i'm alone everyday all day. twice a week my daughter comes over as her schedule allows, and she tries, she really tries, but she is busy and things don't always go our way. if she can stay for two hours twice a week, i feel lucky. there is 168 hours in a week and for upwards of four or five of them, i'm with her. she is the only person i see. she is the only person who is empathetic to what i am feeling on a day to day basis, minute to minute sometimes.
yesterday evening she called to say she was home from work, tired, had to take the dogs out, wanted to eat something soon, how was i doing? how was my day? i went the usual route of saying "fine. wrote a bunch. sewed even more." about an hour after we hung up, a wave of sorrow slammed into me and threatened to drown me. i couldn't breathe.
my husband was dead. during those last moments had i done enough? my CPR hadn't been good enough. he had died. was it my fault? i had not known what to do.
i had to get outside, away from the confines of the apartment i sit in day after day all day and so i took the dogs for their evening walk. i still could not breath though the air was fresh with a strong breeze. i felt like i was trapped in a box without air. could i have done more for him? the chaos that had surrounded me that night welled up around me as if from the ground. somehow i thought i felt his anguish as he died. those last moments when he realized he was being taken from me. it brought me to my knees. i sat in the grass and sobbed against a fate that had robbed me of the one person who mattered. he was the one person who loved me and wanted to live with me and be by my side forever.
i called my daughter and when she heard my voice i heard the panic in hers. mom was suffering again, and so, i toned it down. i accepted her words of comfort and then told her i was better. i could not lean on her young shoulders that much. i took my dogs and went back inside. i sat down and stared at nothing. i continued to cry that way until exhaustion sent me to bed.
and the dream came. the one where he was only deployed. but then the call and he was coming home safe and sound. i woke up startled. but there was no phone in my hand. there was no deployment to return from. my arms were around his bivy bag. i saw his photo by my bed in the dim night light i keep on. it had been the dream again. he wasn't coming home.
he'll never come home to me again.
life seems like an endless line of days that will march stoically by me but i won't live in them. i will just see them from my balcony. and i will cry. but no one will hear.