26 Weeks

Wife and GirlThis morning marks 26 weeks since Wife died. That’s half of a year. I miss you girl. I miss having you around, hearing your voice, hearing you putter around the house, even hearing your God-awful reality shows. I miss your voice and your touch. My life is much poorer now.

Yet I press on. I weep less now than I did a couple months ago. That’s not because I forgot you, but because I am healing. Your memory is never far from mind. You were the biggest part of my life and the last couple years of your life, while hard, were still good right up to the end. I am thankful for that time, even the hard part.

My life changes. After nearly two years spent taking care of Wife, I’m relearning how to live. It takes time and energy. It’s a process of discovering what I still like to do… and what I no longer like to do.

My work is improving. A couple of projects came up the last couple of weeks that were actually interesting. The little flood studies I’ve been tasked with of late might be important to the client (and they get my full attention), but they are more task than interesting. I know it sounds arrogant, but those projects do not need an engineer with my experience and skills; they need someone a lot less expensive. But they bring in income to cover part of my pay — that is they pay some of the bills. So, I do them. The client deserves my best, so I do my best to give it.

I need a big hydraulics or hydrologic problem to challenge me. I need a problem that I can sink my mental teeth into, one that requires me to obtain and analyze data, to figure out the relation between variables, and then permits me to propose a solution. A research project would be nice… a thick, juicy, mental steak. I think I’m ready for something like that. I pray one comes along, soon.

I permitted myself a few weeks not working on the house. I had a marketing trip to Texas and drove my Girl and I out there. That was a good trip. It refreshed my soul a bit. It gave me a lot of outside time. It gave me time with friends. The following weekends I spent outdoors chasing geocaches. The Girl and I got a lot of sun, air, and exercise. We saw a lot of places around here and I had an opportunity to make a few images. This is good.

Now it’s time to get back to clearing the garage of things I no longer need or care about. I want to be able to park my 4Runner in the garage when winter comes. It’s time to sell the bike and the Bimmer. I only need one car and vehicles are expensive. I’ll bank the cash and hold it for something else that will be useful.

Today I’ll work in the garage a bit. Perhaps I’ll haul a load of things over to FISH to support that local ministry. They sell donated items and feed people. This is a good thing. Wife approved them. In the afternoon I think I’ll drive to Reno for coffee/tea with a friend. Maybe the Girl and I will capture a couple of geocaches along the way. We could at least snag a couple of park-and-grabs.

Sunday morning the Girl and I will drive out to Virginia City for doggie class. I think we’ll leave extra early and hunt a few geocaches out there. We should have time to find four or five before class. We’ll enjoy class, hopefully eat BBQ for lunch, then drive home so I can finish my weekend chores. Laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be reprovisioned. I’ll also need to rest after the weekend and before the work week begins.

That is my life now. During the downtime between activities I’ll spend some time writing in my journal. That is where I process things and where I’ll continue to do the grief work and the life work that I hope and pray leads me to some answers about what is next. There might come a time when I just have to decide. However, that time is not now. Maybe it’s in six months or a year. Like my dad used to say, “we’ll see…”

In the meantime, I mark the weeks since Wife’s death. I remember her. I celebrate her life and the things we shared together that made it good. I miss her and that’s a good thing. It’s a reflection on the quality of what we had.