Sunday, January 28, 2018

Traveling through my mind.......

"Oh my god, he's not here." That thought travels through my consciousness a few times a day. It takes me a little while to let that feeling of despair wash over me. I give it the time it needs to cycle through my soul.

I've taken to saying goodnight to him every night, either in my thoughts or out loud. And every morning I greet him, again silently or out loud, as I always did, "Good morning, my sweetheart," as I look at the several photos of him adorning my dresser and walls in the bedroom. I hear his response and I picture his smile which lit up all of my mornings.

I go over in my mind what could have originated the turn of events that tore our lives apart. What could we have done differently. I wave those thoughts away because it doesn't matter now.  My thoughts turn to the things we used to talk about during the day: the boys, the dogs, sports, his law students, old law cases that are still churning, and then, interspersed...the inevitable puns. Oh my, every day I was convulsed with laughter from his never-ending puns. I used to describe this ability to constantly come up with them as kind of a disease.... he just couldn't help it. They just rolled off his tongue.

Puns have been popping up on my Twitter feed and Facebook page. Some have Warren's stamp on them. As I read them I can picture the times he used them, similar ones or the hundreds he made up on the spot, where he was and who was the unsuspecting victim! He was always asked if he was writing them down for a future book. He never did. So, whenever I hear a pun or read one, the giggles start bubbling up amid the sweet memories.

Ah, memories. The sweet and happy ones are now outnumbering the sad ones. I'm enjoying the giggles. I guess that's progress.

Copyright © 2018, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 14, 2018

There is no timetable

Going to Erev Shabbat services is proving to be extremely difficult for me.  I've attended a few in the past four months. When I show up I'm greeted and hugged and welcomed by so many friends. When I went in November, I couldn't stop silently crying. It was awful. Every hymn sung brought searing memories that just tore my heart out.

I wasn't able to attend in December but I went again this past Friday night. I thought I'd be okay, that I would be able to contain myself. I was doing well for a short while but then the floodgates opened. Trying to be quiet while feeling the tears erupting and engulf my whole body was a near impossible situation.  It happens as the music begins. I envision Warren sitting beside me, singing his heart out. Warren couldn't hold a tune ever. I joked with him about that and described his singing ability as being "as good as Johnny-one-note." He always chuckled at that description and totally agreed. But when he sang in Hebrew, he was always in tune.

So as we sang each prayer, in my mind's eye I saw him sitting or standing next to me, singing, and I just couldn't stop the tears. I desperately tried to hold them back by stuffing tissues in my eyes. That did't help much. Friends sitting next to me became concerned but I assured them I was all right. The struggle to appear okay was difficult. I eventually got some control but I felt worn out by the end of services. I couldn't wait to get home.

This is not the way to spend a Shabbat evening.  But this is proof that grieving has no timetable.

Copyright © 2018, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My quiet village

I live in a very small, quiet village, replete with lots of silent time. And while I'm there, my thoughts  flood with memories of our life together. I first met Warren when I was sixteen and had so many freckles he thought I looked like Howdy Doody. Some will remember who that was. And then I didn't see him again for two years. I had changed considerably. After our first actual date, I remember coming home and telling a friend that Warren was the man I was going to marry. Our love affair lasted over 56 years!

I heard the song, Memories, written by Mack Davis and William Strange, the other day in the car. One line had me shaking my head in agreement and with tears streaming down my face: "And quiet nights and gentle days with you"...... a perfect description of much of our life together. The rest of the lyrics seem to describe what I'm going through now.

Oh yes, the pain is still there in my heart. It's just not screaming as loud (most of the time.) I'm remembering the quiet nights and gentle days more often.....and I smile. The memories engulf me like a cocoon and the quietness of reflecting makes me feel surrounded by his love.

Copyright © 2018, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved