It was a good Thanksgiving. I have a big family; five siblings with all their kids and their spouses and their kids ... we are a force. A good force. A force I needed to knock me out of my loneliness. It's so odd for me as I am one who truly enjoys being alone. But this loneliness isn't about being alone, it's a whole new animal and one I'm not use to wrestling with. This loneliness is complete, absolute and isn't going to go away any time soon.
My family is not only large they are also slightly crazy. Thus, whenever we get together you just never know what is going to happen. This year it was a dunk in the ocean on Thanksgiving day. I admit to being the instigator of this. The clan had walked down to the rocks that over look open ocean in front of my mothers house. We have always taken a walk between the thanksgiving courses. A little walk to the sea and it's time for pie! This year the water was like a mirror; calm and crystal clear. There is a spot where it's possible to dive off the rocks into a deep pool when it's mid-tide or higher. This day the water in this pool was emerald green and incredibly inviting. I told my sister "it's like Niagra Falls, even though you know it will kill you, you still have this urge to jump in!". My niece looked at me and said "if you go I'll go". Oh, no,no,no, you see I was just kidding. But, damn, it was inviting. Then she suggested we just go down and stick our hands in it to see how cold the water was. With wide-eyes of surprise we said, simultaneously, "it's not that bad!".
Now the heat was on. Jenny and I both agreed that it might be worth doing just to say we did it. She suggested we go in our underwear .... I had no suggestions. We shooed all the men of the family away and the women looked on. Jenny and I stripped down, leaving our shoes on since the rocks were covered with barnacles. I decided I really couldn't watch her go in first so I stepped onto the slippery, seaweed covered ledge and dove ... head first ... into that green pool. And came up screaming! The family has said the look on my face was one to remember for a life time! My dog, Ella, jumped in after me and proceeded to get out of the water faster then I could! Jenny was right behind me with a screech and a "holy shit" ... and then we were throwing our clothes back on over all our wetness.
Jenny's husband, Jay, had stayed to watch football but got informed of the insane thing his wife just did. He jumped in the car and drove it down as close as he could to the foot path that leads down to the rocks. Thus, as we made our way through this path of bayberrry bushes and scrub pines to the field there was a warm car waiting to take us the short trek back to the house ... and a hot shower!
Crazy? Yes. But I felt like I had grabbed life a little harder and, as one friend said "dove right in". Jim would not have done this dive into the frigid sea but he would have loved the fact that I did it. Jim grabbed life like this every day. He couldn't sit still for all the things he had to do, or see, or people he needed to visit or places to go. He had the most amazing energy that could exhaust me sometimes .... but I so miss it now. I so miss him now.
I know that time heals, I actually can feel my own healing at this 8 month mark, but I wonder how this loneliness gets healed. I feel this emptiness even when surrounded by my large, loving, crazy family. I walk around this hole in my being when out with friends. And sometimes, when I'm laughing, I wonder if my eyes betray the deeper well of sadness that pools in me.
I'm incredibly grateful for my family and friends. But, you see, there's been a death of a family ... and now it's only me.
Loving you all back,