To every thing there is a season

Tuesday evening. Several of you have written to ask the tough question: So, Denise, you're talking a lot about everything except how you're doing, are you doing? The answer to that question is not simple, but then, I guess, neither is Life.

I sometimes go a few hours without thinking of Chris and, I suppose, that's progress. I haven't gone on a crying jag in a week, although I've come close several times. (Watching "Under the Tuscan Sun" while mourning the loss of a love and nurturning your budding self reliance: not such a good thing.)

That said, however, I still have a pain in my chest whenever noon, 4:30, or 9:15pm come around, because the phone no longer rings and I am no longer able to hear his deep, rich voice calling me Sweetheart. I simply cannot bring myself to box up the Kissing Bears that came with my roses on Valentine's Day, nor the wooden plaque that he carved for me that says, "I love you, Sweetheart," nor the card that came with my roses which bears his name and his love for me. I can't help, occasionally, indulging in "what if?": what if I'd gone out to visit when I was supposed to last month, would my fears have been allayed? What if I were less willful, less willing to submit myself to someone else? What if I'd followed up on the job that I probably could have gotten in Raleigh, NC (about five hours drive, definitely do-able for his family)? And the most haunting question of all: what if you'd just kept your mouth shut and been happy with the wonderful life you had? The answer always comes back to me, though: you didn't, you weren't, and this is where you are now.

To answer the original question, though: I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm lonely, I'm energized, I'm sorry, I'm relieved, I'm scared, and, most of all, I'm still here.


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