We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of life is its urgency, here and now without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point-blank.
– Franklin Planner quote that Rob sent to me a year ago today
A year ago today I was at home having called in to work sick because of a sinus infection. I was sitting at my computer, as I am now, surfing the widow board and occasionally checking email (because I was an email junkie then). I hadn’t heard from Rob yet that day, as I was becoming accustomed to, so I checking mail rather often. When his mail for the day finally arrived it was curiously titled “A Difficult Letter” and I became a bit worried. I had been a wreck the last week leading up to the anniversary of Will’s death and in retrospect I think it had a lot of do with the fact that I was spending too much time at the YWBB and the volatile atmosphere and, frankly, negative approach to grieving was feeding some of my apprehensions. Consequently I leaned rather heavily on our friendship and was keeping Rob up quite late at night with our online chats. I was afraid when I saw the title of the email that he was going to tell me that he needed a little space for his own grief and maybe we should not communicate as much anymore. But as I read the letter I began to see that not only were my fears unfounded but the message was heading in the opposite direction. Not that it didn’t take 5 or 6 paragraphs for him to get to the point. He is nothing if not round about at times. But, when he did get to his main point it was this – he wanted to see if there was something more to our relationship than just the friendship that we’d already established.
I was stunned. I just sat there for a bit and read the letter (the parts that get to the point) over and over. And then – I called my best friend Vicki.
“What should I do?”
“Answer the letter.”
Vicki had, almost from the beginning of the correspondence Rob and I established, thought there was more to it than friendship even though I protested that it was not so. She would just smile knowingly and nod and totally dismiss me. She knew better. So I wrote my reply.
Thank You. I’m breathing – raggedly – but breathing
Wed, 24 Jan 2007 12:53:54 -0700
Thank you. I don’t know if you can imagine how hard this is for me.
Maybe you can.
I’m still a little shaky, really, but now today I am smiling – all the
way from my heart; something that hasn’t happened in a while.
Talk to you later.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 10:58:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Go ahead a breathe, okay
Since you probably haven’t done a single productive
thing all day, I decided I should send you a short
note now even though I haven’t had a chance to really
think about your proposal in depth yet.
I like you too. And July is too far off, I agree.
Now, get some work done. We can talk later.
Ann (who is marveling at the long-winded way that
Virgos manage to arrive at their point)
And that was the day that changed my life – again. It’s funny but despite the fact that by this point I knew that Rob was everything I was looking for in man, I was looking for someone just like him and not at him at all.
From here we began to plan the spring break trip that we eventually become our sojourn to Devil’s Den in Arkansas which is where Rob proposed to me. We, of course, had already managed an face to face meeting in Idaho Falls which confirmed for us what we already knew – that we were meant to be together. And that’s an identity shaker. To realize that you are meant to be with someone who you wouldn’t have even met had your spouse not died. It takes faith in the universe to wrap your mind around that – not your heart though.
This probably seems an odd post coming just the day after two posts about my late husband. It’s not odd to me. It’s my life. The sad and the sweet. The past and the now – and the future. I have been loved and have loved in return. I am loved and return that love with all my heart and soul.