Saturday, January 28, 2012

Working through it

I'm still trying to process the death of my ex, Joel. That's him above, I think after a marathon. Although in a wheelchair for a decade or more, he was once a dedicated runner. I've gotten an outpouring of love and understanding today from friends old and new. They all seem to understand that it's not nearly as simple as saying, "Oh, well, I haven't been married to him for thirty years, so it doesn't matter to me." It does matter, probably made more of an impact on me than on our children. I've heard so much today about good Joel/bad Joel that my head is spinning. For years, I've wondered how to explain to people why I married him, but a friend summed it up so well today when she wrote, "In the old days he had a charisma that was charming and an enthusiasm for life that was infectious." There you have it--that's why I married him, and that's the man I grieve for. I remember too a few years ago when a friend from early on and I stood on my front porch talking about Joel. With us was her son, named Joel, then about thirty. Finally he exploded, "Wait a minute! If he's such a bad guy, why am I named after him?" His mother looked at him and said simply, "Because we all loved him back then." Funny and complicated stuff.
It looks like the service will be this weekend in Santa Rosa on their farm--Joel told me it is the former Jack London homestead. Not sure about that, but it makes a good story. My four children will go together, along I think, with Joel's brother, the Uncle Mark to whom they are all close. They will not take spouses or children. But there goes our rodeo/stock show weekend, which I had been looking forward to. A petty thought at this point.
Meantime life goes on. I was slow getting going this morning--slept late and overwhelmed by emails--but finally did the cleaners, post office, Williams Sonoma (fruitless trip), Origins (expensive trip) and Central Market. Came home and finished laundry, cryovaced the meat I bought (my doctor told me to eat more read meat while a friend told me her doctor said not to eat red meat--go figure!), and fixed some curry/chutney/chicken salad for my supper. It ws okay but probably not a recipe I'll keep or repeat.
I am reading galleys on my second Kelly O'Connell mystery, No Neighborhood for Old Women, but because of distractions I'm moving slowly. The editor would like to have them back early in the week but that's looking less and less likely. I'm plugging away though.
Can't say enough about my wonderful children--the solidarity they've shown through this, the support for me (they seem less emotional than I am), their willingness to pay their respects to a father who was distant from them. Regardless of all else, I have a wonderful family and am so blessed.
And say what I might about Joel--he brought a lot of pain and grief into my life but earlier he brought great joy and love and laughter. That's what I choose to remember.

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