There are some days where I just ponder what all of this means… how things are supposed to fit together… and how to make sense of everything.  So many people say that everything has a reason or God has a purpose for all of us… or however they choose to phrase it.

I don’t know if I can’t see it… if it’s not there… if I’m denying it… but I can’t ever understand why John isn’t still here with his devoted, loving wife… and his son who he loved so very, very much and who would just be having the time of his life with his daddy right now.  Life just doesn’t seem to make sense sometimes.  And it just doesn’t seem fair.

The day started with a bizarre dream.  John was dying.  But he wasn’t in the hospital.  He was at home.  My parents were here.  I stayed with him until they said he had passed away.  Hours passed.  I went back into the room where he body was and he was still breathing… barely.  He wasn’t conscious.  Just laying there barely breathing.  That’s all I remember.  I kept trying to fall back asleep.  Trying to bring him back to life.  But I couldn’t.

So, as you can imagine,I didn’t have the most peaceful or restless sleep.  I woke up tired.  Despite the rough night, kiddo and I had a good morning and enjoyed some wonderful equine company.  I smiled at Nathaniel feeding his pony hay.  He loves her so much.

Somehow, I managed to gather some sense of almost organization and made it to work a few minutes early.  On my way driving to work, I thought about it being Thursday.  My Tuesday would be my pastor’s Thursday.  In the beginning each Tuesday meant one more week without John… one more week of loneliness… one more week of grief.  For my pastor this was only his 2nd or 3rd Thursday.  It frustrated me that I couldn’t figure out if it was 2nd or 3rd.  But time blends together so much now.  I can barely recall if I washed my hair five seconds after I did, since it’s not something I NEED to remember, so it makes sense that I don’t know if it is 2nd or 3rd.  I wondered how he was doing and my heart broke for him.  Again, I couldn’t understand how such devastating things happen to such good people.

As I was walking into work, somebody had their windows down and “Firework” by Katie  was blaring.

On my lunch break, I pondered how another friend was doing after a devastating family event that without luck would have led to a funeral.  I wanted to call my friend, but my phone was yet again MIA.

I wondered why I couldn’t keep better track of my phone.  I don’t usually lose my keys or my purse… so, why the darn phone?  And of course, leaving it on vibrate does not help much in locating it.  I hoped nothing would go wrong today.  That there would be no need for a phone.

I worked late and flipping through stations I ended up on the John Tesh show.  The first fact hit home.  It stated that 60% of people did not visit a dermatologist for skin cancer screening.  It pointed dermatologist catch most skin cancers including deadly melanoma.  The show also pointed out that most skin cancers if caught early have high rates of survival.

I wondered if John’s death had had an effect on any of the firefighters.  If any of them had become more proactive about skin cancer screenings since firefighters are at a higher risk of developing melanoma and skin cancer in general.  As  I pondered, I concluded that it was doubtful.  I wondered if John’s loss had much of an impact on anybody except me at this point.  A life lost is a terrible thing, but a life lost in vain with no knowledge gathered is sad.  It would be more comforting to know that his fellow firefighters were were proactively seeking greater safety measures to screen and protect from the cancer hazards that result from firefighting.  While I was still ruminating, another factoid came up.

A research study that had studied longevity was the next factoid.  They mentioned, six attributes that they listed that were detrimental, I now possessed five of them.  I didn’t used to have a few, but life changes after death of a spouse.  My wacky sense of humor thought, hey, if it’s true then I’ll get to see John a little sooner.  I wish I could recall all that were mentioned… ideally you should see value and purpose in life/career, another was living stress free, one was said that organization was beneficial, and another said setting goals and planning for the future boosted longevity.  Somehow, I don’t think their idea of achieving goals and being organized consisted of things like how am I going to get enough sleep, feed critters, hang out with kiddo, manage to pack a pair of pajamas and change a diaper and make it to work on time without having too many major temper tantrums.

I don’t base a lot of faith in studies.  One study will come out telling you that “x” is healthy and then a week later a study will come out tell you that “x” will surely kill you.  Controls aren’t always well determined.  And all of the wonder cancer treatments seemed to extend life by no more than 6 months… more often two… or three… or four.  On one hand, what I wouldn’t give for six more quality months… but more than likely with all of the side effect the wonder drug doesn’t produce “quality” months… and I hardly consider a six month extension in life a “wonder.”  “Wonder” is living to see your son grow up.  “Wonder” is beating cancer forever.

They also failed to say how much these detrimental behaviors would shorten my lifespan.  As my wondered yet again… another song came up to remind me that…

“Even though there aren’t a lot of people left around”… “I keep my eyes fixed on the sun”  Another song that speaks to me… “Shake Me Down”  by Cage the Elephant

Even when it’s just me… and I’m feeling all alone… lonely..  forgotten… abandoned.. the sky is still blue… the clouds beautiful… the sun still rises and sets and it’s a beautiful world.  Some days it is just nice to be alone… me… the critters… the beauty… the peace… the quiet… And maybe some day, I’ll completely embrace the solitude and forget the negativity.

And as if the day hadn’t been random enough up popped this commercial-

Then, I came home and checked my e-mail and saw there was a comment on one of my youtube videos.  I pulled it up and there was Wilson running around in all the glory, happiness, and just sheer fun of youth.  And there was Squall… my beautiful, healthy mare who was so very proud of her grand-colt.

The day was just so random that I couldn’t make sense of it.  Meaning… no meaning… who knows… maybe some day the pieces will fit together, but that day is not today.

RIP John & Squall… you are both very much remembered and will forever be in my heart.


About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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