This is a picture of Gail's dad (Chic) (grandpa Saunders) who died in April of 1990 after having ALS for 10 months. Grandma/Grandpa stayed with us the last 3 months of Grandpa's life. I would guess this picture was taken about 1938-1940 or so.
As Christmas approaches I have become somewhat less joyful and I have been trying to put my finger on why. I think I have it. I have not put any Christmas scents in the air. No cookies being baked, no food being made, it is a total lack of Gail's wonderful presence in the house. Some how the stockings, the tree, the nativity scene and other things do not do justice to the overall Christmas spirit. At this time I am not going to try and change things this year but I will try to remember to do things better next year.
The group of men who do meditations on Tuesday had a nice breakfast this morning and then Larry B and I went out for lunch. Tomorrow I will have breakfast with Ernie R so all this means I will need to walk more. This evening I walked to Cyn/Mike and then over to John/Marys and home again. I think that is about 4 miles. After that I drove to New Brighton to deliver a gift and arrived home about 8:20.
I have said this before but will repeat it. Each day the reality of Gail's absence is more and more. Sometimes the loneliness is almost visible or touchable. I was so used to having Gail around all the time that each evening seems like an eternity. I have been remembering back a lot about when she was going through chemo. There would be days on end when she was so tired that she could do very little. In the evening we would sit in the living room and talk. Sometimes I would think that she wasn't listening so I would look closely at her and she would be sleeping. I would then pick up my book and read. In a short time she would wake up and we would start talking again and the scenario would be repeated. During those months of Jan, Feb, March and April that was our mode most of the time.
I have not been sleeping real well and I think I just can not adjust yet to being in bed alone. I would say that I usually wake up 3-5 times a night. I miss Gail's nightly pulling up the sheet so that it would cover the top of the blanket and then adjusting the bottom of the sheet so that our feet would be covered and then I remember that we had some of our biggest laughs in bed. There would be times when we would both be crying we had laughed so hard. As I recollect so many aspects of our life together it is interesting how the human voice, a person's touch in a certain way or that special look or that funny habit can be so in grained that a person almost doesn't think about it until it is absent and then the void is so large it almost seems impossible to overcome.
I have been thinking about my new single life and how I may be able to enjoy it as it has to be from God. However I have not been able to come up with anything yet but I am sure as time passes I will be able to make a list of things that may be fun. It has been 14 weeks now, that is more than 1/4 of a year and yet the pain, the loss, the emptiness is still so great. I am not complaining, really I know I am not different than anyone else who has lost a spouse but sometimes it actually seems to help in the short term to feel sorry for one self!! As I look at that what a goofy thing to say but it is true.
I think I will do my nightly mini retreat near the Advent candles.