continued to rise, the rivers continue to flow and trees grow and fall. Each day an adventure in a whole new way.
when the sheer joy of being alive and out in the world is more than enough.
Our trip to NY allowed for some back road driving and empty house finding. Always a favorite past time of mine. This is the front room view into the parlor of the house in the previous post. The curtains in the far front room obscured a clear view from that end, which is disappointing as it looks as if there was much to see. The debris of life, jettisoned as life moved on. Things once important to the fabric of home, now cast aside and cloaked in dust. What magazines once resided in the rack? What stories were told around the now sealed hearth? It is even hard to tell how long the place has sat empty.
Winter is over in this house, the skates lie on the floor unlikely to see another season’s use. The house likely seems to seem headed to a final season, empty and decaying, no sign of saving in sight. Books are stacked by the old chair in the parlor, mason jars sit unused and a pair of old shoes reside unused in a box. Who were the occupants that these remnants remained behind when they left? What lives were lived within these walls that now are silent? What we leave behind, what we leave behind. My desire to wander these rooms was strong, but so was my sense of caution. Though the house was unoccupied, the ones around it were not, and you never know who is keeping an eye on things.