I'll Meet You There ...

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Every once in a while, Bob would sneak up behind me and whisper in my ear, “Spooky …”

And we would both chuckle ;-)


As I mentioned earlier, I talked with the kids this morning,  and am seriously considering what they are suggesting.

I will be visiting with them over the holiday weekend and we will be discussing it in finer detail. I did warn them that I could get pretty emotional and may end up crying … as I will be reliving the 1st year anniversary memories of how the end of this month Bob went into the local Peace Health hospital and never came back home alive again.

Today, last year, we had a surprise visit from relatives, and while showing them around outside we saw that the bitching creep next door: ron cook, the neighbor alongside us that has been running and screaming to candy scott, the Park manager here all summer long; about ‘the possibility of future trespass from my tomato plants and patio apple tree’ had nervily and belligerently laid HIS tomato cages against my boxes when he pulled all his crappy garden mess. So, I took a picture of the belligerent infraction (so the manager could not deny and flippantly dismiss the bold violation) and Bob walked it straight to candy’s office when the door opened and filed a complaint. She tried to say she had no way of knowing the boxes were ours and the cages were ron’s, but Bob backed her into a corner, insisting it be dealt with immediately since ron was the instigator and the primary complainer concerning infractions on private property … and he was in bold violation of the very thing he was trying to accuse us of. ron's claims were aimless – ours was not.

That attended to, we drove to Lexington Park & enjoyed the day there; putting a quarter of a mile walk under Bob’s belt & feeding squirrels – docs wanted Bob to walk, and Bob enjoyed feeding the furry little beggars. The walk was a bit nippy with the river winds blowing down off the dike and swirling around us, but the brilliant Fall colors tucked here and there among the evergreens added visual warmth.

That day in the Park was the last walk Bob ever took this side of Heaven. 

The stress of living here, at Heron Pointe, with the continual haranguing over ron’s and candy’s nonsensical ridiculousness killed my husband.

ron’s wire cages remained leaned against my planter boxes for weeks until the winds off the river here blew through our neighborhood and knocked them down while I sat death-watch with Bob in 2 hospitals in 2 States. candy never did speak to ron. But she kept giving ron an ear when he complained about us. 

Things went from bad to worse between all of us from the end of October to the middle of December 2018.

A year forward, things are still bad between me and them. I hold them both personally responsible for my husband’s wrongful death. Immediately following Bob’s physical death, I told them both that I hold them responsible. Every time they see me, they KNOW. My very presence won’t let them forget as long as I live here.

THAT is one of the reasons I am seriously considering what the kids are suggesting. I don’t engage in any of the Clubhouse activities – which was one of the selling points when we bought our house here 34 months ago (Bob only lived in this house 14 months before ending up in ER & ICU over ron’s stupid bullshit paranoias & candy’s arrogantly/ignorant biases; he was gone in 18 months after moving here), and I don’t walk around the Park either – which was another selling point: I find outside Park activities to engage in; which kinda defeats the purpose of living in a community such as this one.

I need to let go and move forward. I NEED TO LIVE. FULLY in the place my home exists in. I can’t do that here because no matter where I go in the Park, ron & candy are always in eyesight. And our home is no longer a home … it is just another house, now that Bob no longer lives here with me. I refuse to allow hate to keep me from joining Bob in Heaven. I refuse to hate – and it is hard, VERY HARD, to tamp it down knowing his killers are still on Park premises: ron sold and moved a block away – but STILL in the Park; and little hitler candy is still Park {manager}. It is very hard to live here. Occasionally, I run into ron at Baker’s Corner Mini Mart, and I have to have face-to-face convo with candy on occasion. Both instances are nauseating for me.

Memories of Bob fill every corner, and echo off the walls of this house – memories surround me when I am outside: the shed is full of my husband’s man stuff: stuff he had even before we married; stuff we carried from pillar to post in the moves we made over the last 2 decades after we left Cathlamet. I don’t even know what most of those crates, coffee can, boxes, and tool boxes hold. I just know it was stuff that meant something to him. Some of it even belonged to his Grandfather Smalley. I need to sort through it. Some day. And, of course, the 14 gardening boxes he designed and built for me – that ron bitched about nonstop – are running the length of the boundary line (the line that ron constantly moved according to his whims and candy upheld regardless of the surveyor we hired to mark the actual boundary line - the colored markings are still on the rock. Ignored by candy). Bob’s presence is everywhere I look, and it screams to my heart: “I am still here, my sexy Lady”. Yet the silence of his absence is deafening.

Daily, life unfolds and continues on around me; but since 8:05 a.m., December 14th, 2018, the lively hum has gone out of it in my world. My heart continues to beat, but it is like a dying thing inside my constricted chest striving to survive. My eyes can see that Fall has painted some tree leaves bold and brilliant colors; but my mind can’t grasp the beauty anymore: my mind is finding it hard to grasp anything anymore as it sputters and misfires in an unwanted and paralyzing PTSD Widow’s Fog.

I am allowing life to pass me by because I have momentarily lost my enthusiasm for life since the love of my life is no longer a part of my life.

I KNOW no one can change my outlook on life but me … and I AM TRYING. But, some days, finding the motivation to re-engage with living life as Bob would want me to do, mockingly eludes me. And I lack the strength to chase it down.

