I woke up the other day thinking of Decatur. The year matt and I met, before we met, a whole lot of "random" occurrences happened that made me think moving to georgia was the right thing, so I quit my job and gave notice to my landlord. As soon as I did that, ye olde georgia plan fell apart. What I needed, apparently, was a push to quit the job I hated. That worked. Anyway, I hadn't thought of georgia in the years since, except in an off-hand way to myself, like code: oh, you mean I should do this like you mean I should move to georgia.
So it was odd to have Decatur so clearly in my mind a couple days ago, in line with the current level of Wondering going on. I actually spent a few hours revisiting the websites of places I'd found interesting, checking satellite maps of the area looking for water access for boris and I. I had to intentionally not think about what I was doing - not look directly at what looking at new places to live includes: leaving our home, actually living this life - all that. The fact that I am wondering at all is pretty astonishing. I am not anywhere near ready to be considering any movement, let alone taking it, but the wonder is a big thing.
So there's that.
I told the woman I occasionally farm-sit for that I was getting laid off and asked if she would keep her ears open for me. Three days ago, she called to tell me a friend of hers needed help in her stables, and might be calling. Said woman called, and I went over there this morning. Hadn't even occurred to me that P would have likely told her my "status," but I was wary of being asked too much about myself.
J was very talkative for the first hour or so, barely a breath - I didn't need my normal reminders-to-self to turn the focus away from me and onto the other person so the personal questions would be deflected. As she talked, I noticed a wide gold ring on her right hand, and I thought - she's a widow. But then I figured, nah, lots of people wear rings on both hands.
She was sifting the stall bedding, her bird-dogs bringing wood block dummies and dropping them at my feet. I said something about how our dog does that with tennis balls. She asked something about Boris, then suddenly stopped shoveling and said - "P told me." Damn. My eyes welled up - it takes nothing. Before I could say anything back, she said "I was widowed too. I'm a war widow." While I was trying fiercely to not openly sob, I missed some of the details, but I heard her say that the man she is married to now took care of her husband's body, and that her now-husband's wife died of cancer. She said, "I wish I could tell you it gets better. It gets easier, but not really better. But I will tell you - they never go away. They never leave. I know mike is right here, when I need him to be."
I was there for another hour or so, talking about various things. Of course, in my head, I was trying to do the math and figure out how long she had been widowed, listening for clues and such (best guess - somewhere between 22 and 28 years). I realized I've never actually spoken with someone who was widowed young and is further along this road than I am. She was neither chipper about the whole thing ("it all worked out for the best") nor bitter and angry. While we are different people in many ways, there was enough resonance there to be really comforting to me. She told me she turned to the horses when her husband died. When I said I quit being a therapist when matt died, she said - "of course. You have no tolerance for whining or lying or any of the messes people choose to get themselves into. Animals don't do that."
The other interesting news is that last week, I was farm-sitting for P. On the way home, I decided to take a road I hadn't been on before. Driving down it, I saw a Very Expensive Looking farm and thought - man, where do they get that kind of money, and - I wonder if they need any help. So whose house was I at today? Down what road and at which farm? Right.
Anyway. An intense and comforting and bewildering morning.
- no matter how bleak and hard it gets, there is a force of love still here.