Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm sitting on a plane.  I'm flying back home.  Four days away is the perfect amount: I'm in love with my children again.  I can't wait to kiss their freckled faces.

Oh, God, I miss my husband. 

I turn on my iPod.  I listen to Ben Folds sing The Luckiest. 

He sings the same song to me. 
On repeat, as if he doesn't mind at all.
My mind is a stream of consciousness.

I cry and I cry and I cry.

I don't get many things right the first time.
In fact, I am told that a lot.
Now I know all the wrong turns
and stumbles and falls brought me here.
And where was I before the day
that I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday.

And I know,
that I am the luckiest.

I cry.

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
in a house on the street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike.
Would I know?
And in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize.
And I know,
that I am the luckiest.

I love you more than I have ever found the way to say to you.

In bold letters, I write on the airline napkin: WIDOW.
If anyone asks why I am weeping, I will not want to talk.
I'll just show them my napkin.
Let the napkin tell the story.

I look out the window, at the horizon line.  The plane soars above the clouds. 

I think of what so many think of heaven,
that it is just beyond the clouds.
And while I don't believe that's true,
I let my imagination wander as if it were.
If my seat in this airplane is at all closer to the man I love.

I cry, silently.  I don't make a sound.  I see my reflection in my laptop screen: my eyelashes are bare, my eyelids are puffy.  My lipgloss shines.

Tears spill.  I spill.  I have never realized the depth of the word sadness.  It's a warm, soft word.

Some friends attended a funeral this week, honoring the death of an old woman who had been ill and wheelchair-bound for more than two decades.  Her husband cared for her every single day, even when her illness stole everything but her smile.

At her funeral, he read a letter to her, and his closing words were, "You loved me enough to last me until I am one hundred.  But one day after that, I'm out of here."

Next door, there's an old man
who lived to his nineties
and one day
passed away in his sleep.
And his wife,
she stayed for a couple of days
and passed away.

I'm sorry -
I know that's a strange way to tell you
that I know we belong,

that I know,

that I am the luckiest.

Someone asked me this week, "Where is God in this?"

"He's in the fact that I'm breathing.  I'm alive."

She said, "Are you talking about all the life you've found in this, the writing, the blessings?  That kind of alive?"

"No.  I mean, I am alive.  I am breathing.  At all.  That's where God is in this."

My husband was a good man.  God, I miss him.

It was a good gig while we had it, babe.
I know . . . that I am the luckiest.


Claire said...

I'm on a plane and I'm spilling tears. I need to learn not to read your blog in public....precious, just precious.

Patty Kline said...

Sigh. Yes, Tricia. Your husband was a good man. While I did not know him, and haven't had the pleasure of meeting you in person yet (but I have friends who have, so that's like one degree of separation!), I "know" him a little from your writings and know that he was a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good son. You will always, always miss him on this earth. Hugs to you.

Penny said...

I agree with Patty. Except for the degree of separation thing, I don't think I have one. (Unless you count bloggers.) You will miss Robb forever. My Mimi missed my PoppaDad for twenty years. Not that she was grief stricken all that time~ she just missed him. The last year or so, her mind started slipping~ she'd say things like, "I've been running all day. I don't know what your PoppaDad (sometimes, she'd call him Lonnie) is going to do about supper." In her mind, he was just at home or in another room taking a nap~ they way he was accustomed to spending afternoons. I never corrected her. I didn't want to remind her he was gone. It seemed to comfort her and that comforted me. God's good that way, giving him back to her in little ways~ then by taking her home.