Happy Birthday

rollie baby for postHappy Birthday hon. I am trying to makes this a day of remembering all the good we have had together and not allowing the sometimes overwhelming sorrow to rule the day.

Given the actual date of your birth I doubt I will ever be able to ‘skip by’ your birthday but I am going to do my best from here out to not allow it to be a day of mourning.

We have accomplished the needed paperwork to start the march toward ‘closing out’ the legal part of your life, although as you well know your imprint on the region and my life will never leave. It was not easy and took its emotional toll later that evening, but that was between me and the darkness.

I keep hearing  that I get ‘a pass’ when those days crop up that seem ever so impossible to go on, but as you well know…it doesn’t work that way. I will pay, if not immediately but eventually if I do not at least take care of the pressing things, each and every day. Living where we do there is almost always too much to get done for the time allotted and pushing most things off ends up either expensive or downright dangerous.

You taught me well.

Hopefully you can keep a watch out for me, passing some of your seemingly never ending energy and determination when I need it. You know that will be much more often than it would be if I were spurring you on. Especially give me some of your bullheadedness when dealing with those who will continue to mean me harm, despite the smiles, hugs and hollow words they utter. We both don’t need to name them but they are well known….which they have yet to realize 😏

I know there is a part of you that is surprised, although I am not always sure why, that I am as determined as I am to continue. Things will proceed slower and probably differently than if you were here along side me, but I will give it my best efforts. My vision is bound to change but I am sure the core of what we both loved and wanted will be there. (You might be surprised that I got a ‘speech’ from a trusted quarter about how I am not bound to anything or anyone, in a way ‘a whole new life’, and I could chuck it all…….still trying to process that one for a variety of reasons.)

For many it might be hard to understand this way of life.  It is filled with danger and to many seems very remote but what most don’t get…. also so filled with many great things.  You shared that we could have a life, not just vacation times, filled with great wonders and adventures, even in the simplest of ways. The sunrises we have seen when flying before dawn. The time hunting for the trail home in the pouring rain and pitch black on a frozen lake. The boat trips filled with wildlife, blowing rain and spinning around enough to make BB and I almost lose our meal. Running the skiffs home from the lakes at full speed in the moonlight….all with me just knowing enough to follow your wake.

Thank you for believing in me and weaving my dreams and hopes into yours. Of knowing that together we could accomplish just about anything we put our heads and hearts into. For understanding me enough to know I still needed to head into ‘true’ city, put on a dress, go to some event with you and be ‘like all the rest of them’ occasionally. Letting me show you how you could actually come to love our kitties and have patience with our stubborn Neon.

I have to keep, in my heart, the last time we just jumped in the plane to deliver fish, get a great relaxing dinner and a beautiful sunset to fly home with…even the looking for the darn airstrip,in the dark again….giggling when the kitties heard their dinner plane and turned on the bathroom light so we could have a reference point to help. One of so many simple and special times.

The ordinary things we turned into a special times by just being together.

Give our BB and Neon a hug and scratch from me. Hugs for your parents. If you can find my gran introduce yourself, she will love you. Enjoy your big brother and share all the adventures you, the man, had and he missed out on. Something tells me you will continue to bring much joy to each other and your parents.  Hopefully you have gotten BB and Flap to settle who will be ‘in charge’. Mostly be at peace, I will forever love you for choosing to share your life with me.

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Just A Piece of Paper

Earlier this week the death of my spouse became official, although I do not have a Certificate of Death in hand, as of yet.

When someone disappears, even when the evidence is overwhelming that they have perished, you cannot immediately proceed as if they were dead.

You must, at least in the State of Alaska, go before a jury, present evidence that would lead someone to reasonably come to the conclusion they have died.

Six people sat in a courtroom earlier this week for part of a day. They listened to an attorney present a timeline of events, witnesses and representatives of organizations who searched, pictures, documents and other details. Included in all of this was my testimony. As the attorney stated it was the first time I had spoken publicly of the events. They preformed a service that I am thankful for, including the hugs and condolences they offered when we were done.

The jury was allowed to ask questions of the witnesses, and they did.

At the end of all the presentations they went into the jury room to  make a decision and come back into the courtroom to make it public.

They agreed it could be presumed there was a death.

Now those of us who loved him can take one more step in healing. I am not sure I can say ‘closure’ as there is no body to mourn. No answers as to what happened or how, or even when exactly.

It might be “just a piece of paper” but hopefully it will continue to make the difference it has the last few days.

The tears have not stopped. The “hole” has not been filled but hopefully, little by little, more healing will happen.

Some Good, Some Not So

This weekend, although most times there,is little need to pay attention to what day it is this time of year, has been one of mixed successes.

As much as you might plan to accomplish something grief has a way of showing up to disrupt plans. I could not get past lots of memories and feeling totally unable to think clearly, the most frustrating aspect for me, for one full day this weekend. This is unusual for me as I push had to not allow myself to just ‘wallow’ in tears or sadness.

Thank heavens by the end of the weekend my mood had turned around. Seeing the snow capped mountains a mere 20 miles or so away, the river still running freely, a smattering of sun peaking out of clouds and miles of beauty my soul can do nothing but heal a little more

How I Got to This Place

After coming to live in rural (the bush) Alaska some years ago, joining my spouse who grew up in the state, I am now trying to make it on my own in an area that is less than friendly.

We built a hard working but successful life that includes a number of businesses, not unusual in this state. We have a commercial fishing business, that includes a processing portion that his mom started some almost 60 years ago, a small but quickly growing farm and finally a fueling business on our private 5000′ airstrip.

We were a partnership that worked hard together and most importantly enjoyed doing so. Our educations and life experiences complimented each other. We both believed strongly in the ability of this area of Alaska to be sustainable and to offer a way of life that is hard to find any more. We have worked hard to support other area businesses and those wanting to keep this a great place to live, while offering opportunities to those who want to join us in the area.

It might not be the easiest thing to do, carrying on alone, but our dreams are intertwined with the hopes, dreams and businesses of others and I am going to do all I can to keep our end of that going.

I decided to put this all ‘down on paper’ so, hopefully, when I reach those points where I wonder if I can on I will be able to review what has happened up to that point and gather my courage to continue.

Whether I have any of this go ‘public’ is yet to be seen.