Thoughts as I enter my 43rd year as a widower.
It’s 12:30 in the morning on the 14th. I have been 43 years old for thirty minutes now. In another fifty minutes I’ll have been a widower/single parent for exactly forty-eight hours. My brain is mush but I can’t sleep.
I’m writing this mainly to try to make some sense of things.
I’ve had folks who have told me that they were praying for Virginia’s healing and that they were so sorry that God chose not to heal her. Stop right there. God has healed my wife. She is in a place where the cancer is no longer part of her. She is once again whole. She has been healed just not in the way we might have expected or wanted for that matter. I have been told by every doctor we talked to that liver cancer is one of the more painful cancers a person can endure. If that is true than I am thankful that Virginia did not have to suffer long. I miss her but we’ll have very few memories of Virginia’s shell, unlike my Grandmother Nibbelink who spent most of my life confined to a couch and barely able to move.
Would Grandma N. say that her life was wasted just because she spent the better part of two decades unable to breathe without oxygen or unable to walk more than the few steps from her bedroom to her bathroom and back? No, she’d be the first to tell you that she lots of time to spend talking to God. However her children and (most of) her grandchildren have plenty of memories of Grandma at her most vibrant.
I am very thankful that P.I.T. #3 (Chris) does not carry the burden of most of his “Mommy Memories” being of her as an invalid in a bed or on a couch.
Pvt. Black Spartan (Janae) has matured in the year that she has been in Uncle Sam’s (that would be the army and not Virginia’s brother) care and tutelage. She has stepped in and taken some of the burden of dealing with life off of her father’s shoulders. I thank God for my baby girl.
PIT #2 (Gerrit) has been somewhat of an enigma during this time. I can tell he’s hurting but he’s got his father’s mis-guided notion that “Men Aren’t Supposed to CRY”. I know my son and can tell when he’s not happy, right now he’s not. I haven’t seen him cry yet but then he probably is thinking “Dad is falling apart and I need to be strong for him”
Most of the immediate family from both sides are in town. My brother will get here tomorrow and Virginia’s brother Sam finally got here today, in his haste he mis-booked a flight and was stuck in Denver for a couple of hours.
The boys and I have taken a pledge to keep the house from looking like it was the sole domain of three bachelors. I don’t know how we’re gonna pull that off. We’ve had friends (thank you) over helping us make it look nice now.
I honestly cannot comprehend the outpouring of love and generosity from all walks of our lives. PIT #3’s school has taken it upon themselves to make sure that not only are me and the kids fed during this time but my parent and siblings and Virginia’s parents and siblings as well. Thank you to TCS
Churches that we have attended in the past are taking up collections to help with funeral expenses. The RPG community has set up a fund for donations (Dudes and Dudettes, I’m touched). Each of the schools that Virginia interpreted for is getting unsolicited donations from their students. I don’t know if I’ll EVER be able to thank every one individually for all they have done, are doing, and have pledged to do. Each of those donations will be a very big help as Virginia missed the last month of her contract and I’ve basically taken a two-week unpaid vacation. I’m overwhelmed and humbled, may God bless each and every one of you.
We found out that Virginia did have a life insurance policy. Enough that once it comes through some of the larger recent expenditures (medical, funeral, etc.) can be paid off without my having to sell myself and the boys into slavery. We might even have enough to take a vacation with Pvt Black Spartan to a gaming con (any suggestions?)
I’m still not excited about raising two boys by myself. I’m not excited at all about the loneliness at night. I’m realizing just how much of a rock Virginia was in my life and I don’t look forward to the future months once the flush of her passing has been forgotten.
I do not expect, nor do I want meals to continued to be provided for us, our home cleaned by others, the laundry done…. Eventually the extended family needs to return to their lives. Gerrit, Chris and I will need to learn to get by on our own. I’m not looking forward to that either.
So here I sit in (now 1:00 am) my chair. My kids are taking me to see Iron Man 2 for my birthday. I need my sleep for today will be busy. I don’t want to go to bed because I’m getting lost in the queen sized area without my partner to snuggle against. I’m trying to make myself sleepy enough now so I can go to bed without having to read one of my comic books to wind down. (I ruined a Batman graphic novel because I wound down enough I fell asleep in it and drooled).
I miss my wife.