I have been so busy travelling since John passed away. Much of the past two years is a blur to me and I only remember things when I see the photographs. Now things are so much clearer to me.
I went south almost a month ago. Drove to Florida with my goddaughter Zoe and we talked for three days on the road. We talked about the family, about life, about death and about unexpected changes. The first week I was there it was go go go with Zoe. Travelling with a 19 year old can be exhausting even though I’m sure she thought I was boring. We had a wonderful time together and I find it amazing that she holds her own with my older friends.
After she left, my friend Sandi flew down for the next two weeks. We had a more leisurely pace and painted rocks, toured about a bit and shopped. While I painted these rocks I thought about where I would leave them and what the people meant to me. I painted a rock for my daughter and left it very close to where she was married to her love of her life. It is hidden in a small seagrapes bush looking out towards the Gulf of Mexico.
I made a few for John. I thought about all the places we loved there and dropped these little stones off at places like our favourite restaurants and at the Florida Botanical Gardens. He would sit and read while I walked there and I will never forget his smile every time he would see me walk up to him. We loved the gardens during the Christmas season, with all the beautiful lights, so I made a small snowman and placed it in the tiny nook behind “his” chair.
I made two other rocks in his memory and left one at the foot of the stairs by our condo. I painted every stroke with love. I’m not very talented but I was quite happy I could do something like this in his memory.
But while I painted I could feel a change come over me. I was in a condo that was right on the beach and I watched the waves roll in. I could see the dolphins playing just off shore. I watched the children run up and down the beach, gathering shells, digging in the sand and squealing with delight when a wave would hit them. And for the first time in almost two years I felt my heart get lighter. I went several times to the old condo building to visit friends but I didn’t have a pull to the building. The heart of it is gone. When I went to see other condos all I saw were old people around them. I’m not OLD! At least not yet. I do turn 61 on Saturday but I felt all the people I saw at these places were very old. I have so much I want to do before I pack it in.
One thing I do know is that I’m happy to be back home. I KNOW why I go home again and it is because my heart is here. Florida is nice for vacations and to go to see old friends (Mickey, Tena, Jan and the two Dons) but I’m back home and I’m happy.