Passed port

I decided to thin out my filing cabinet this weekend and came across my husband’s passport.

It was a wrench, I’m not gonna lie.  After years of declaring no want or need to travel outside the country, he had decided out of the blue the year before he died, that he was open to the idea of taking an overseas vacation.

The passport is pristine.  No stamps. Sadly, we never had a chance to wander the beaches of Cozumel or whatever destination on the world map that we may have stuck a pin in (likely a beach locale or maybe Ireland).

photo (33)James
Photo courtesy of my friend, Laura

My husband was not very flexible.  The idea of an uncharted adventure scared him.  But he had been changing in small ways, becoming more open to dipping his toes into the water of the unfamiliar.  If we had more time I am sure we would have embarked on an adventure or two that would have carried us beyond the beaches of Maine and Rhode Island.

I took the passport with his smiling photo, and those oh-so rosy cheeks, and threw it into the garbage can next to my desk.  I cried.  It was like throwing away a part of our dream, discarding the more adventurous man he would have become.

You stumble across these inanimate time bombs time and time again in your domestic travels.  A notebook scribbled with a list of items to buy at Home Depot.  A wallet and assorted pens kept in a front pocket – still on his dresser.  I was dusting our bedroom recently and came across a large box on a shelf that holds all of our wedding cards.

So hard to let go, since it seems like a betrayal to do so. But such a painful land to revisit.

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Calling all Angels

I had asked my husband once why, with the plethora of terms of endearment – honey, sweetheart, babe, pookie – he called me his angel.

“Because you save me every day,” was his simple reply.

I mentioned in a January post that my friend Pam, had come up with this “six and six” idea, where we try something new together every month.   Continue reading “Calling all Angels”

The old and flu season

My friend Laura, certainly the most fit person I know, made a seemingly innocuous admission recently that has stuck with me.

While on vacation in Maine with her husband, they were out enjoying some cross country skiing. Out for a couple of hours, he turned to her and asked if she wanted to continue on the set of trails they’d yet to explore.

“I said no, I’m good.”

It doesn’t sound like much, calling it a day, but Laura is an animal. I mean, this woman went running through thigh-high snow some years back right after minor leg surgery!

Now, maybe she was just bored by the steady swoosh of the dogged ski trail, or maybe she is at an age and stage where having to push through the limits is no longer such an attractive option.

I find myself using that phrase “age and stage” a lot lately, now that I am closer to the north side of 60.

A recent two-week bout with the flu not only left me weak, but weirdly took away my senses of taste and smell. What fresh hell is this? I thought to myself. Then, due to my illness-induced inactivity, I messed up my shoulder in Ashtanga yoga class.

Ok, enough is enough. I get that millions are impacted by the flu. But am I at that crossroads where all signs say, “Proceed with caution – you’re past the double nickel and all minor ailments will last longer, carrying forward a piquant aftertaste that lasts well beyond the last bitter sip.” (Yeah – too long for a sign, I know!)

The saying “time heals all wounds” is not true when it comes to grief, and certainly not applicable to aging. I’m certainly not on my last legs, and Laura can still rock a bikini like nobody’s business. But it gives you pause, the domino effect of minor aches and pains, and how they awaken thoughts of the decrepitude to come.

Aren’t you just dying to invite me to your next baby shower?