I have talked about my “winks” here before, often.
Sometimes I wonder what people think; I imagine a lot of head-shaking and “bless her heart” going on. That’s fine by me. Since Tom died I relish these winks and don’t really care what anyone else thinks. There are times, however, when even I question whether I am stretching the connection a little far, although that does not deter me from accepting the “alleged” sign as real. I want them to be real, you know? I do, even when they make me tear up. I like tearing up sometimes when I think of Tom, when something reminds me of him. It feels real, he feels real. I don’t dwell anymore though, not really. I catch it, feel it and whisper “thank you”, moving on.
I have had a lot of winks recently, which makes sense as we head into the death-aversary. Real or imagined they bring me comfort. My friend Sassy wrote a post recently referencing a Soundgarden song containing the lines “I’m looking California but feeling Minnesota” which I decided to take as a wink from my Minnesota transplanted love. Another friend referenced Full House in a conversation about our friend’s twins. Tom was writing on the show during the time referenced, certainly contributed to the episode she talked about, *wink*. Ok, here’s a stretchy one…watching the Golden Globes on Sunday night and seeing Jon Voight accept his award. I loved Ray Donovan and am certain Tom would have been addicted to that show as I was. Voight wore a tux and around his neck that weird “tux scarf’ that comes with rentals (and which no on wears anymore) which made me remember our wedding day when Tom wore it and used it as a prop many times throughout the day. *wink*? I don’t know. Probably not a wink, but it certainly brought me to a moment, a memory, and a joy-filled one at that, so it’s all good.
There have been others, and I’m sure there will be more. I really can laugh at the lengths I am willing to go to stretch a point, an occurrence, as a wink. Like I said, I enjoy it and frankly still need these signs. They do not make me feel bad. They may fill me with a longing for someone who I can’t have, but ultimately I am smiling and laughing about them, and that is good. That is healing and that is grief.
I had a different sort of wink, or whatever, last night though.
Yesterday was a long day. I spent part of it taking my dear friend to her radiation appointment. She has tongue cancer, and it’s brutal. She actually only has 3 more zaps to go, but her pain is awful and she can barely speak, she can’t eat…it’s so hard to see her like that. The prognosis is good though, they believe it’s gone, which is great. However she’s getting anxious as treatment ends because “what if it’s not gone?”. What can you say to that? “Have faith, listen to the doctors, yadda, yadda”….or just say “I know. That has to be scary”. It was hard and unsettling. I believe the doctors, I have faith, I truly do. I also have faith that she will be less scared the farther she gets from this pain and horror. Her feelings are completely understandable though, and her fear makes me so sad.
After that I met another sweet friend whose husband has prostate cancer. He had surgery and all the lymph nodes surrounding the area were removed and are completely clear, such good news. However he also has Parkinson’s, and that is not going to get better. He’s only 60, and it affects his, and thus her, life deeply. She was talking about making improvements to the house, all handicapped improvements. I sit and listen and it kills me, breaks my heart for both of them. It will be a hard row. She and I had lunch and lattes and shopped, a day off for her. Time away. Her pain makes me sad too.
I should add that on Thursday, on FB, two different pictures were posted. One of my young friend, the newly married daughter of two of my oldest pals, sitting in a hospital bed, big smile on her face, ready for her first round of chemo and radiation for lung cancer. The other of a high school friend who I adore. We have stayed in touch all these years and she is battling ovarian cancer. She started treatment, which will be very aggressive, 3 weeks ago, and this picture was of her and her wonderful husband, hugging, big smiles on their faces, and she is absolutely bald. Fucking bald!
Fuck cancer is not even a battle cry to me, more of a mandate…FUCK IT!
Back to last night.
I got home about 6:15 pm and realized I could throw on my yoga clothes and hit a wonderful restorative yoga class at 7pm. That sounded SO great, exactly what I needed in the midst of all the sadness, for myself and others.
It WAS good, great actually. Restorative yoga has you moving from one long, deeply held supine pose into another, utterly relaxing. I felt my thoughts dissipating, my sadness floating away…. my meditation was ON! The room was packed with others looking for relief, hot and steamy and truly perfect.
I was lying next to a man who was new to yoga; as I was waiting for the class I watched him sign up and heard his need to be reassured that this was an “easy” class, perfect for his first foray into a practice. He settled his mat a little too close to me but it was ok since I knew the nature of the practice and that it wouldn’t matter. When it came time for shevasana there were quiet giggles as the teacher reminded us that this was to be utterly relaxing; I imagine most felt like I did: more relaxed? Is that even possible? Shevasana came with a full 15 minutes left to the practice.
I settled in and was in the zone in seconds. No thoughts, clear monkey mind, literally almost asleep, even though shevasana is an active pose. And then I heard it.
Very quiet at first, just a hint. Then again, a little louder and then…..well. The man next to me, a little too close to me, was snoring. Sound asleep and snoring.
I was undone. I started to cry, and even as I started to cry I had the thought “aha! a wink!”. It was a good thought, probably saved me from a full on ugly cry. I was out of my practice though, fully back in my own thoughts, play-time, or rest-time, was definitely over.
I’m sure you can guess that Tom was a snorer. Horrible snorer, I had to wear earplugs to bed snorer. If I REALLY needed to sleep he went in the guest room snorer. I hated his snoring and probably got very few full nights of sleep, even with earplugs, during the time we were together. He didn’t either because when he woke me up I had to hit him and make him roll over, so I guess we were both sleep deprived to a point.
Well, I turned it into a wink, a sly hello, a little chuckle. That made it bearable. Of course I couldn’t sleep last night, I tossed and turned and finally fell asleep probably around 3 or 4 am.
But, OH… someone lying next to me snoring! Tom lying next to me snoring….it hit me that 8 years without a snore is a long-ass time. An eternity.
Today, like any good wink it’s in the past, it was sweet, it was something for me. Next time I take a restorative class I will be aware of what might happen, it won’t catch me by surprise. Being caught by surprise is my undoing.
It was also a painful end to a painful day, one that I am glad is over, that I made it through. Just exactly like I will be glad when the 21st passes, when I have made it through another walk round the sun without my love.
I am so grateful for your indulgence as I write about this stuff. There is a place of gratitude for the blogosphere, the not black hole of the inter webs and the imaginary friends that inhabit it, who read my ramblings and allow the space for me to say this stuff out loud. Better than therapy. Cheaper too.
And there is the takeaway. As always, the gratitude. I have much to be grateful for, including winks that I may just be making up in my own head, but which comfort and amuse me none-the-less. Which I will always be looking for and counting on as little lifts of the veil separating us from…..I don’t know what. But whatever it is it holds Tom, and everyone who has gone before, and will one day hold me. That will be a particularly good wink.