4 AM this morning to begin the tedious task of sorting through my mind. It is normally a scary process and today was no different. Like many times before, I thought about my brother and how he died. But this morning I also thought of my first husband and how he handled Jake's death.
It had been a few weeks since Jake's passing and I mentioned something about the event to Earl Duane, my first husband. His response was simple. "I don't think about it. I pretend he has gone to another town and I will see him when he comes back or we go there." Such a simple premise. I often envied him of the ability to just ignore reality. I wished often that I had taken lessons from him. It has been 52 years and it is just as fresh in my mind today as it was back then. I see him in the hospital bed in McPherson, Kansas, with his head propped up and his sandy hair falling across his forehead. The scar on his right cheek was vivid. He had no bandages because he was too injured to bandage. He passed on October 31, 1965. My dad had passed in February of the same year.
I am not good at dates and can not tell you what day most of my family died, but Jake was like an extension of myself. I do not know why I woke up with this on my mind, I just know it was not the first time and will probably not be the last time. I do not remember any of my marriage dates except for Kenny. Let me tell you, when I had to come up with all those dates for the social security I was one busy little girl! I was on the phone with the Bureau of Vital Statistics for probably an hour while the man researched the various marriages and divorces and separations and such.
When it was all over , I thanked him profusely for his time as he had been a lot of help. He knew more about me then most people and his last question to me was "I just want to know, what happened with old Earl." For some reason that struck me as funny and we both had a good laugh. But sadly enough, I have often wondered the same thing. I did envy him his ability to completely disregard any thing that was not what he wanted it to be. I am sure he did the same thing with our divorce. He certainly was adroit at ignoring that little sentence about the child support.
Normally I do not talk about him as he is the father of my children and I respect him for that, but he had a different relationship with them from the one he had with me. As long as we can all separate the man into two parts, we are good to go. We did talk on occasion and he remembered me as the skinny little thing he married and nothing I did after that mattered. In his mind I never left. I was just gone into town to pick up some groceries.
So in closing, I want to say, my life is good. My home is good, but way to big and way to much work for me. I want to do something although I am not sure what. I do know there are big changes coming in the next year. It is going to start with a giant rummage sale in the Spring and then I will just see where the future takes me. I have lived over half my life in Colorado. For the first half it was Kansas. Do I think about going back? Sometimes.
For now, I am going to run through the shower and start a new day. That is the best part of life to me, knowing that each day brings a fresh page and yesterdays are just that.