Day 142, Pass The Wine Please
I stay up late, only venturing to my room when I am staggering with exhaustion and holding onto the wall for support. And I have to say that my favorite channel, TCM, has had the most abysmal programming for January in history.
One of the last gifts Bill bought me was a two year subscription to their movie guide. February seems to look a little more promising and of course tomorrow is Debbie Reynolds day, so that will help. I just love her, always have, but I’m a little jealous that she was able to check out so quickly after she lost her beloved daughter, Carrie Fisher. Of course, poor Debbie never had a decent marriage, so maybe she deserved a break for all the crap she put up with in this life.
I had my second visit with my grief counselor. She’s really a lovely person and easy to talk to. I could go more often, but don’t seem to have the energy. I also wanted to wait until after January 14th for my next appointment. That was the day of the fireman’s banquet. They invited my family as they planned to honor Bill’s service. I was beside myself, terrified of having a complete and total meltdown in front of everyone. In fact I didn’t want to go, not at all, not ever. Unfortunately, I could not bring myself to disrespect Bill in that way, nor did I want to insult those who sought to remember him.
I spent the morning crying, hoping to get it out of my system, had a mini crisis when I could not find my black stockings to wear with my skirt, and flipped when one of my heels seemed too big. Apparently, when you lose weight, your feet get smaller too? Who knew?
In the end it went much better than I’d anticipated. There were a couple of people there Bill worked with who did not know of his passing and they were so very kind, reminding me of how loved he was and that he always made everyone laugh with his country boy sense of humor. He had a way of cutting to the chase and making the absurdities of life laughable.
The department presented me with a desk clock that has Bill’s picture when he was Chief and a lovely little plaque attached with a memorial saying honoring him as Past Chief and a Lifetime Member. The food was good, I had a Bud Light and a half, decided I could easily get plastered and that a DUI was not in my best interest. Also, no one likes a miserable, snot-nosed drunk, so I stopped and switched to coffee. Bill would have been proud of me.
On a side note, the casino sent me a card in the mail this week giving me a free electric wine bottle opener. I had no idea they made them or why anyone would need one, but I called and reserved mine anyway. My sister suggests White Zinfandel by Barringer or Muscato by Cupcake. They are both on my list of possible sleep aids or I may use them to help me write really sexy shit, enough to get me off the ‘sweet authors’ list. We’ll see.
Getting back to the whole grief thing, I know I said earlier that I was not angry with God and at the time I believed it. I’m grateful he took Bill quickly. I’m grateful he did not know what hit him and that we did not have to watch him suffer for days or weeks on life-support, although he did his share of suffering, horrible suffering with the Gangrene and loss of his leg and independence. That sucked, and he didn’t deserve that, at all!
Anyway, if wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized I was rushing through my prayers each night. Really rushing, like when you run into someone you don’t really want to talk to, but are forced by good manners to blah, blah, blah… “Sorry, gotta run.”
I used to talk to God at great length and in great detail. I mentioned the names of every one of my kids, grand-kids, family, friends I was worried about etc. I thanked him for every little thing in my life, every blessing, each day of happiness. I prayed for his protection for my loved ones and asked for his blessing and guidance when making difficult decisions. It was a Marathon. I would fall asleep, wake up, not remember where I was and start over.
Now it’s a Sprint. It goes sort of like this, and very fast. “Thanks for my kids, grandkids, sons and daughters in law, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, friends. Thanks for the years I had with Bill, even though you cut them short. Please give me strength, courage and faith to carry on. Thanks for the roof over our heads, food, clothing, heat. Thanks for all our blessings. Please help all those who are sick, suffering, homeless, hopeless, fearful, depressed or mentally ill, alone and feeling like no one hears their prayers. Amen.” Then there is The Lord’s Prayer, which is supposed to be the be all and end all, covering every possible thing that could happen. Amen, Jesus, The End.
This is anger. Maybe not in the “God, how could you! How dare you! Irate way I felt in 1991 when Bill got sick and nearly died during his heart surgery, but it’s anger nonetheless. I’m not saying what I’m thinking, “You really pissed me off”, “How could you take my best friend, the reason I got up every morning?” or “What the fuck am I supposed to do now?”
I hear his answer, of course, “What part of ‘till death do you part’ didn’t you understand?”
“Well, I guess I didn’t understand how it applied to me and Bill. I don’t understand how or why you would rip apart a couple that was still so crazy in love after all these years. A couple who fought through the tough times and came out the other side still mad for each other; A couple that sort of set the standard for what love is supposed to look like? A couple who couldn’t bear to be apart for a few hours, let alone 142 days!”
So yes, I am angry and disgustingly jealous of couples I see walking together, holding hands, kissing. I also want to walk up and slap the ones who are arguing in public, humiliating themselves and embarrassing the ones around them. I want to walk up to them and say, “You’re a couple of morons! Don’t you know what you have, how blessed you are?”
I know plenty of men I would generously classify as ‘worthless wastes of space’. Why are they still here and yet Bill is gone? Bill! A man who would give his life for another, a man who once rushed into a burning building with nothing but a handkerchief over his mouth because someone told him there was a person inside. Bill, a man who ran to the fire barn in his socks to answer a call, a man who’s beard and eyebrows I thawed out with a hairdryer after fighting a barn fire all night in -20 weather. Bill, a man who drove a thousand miles to help my sister move when she couldn’t find anyone else and couldn’t afford to hire anyone. Where is the justice in this?
So yeah, I think it’s safe to surmise that anger has finally arrived. I’m definitely going to need that wine!