Last week I heard from several of my blogging friends who asked me how I’m doing and requesting that I write an update. How wonderful to hear from them.
It’s been more than seven months since Bo’s death, and I’ve been away from this blog for almost five of them. I promised to continue writing, to do more research and to share more of the lessons I learned throughout Bo’s illness, but I realize that I needed to be away for a while. The nine years of his illness had taken its toll on me.
“How are you doing?” friends ask with concern.
The answer is that I’m all right. I miss Bo, but I believe it’s true that during a prolonged illness like Alzheimer’s you grieve day by day, year by year. Watching him disappear was heartbreaking. Some days I felt lost. It’s odd, but now when I see a couple walking down the street holding hands, dancing, shopping, walking their dog, the hole in my heart feels even bigger and I miss Bo so much, but I miss the man he was BEFORE his illness, as if those ten years in between hadn’t happened. I miss the man I knew who was tall and strong, healthy, full of life and laughter, the man who protected me and helped me, who was so proud of me. That’s who I want back.
But now I must move on –I have a new life that I’m learning to live.
I’ve always been a traveler and missed it tremendously, so for six months I traveled. Some trips took me to visit dear friends and family who had come to visit me during Bo’s illness when I couldn’t visit them. When I drove to my destinations, Emma dog went along. Other times I flew to places I wanted to enjoy. And now every day I read travel catalogs, planning for the future. I already have a couple of trips planned.
Emma on a Car Trip
Now I’m home for the summer. Many things need to be done here. During the past ten years, only necessary repairs were done: plumbing leaks, a new roof, landscaping, a new garage door. Each decision I made was stressful, and everything agitated Bo because he didn’t understand what was happening. Now, it’s time to finish it all.
Robert has been here for weeks, painting, stripping wallpaper, repairing cracks, staining the floor, updating my bathroom, and now beginning to upgrade the kitchen and laundry room. (You may remember Robert from a blog I wrote: Locked Out.) The house is upside down. Turns out that I last decorated the living room and dining room 29 years ago. Yikes! So that project began too and it’s exciting. Guess I’ll stay here for a while.
And while this is all going on, I’ve had NancyCamp for the children and Adult NancyCamp for my friends … trips to museums, historic homes and gardens, a boat trip.
I’ve also returned to ballroom dancing. It had been 10 years since I enjoyed my favorite lifetime hobby. I can’t explain how great I feel after dancing –how joyful it is. As I explained to a friend last week, I go to bed feeling wonderful , and the next morning I awaken still feeling wonderful!
At a dance competition last weekend
And so, my life is busy and filled with many enjoyable activities. Jon and his family continue to live with me. My friends — all of my wonderful friends — were here with me while Bo was ill, and they continue to be here for me. How lucky I am!