I've been contemplating how memories can invade the mind, How they can dredge up thoughts that have been buried for years? How one small smell or sight or sound can drag me so quickly back between those intervening years and have me stand at that memory's door?
Thoughts of my wife have seemed to be prevalent. She passed away nearly ten years ago from ovarian cancer, Ovarian cancer is a silent killer. As a nurse, I still review her last years to see if I missed any symptoms. Anything that I should have noticed to have her seek treatment before it was so far gone.
The first year after her death. I was in a world of confusion. I walked and talked, but it was like a plodding from day to day.I went to work. ate, slept, and back to work.The only interlude that I can remember was my son's wedding.
My wife died in March and my son and his fiancee had their wedding planned for August. I argued they should continue. My wife had been looking forward to the wedding.
With some difficulty, I can recall packing, buying tickets, and herding my mother-in-law and daughter to the airport to fly to Phoenix. The wedding and reception sped by in slow motion.
For the first year and beyond, I had to constantly remind myself that my wife had died. I would wake and the bed would be empty and cold, but in my dreams she would come to me and be alive. She would totally convince me someone had told lies and she was still here. I would wake and expect to see her beside me and when she wasn't...?
It was almost madness. I didn't know what to believe.
When I was truly awake, I would think of something I wanted to tell her. I would stop. I tell people this need was like having a gaping hole in the living room floor. I would start to cross and come to a stop suddenly at the edge to keep from falling into it.
I was slowly coming out of this funk, when the next year, my mother-in-law died. It was so hard. She was one of my best friends.
In march of the following year, my mother died. It was the same day as my wife's death. It was on that morbid anniversary that she succombed to the ravages of Altzheimer's disease. It had claimed her mind, long before it took her body.
The past has a way of reaching into the present and stirring memories.