THAT IS WHY I am giving serious consideration to the kids’ suggestion to move closer to them.

I need to be encouraged again to embrace life. Fully & with enthusiasm.

My biggest cheerleader is no longer walking this Earth … but his DNA is: in his grandkids. I need to reconnect to life again for their sake's. For my sake. For Bob’s legacy. Bob wants me to live again. Fully.

I need to be encouraged to take risks – risks to step out of my comfort zones and find out who I am now & what I am made of. I used to know.

Before Bob, I was my own encourager to embrace life and take risks.

Now, I am an emotional wreck. Standing on the sidelines of my life watching it pass me by.

All the color, all the zest, all the oomph has gone out of my life.

And I am seriously struggling to get it back; even a small semblance of it.

Since I was 17, I have been half of a completed couple; since last December 14th, 5 days before my 62nd birthday, I found myself a solo lobo again. It has been decades since I was solo. Let alone, a lobo. I liked being coupled with Bob. I sheathed my teeth for him. I loved him. I wanted always to make him proud of me.

I know he was, because he told people – in front of me – that he was proud of me. Because he honored me, I want to honor him. I want to honor his memory. I want to live fully. I want the kids to know I will snap out of this brain funk and agonizing heartache; I will be okay again.

I just need to convince myself.

And then DO IT.

I’ve never experienced or dealt with uncertainty before.


It is an unfamiliar feeling.

It is an uncomfortable feeling.

I am no stranger to adversity.

But I am a stranger to Widowhood.

Which is adversity on a whole new level.

Unknown territory – I don’t know the rules.

And the rules keep changing …

It is an unfair life game.

I don’t like it.

Not even a little bit.

Insecurities seem to be the wild card that can throw the whole game.

I’ve never been in the loser’s seat before.

And I have lost A LOT, on every level of my life, since December 14th, 2018.

Each loss resulting from an immobilizing legal severance of my life with my husband (Social Security benefits, bank account, house title, car title, phone service contract, ect.) catapulted me into a fresh grieving cycle. My husband’s physical death was reduced to a business transaction over and over again, and it seemed to me that he was simply erased from all their legal rosters as I was forced to print off countless copies of his Death Certificate and dance to their tunes and jump through their legal hoops.

It is a cruel game of death that never ends.

I am never allowed to rest from the draining effects on my life resulting from the loss of his physical life.

I am coming to understand that the cycle of grief will never end: it is a living entity that life ironically fans back to life in unguarded moments, and the pulsing ache of your beloved’s absence, that your soul absorbs.

I don’t like it.

I accepted my husband’s physical death the moment he breathed out his last breath. On a cold Winter morning. In OHSU. In another State. I was there. I saw it happen. I knew his spirit left his body before the “pronouncing doctor” pronounced it half an hour later. His Urn Box was in plain view every morning I woke up and every night I lay down to sleep – I keep a small Remembrance Urn on the livingroom fireplace hearth & my bedside nightstand: it will be buried with my when my time comes to meet with him beyond the clouds. I ferried his Urn Box to the family cemetery his great-grandfather established, and laid his cremains to rest alongside his relatives in our family plot block this past August: August 30th … on his 70th Birthday.

Bob's last morning on Earth
Bob's Remembrance Urn

I know my husband no longer lives here on Earth.

But, I also know he is still very much alive.

Unattainable – but alive.

And I am still very much in love with him.

Our lives continue: but, separately.

It is a tightrope walk for me.

Bob is no doubt happy as a lark – he always was an early riser and now he rides the clouds at daybreak and dusk. And probably in between too. There is no timeline in Heaven. Time is meaningless beyond the clouds.

It is only here, on Earth, where time means anything. Where time flies too quickly when sudden illness strikes. Where time stands still for the brokenhearted. Where time can be filled with bittersweet poignancy that can make you laugh, cry, scream, and wail all at the same time.

All Bob feels right now is joy. Pure joy.

I would like to feel joy again.

The kids seem to think moving to Oregon will help me reacquaint myself with joy again.

We’ll see.

The kids reminded me this morning that there is nothing to fear from fear, but fear itself. And that there is opportunity and possibility in the unknown.

Bob’s physical death is my catalyst for change.

But, CAN I … “boldly go into the unknown” … where, I “have never gone before”?

If I do this, I will certainly move towards an uncertain future. I will certainly not stay comfortable in my familiar surroundings. I will be taking a HUGE leap of faith. I have serious trust issues – Bob understood that. Will everyone else?

I don’t have all the answers.

I don’t even have some of the answers.

But, I know Someone Who does – and I will seek His face and ask for direction. Clear & precise direction.

I can’t afford to mess up.

And I am a wreck right now …

The final decision will affect my life.

For the rest of my life.

I can’t afford to mess up.

I remember that Yeshua was a man well acquainted with sorrow – He “gets” me.

And, if He can rise above grief: SO CAN I!

His grace is sufficient for me.

With eyes ahead, looking towards a future, the thought of moving closer to the kids is exciting – and daunting.

We will discuss it some more over the holiday weekend: we are a very small family – 5 people in our immediate circle sans Bob: 9 including Liam's family members. I will pray about it and it will go where it will go …

I’d sure like to see life in color again.