…and trying to adjust to the idea that this lovely place I bought last spring is indeed mine and is indeed now “home”. In Wisconsin I have sold the condo L and I shared for the last four years of his life and moved downtown to a rental apartment that is small and cozy and overlooks L’s favorite view of Lake Michigan. Oddly it was not that the walls of that condo seemed to close in on me but rather that the place felt far too large and empty. My friends here in Florida have described this new home as “like being in a garden” and I love that as would L. From my balcony I look down on a bayou where I can watch wading birds feed and pelicans swoop in for a fish. A huge live oak tree shades the balcony where I often sit to have my breakfast or supper. I also feel his spirit with me as I do wherever I am. I talk to him often, share my frustrations at the sports teams we used to follow together as I watch the games, discuss financial matters and major (and small) decisions I continue to make as I rebuild a life without him.
All during Hanukkah I said the prayers and lit the candles each night. Now I have decorated this place for Christmas and I am keeping alive some of the traditions we had established together once we began spending the holidays here in Florida. Am I sad and lonely? Absolutely. In many ways I miss him more these days than I did a year ago. Today it occurred to me that no one will ever truly know me the way he did. But I know what he wanted from me and because he was impossible to find gifts for at any occasion I will make that my gift–to live a full life, open to new adventures and new relationships and the wonderful surprises I know he would want me to anticipate. My wish for you is a holiday season that you fill not with sad or painful memories but one where you rediscovered memories that make you smile and laugh out loud.