I received an invitation to visit Dale's Sensei in the next few weeks, so I have been thinking quite a lot about the old karate days. Of course, that makes me think of how he was sick, how I fought a losing battle trying to save him, and what my life was like directly after he died in 2002. The following entries were written in another kind of online journal, which I found in 2006. Some of my old journalspace readers may remember them.
Oct 27, 2002
More packing today, and my drawers and walls are empty. Pictures of us when we first started dating, when we married, and of his karate days. Hours of going through bills, letters, cards, and medical receipts. 6 years of living and dying in this house, and memories! It's getting harder to decide what to keep, what to throw away. This and that with notes in his handwriting, letterhead he'll never use, logbooks and manuals and maps. Binders filled with work stuff, applications he won't need. I keep hoping I'll come across some treasure...some type of letter, or note that I missed before. But, I think he didn't have it in him to write very much at the end. He went through weakness and confusion, and I wish now I had videotaped him or recorded his voice. 4 more days, and I'll have to say good-bye to the life we led here.
Oct 30, 2002
My last morning to write before I dismantle this computer and try to find a place to live. What a strange day so far...get out of bed, pack it up...get out of the shower, pack it up, get dressed, pack up my clothes. Bit by bit, everythings going, and later today I will say good-bye to the home I lived in with Dale. Good-bye to the living room we watched TV and read in, good-bye to the bedroom that I last made love to Dale in, and good-bye to the kitchen where we cooked together. I won't miss the sight of the hallway...the last path Dale took out of this house after he died. Whatever happens now, it will be a new direction that will be without Dale. The only memories I have will be in my heart, and not in every room. As I drive away from this place, I will try to put the pain of this experience behind me, and grieve for the person he was, not for what happened here. I hope the ghosts of regret stay here.
Nov 22, 2002
It's been 22 days since I could write here. I moved into a hotel for several days, waiting for some resolution with Dale's insurance policy. After 5 nights, I scrambled to get us into an apartment that was affordable and in a better neighbourhood...my van broke down, my cell phone died, and my life was dismantled for weeks. Work progressed, but I wasn't really there...maybe in body, but in my mind I was trying to keep from having a breakdown. Only now, with our phone hooked up, my van running again, and beds in the bedroom can I feel our lives starting to go forward. The last day in the old house was heartbreaking. Driving away was painful, and it took me some time to say good-bye. I think it's the only time I was actually physically sick with grief, putting that place behind me! It's funny how the apartment we now have is similiar in layout, and our things make it seem as though Dale HAS been here. His urn is in the living room, with his photos (even his Sensei still graces our walls) his sword, and Japanese wishing pot, some of his books and movies, and his work. We have 14 jobs to finish up, then after Xmas even that'll be done. Life is moving on, bit by bit, and now I wonder who I really am? For an independent girl, I never realized how important it was to be Dale's Wife. Now I'm just a single Mother, trying to survive on a daily basis. He was such a special part of me, and I worry that when I finally learn to detach, I will be just another face in the crowd.
Things have changed so much!
I like to post these old thoughts for those that might be lacking in hope.
Bill and I are off to run some errands. Have a wonderful, sunny Sunday.