Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Seven Months Out

Hello to all of you Epics.  I haven't been writing but I am still hanging around.  This is my chapbook page on some experiences from the first seven months after losing the Irish Redhead.

I was a total mess for about three months, not much able to do anything but stare out the window. They say that is pretty much par for the course; only the amount of time varies. Now I only get that way on certain days. The problem is I can never tell what day is a certain day until it happens.

Early on, I saw myself in mortal emotional peril.  The peril of going into some sort of mental fetal position and not waking up emotionally until I was very old.  Then I was blessed with meeting three very different but singular women who have literally saved my emotional life.  All younger than I am, their vivacity and joie de vivre has been a tonic to me and they have all helped, at different times and places, to restore the sense that I am an independent fellow of my own making even without the half of my cell structure that was connected to the IR's and which remains with her still.  

This first round of special days has been brutal.  After the funeral, Easter, Mothers' Day, my birthday, our son's birthday, Fathers' Day.  Next month her birthday and our 30th anniversary.  The same week.

You don't want to go to the cemetery all the time like you would think you would want to do.  Then again, some days you don't want to go any place else.  Going to to her grave and leaving flowers isn't disarming.  It's leaving there after you put the flowers down that kills you.

I find that I am just as bad with money as I was 35 years ago when I last had unfettered access to it.  I find that sort of charming in a way.  She was superb with money.  Careful and generous at the same time.  She didn't trust me with it one little bit.  I find that charming now too.

I cry at the oddest times and for the oddest reasons.  At first the big things get to you.  Then they don't.  Then it is the little things.  I am very thankful that I have only awakened from a dream crying three times.

We didn't really have a "special song".  Now I am very glad about that.  But if one of her favorite shows comes on television I can't bear to watch.

The most brutal thing of all is cleaning out her closet.  One of my lady friends told me of a charity that helps women in homeless and other shelters dress well for job interviews.  They do their hair and makeup and everything.  And the charity always needs nice clothes.  So I am donating almost all of the IR's very fine clothes, shoes, purses and non-heirloom jewelry to this outfit.  She would really have liked that.  But I still have to go in there and immerse myself in her best things.  Some of which still smell like her cologne.

People say you feel like the person you lost is always right with you.  I would like that but I don't feel that way.  I feel like shes a million miles away.  Like I am the one that got shipwrecked on some remote island.

I was doing what I considered to be o.k. until her dad had to go in the hospital a couple of times the past six weeks.  He has lived with me for over 20 years.  He is in the same hospital where she died. Going there is almost beyond my capacity.  But I go anyhow.  I admit it has set me back a good bit emotionally.

There are times when you just have to vanish and go out of town and pretend to be someone else.  Or more accurately try to figure out who you are now.  I am so thankful I have the ability to do that.  It is a lot of fun to be able to go somewhere on the spur of the moment, I admit.

I don't feel guilty at all about trying to re-establish myself as a socially active single man.  What other choice do I have?  I have to remind myself that it is what I am.  I imagine some eyebrows have been raised in this regard.  Frankly, I don't give a damn.

I have discovered to my surprise that if I ask a woman out on a date a lot of the time she will say yes. I didn't have much nerve in that department 35 years ago.

I still wear my wedding ring.  Some days I want to take it off.  Some days I don't.

I played the part of the young husband in a High School rendition of Thornton  Wilder's "Our Town".
The final scene made me cry way back then.  Now I wish I had never heard of the play at all.

Some people feel that I must or will certainly re-marry.  I don't see that happening at all.  My current feeling about this [albeit very, very premature] is not in any way a negative comment on my marriage.  Rather it is the highest endorsement of it.  I was married once and very well and I don't think that I have the spiritual energy to commit that way again.

I know a young fellow who lost his wife three years ago.  They had only been married a short time.  I see him and I can't think of a single thing to say.  I don't know what to say to myself.

Frank Sinatra said that at one point he "crawled into a bottle" and lived there for a year or so.  I find life in a bottle isn't too bad as long as you can crawl out.  It's cozy inside a bottle.

I do not deal well now with stressful situations.  They make me sort of glass over.  Not great in my line of work.

There are certain songs that make me cry.  A lot.  But I keep listening to them anyway. Not all the time thank God.  Just sometimes.  Usually very late at night.  Or sometimes when I just need an excuse to cry.  The musical version of stubbing your toe on purpose.

It is amazing to me when people ask "are you good now".  No.  I'm not. I lost half my cell structure in a moment.  But I'm going to make it anyhow.  And I am going to have a good time as best I can.

Frank would say I'm being "Charlie Raincloud" so I will close.  Thanks for coming around. Don't worry about me.  I do laugh and I don't feel horrid all the time. I have had some marvelous times with pretty friends. I'll eventually get to where there is blue sky most days.  As I wrote a while ago, blue sky is always up there somewhere.  For now, do me a favor.  Go to the person you love and give them a big hug and a kiss and remind them how you feel. It is an Epic gesture, after all.


CashmereLibrarian said...

Always good to hear from you, Epic! And, as always, wishing you the best as you continue to navigate this new reality.

M.Lane said...

Hi CL!! Always great to hear from you and thanks. You still have the best name in the blogosphere!!!


Ben said...

I bid and wish you peace, love, and Aloha, Mr. Lane. I want you to know that I read every word of this post and will probably read it again very soon. It was very meaningful to me, and I hope it was helpful to you to write. I think life is about building and rebuilding, in a sisyphean way. And you are approaching that job with courage, humor, masculinity, and - I can only guess here, but I'm sure I'm right - style and grace. Take care, Brother. Read you soon.

M.Lane said...

Ben thanks so much as always for the visit and comment. I will come to the Big Island someday.


mustangmelatl said...

As always, you express yourself with such authenticity that I'm left in tears. You are never too far from my thoughts. And I'm glad you don't give a damn about raised eyebrows!

M.Lane said...

MM I value your friendship so very much. Thanks for coming by and staying awhile.


Terry said...

A lovely update and heartfelt tribute to your I.R. Please head north and see us when you are able. I hear there are trout calling your name. T.J.

Streak said...

Very touching...I'm always here for you. Let's have a cocktail soon

Sandra said...

Having traveled the road you are on some 20+ years ago, your post takes me back to those tough days. I had young children, so I had no choice but to carry on thank goodness, or who knows how I would've managed . . .

I have learned it's the small things that can still "get me", but I don't feel I've been slapped in the face during those moments anymore. The skies for me remain blue because I've chosen happiness. It's the only way, right?
Good for you for "not giving a damn" about raised eyebrows.

Onward and upward my friend.

M.Lane said...

Sandra thank you so much for giving me this forward view. I really needed to hear it. Yes. Onward and upward...

Streak, I'll take that drink now if you like...

TJ so great to hear from you again. I really need the babble of a running brook as someone once said...but not one with ice on it!!!!

Thanks all of you for taking time to visit and to talk to me.