My first husband Will will be dead two years tomorrow. Interestingly I had a visit from him today as I was heading to the grocery store.
I am a button pusher when it comes to the radio. I surf XM until I find something I like. I listen. And then if the next song is not something I care for or I am not in the mood to listen to – I begin my surfing all over again. After I dropped Katy off at school and was heading toward the Safeway, our song came on. It’s a song by Everlast that was playing constantly when Will and I were first dating and though it is not romantic in any sense of the word it dogged us so much that Will took to calling it “our song”. I have only heard it sporadically since he died, but whenever it has come on the radio it seems “sent” because it turns up at moments when I really need to hear from him. And that’s what is even more interesting because I didn’t think I really needed to hear from Will today. I had asked him to pop in and say hello in my dreams a few days ago as I am dreaming like crazy and to my mind – no purpose. But Will has declined command performances in my slumbering hours. He has shown up only once – as I remember him from before he was ill – and that was the night he died. And he didn’t speak to me. We didn’t interact at all. I just saw him packing up that old white boat of a car he drove when he was a teenager and then he hopped in and drove away. It was as clear a message as he could give me that it was time for each of us to move on. We had spent enough time in limbo. His only concessions to me have been a photograph of his urn that I can see his face on and the night he walked by my bed just before I fell asleep just about one year ago. Aside from that, he has used the radio. When he wants to remind me that he is still checking in and making sure all is well – it is Everlast, and when he wants me to remember that I am doing fine and he is proud of me – it is Jimmy Eats World. Considering how much time we spent driving around in his pick-up and listening to the radio, I think it is fitting that he chooses to contact me this way.
So, I sat in the parking lot and sang along with Everlast until the song was over and though in retrospect it makes me cry, at that moment I felt pretty good.