20 December 2008


Tonight really sent my head and my heart in two different directions. Sometimes i wonder if i should just crawl into a cave and be alone. The battle raging in my head seems to be too much to overcome. Let me explain.

If you are a newly wedded couple, you will not understand. For those who have many years under their wedding belt it all makes sense. When Ruth and I married she had two kids fully grown. Over the years we came to know each other and a family bond was formed. The same goes for her Father and her Brothers and Sisters. After 8 or so years i was Uncle Ray who everyone expected to see at family gatherings and i was a part of her family. Her family entrusted items to us. Items that belonged to her Mother, her Grandmother her Father and his family. We were the couple that everyone new would be together forever. Her family expected us to store all these items and display them at Christmas and other holidays. The familiarity was there that everyone expected.

And we did. Items from her children's childhood, her childhood, my childhood, her great grandmothers nativity set, her Father's mother's nativity set, all these things were brought out at the appropriate holiday. Her family expected to see these things and we always had stories to tell about them. We were together so long i could tell her stories from her childhood. We were the Aunt and Uncle you expected to see at family gatherings and we knew the secrets of each others family. Life was good.

The reason i talk about this is because about 2 weeks ago her daughter called me and asked if i would send her the Nativity sets that her Mom used to set up at Christmas time. Parting with the Nativity sets wasn't the issue. I simply didn't want to go digging through all of Ruth's decorations to find them. Then i realized that i was being selfish. I called her back and told her i would find them and send them to her.

I went in the back yard to the shed where i put all of Ruth's stuff. I opened it up and started hunting for the Nativity sets. I found them, wrapped them up and shipped them off. Actually, the new GF helped me find them. She was very understanding and supportive. When i packed them for shipment i took one last look at them and knew i wouldn't ever see them again. This didn't bother me either. These items belonged in Ruth's family and now her daughter would be the one to carry on the traditions out in California.

What messed with my head was tonight. I have completed my Christmas shopping. I told everyone not to buy me anything for Christmas. I wasn't doing Christmas this year. The only one i was buying gifts for was my grandson. period. Not open for discussion.

I went to the shed to retrieve the wrapping paper and other stuff. We kept it in a big plastic storage container. When i opened it up it just made me start crying. All the paper and ribbon and tape and everything that Ruth and I used last year and previous years to wrap all the gifts. It was right here where it was supposed to be and just like Ruth was in the other room. After i wrapped the first gift i went through the box to get the tags to indicate who the gift was for. I wrote on the tag to Seth from Papa Ray and Nana. Just habit i guess and then i lost it. My emotions took control and i had to walk away. Almost a whole year later and i still can not control my emotions when it comes to Ruth. I am so weak sometimes.

As i sit here and type this i look around. Everything in the house is exactly like it was when Ruth died. There is actually potato chips still in the bag on the baker's rack that was there the night she died. I haven't changed anything. You have to question whether or not this is healthy behavior or not. I simply don't know.

Ruth used to go all out for Christmas. This house looked like a department store with all her decorations out. It was beautiful. This year i didn't put up a tree or a single light. I just wasn't in the mood. It doesn't feel like Christmas to me.

People tell me that only a new Love can replace and old Love. Those people are full of shit. You CAN NOT replace and old Love. You may find new Love and make room for it in your heart but it does not replace the old Love. When a union between a man and women is ended by death rather than divorce or seperation, that Love never dies. When your spouse dies while your still in Love, that Love will be there forever i think. One must learn to move on and accept the fact that their loved one is gone and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes life just sucks.

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