You see Bill's father died young, (43) and left his mother a widow with seven children. Bill was the oldest boy and only 21 when he lost his dad, so there were five children younger than him. There is only one sister younger than Ruth.
Ruth continued to call me each day after Bill's death and occasionally made the drive up here to see me. Yesterday Cathy and I realized we had not heard from her in a couple of days and wondered if all was well. It was not.
We called and Ruth was an emotional wreck and had not been out of her room for two days. My heart broke for her and while Cathy had her on the phone I went in a tossed on jeans, a tee shirt and my hoodie. I wanted to do something, take her something of Bill's that might comfort her. Cathy and I chose his favorite hoodie, a gray thermal one he wore all the time as the blood thinners made him always cold. I took it from the closet, holding it close and smelling it as I cried. Then I put it in a bag and climbed into the orange beast to make the 20 mile drive.
Ruth didn't answer the door so I finally let myself in. I found her in the bedroom her eyes swollen and red. It actually helped me to step outside my own grief. I wrapped the hoodie around her and we cried together. I shared something with her I'll post about tomorrow after I have a little more time to process it.
We talked for a long time and she felt a bit better and asked if I felt like taking a ride to the casino. She wanted to do something to zone out and I certainly could relate to that, so off we went.
I was so bad! We stayed way to long. I spent too much money. I didn't eat all day, smoked like a chimney and even had to buy more smokes and motrin while I was there. I grabbed a bag of Bugles, not realizing that they were Bill's choice of snack, not mine. We were there hours and hours and by the time we left it was dark. Not that I'm afraid of the dark, but I was driving the orange beast and had a long way to go. I was tired, shaky and the poor valet boy acted like he didn't think I could climb into the beast, let alone drive it.
I dropped Ruth off at home and she said what everyone around here says, "Watch out for the deer." I patted the steering wheel and told her I'd win if it came to a fight.
So I'm driving home and it hit me. For the first time in my life I was accountable to absolutely no one. No husband, no babies, no one blowing up my phone which had died while at the casino. I could literally go anywhere, do anything. I briefly wondered if Bill's ashes were swirling in his urn as he couldn't turn over in his grave. Imagine me, all alone on the dark, deer-laden back roads, no streetlights, no cell phone and driving the orange beast that I can barely see out of in daylight.
I have to say I was shocked, at the sense of freedom that came over me, by my appallingly bad behavior and judgement and by how ballsy I felt. It was sort of cool.
But the pendulum swings both ways. This morning I sat at the table watching the birds. Once again I was utterly and completely alone, my soul deprived of it's mate. Had Bill still been with me I'd have been in big trouble for last night, actually if Bill was still here none of it would have happened in the first place.