Thursday, June 18, 2009

Being Leftovers

Sometimes I wonder if attending a funeral during our honeymoon influenced my fairly frequent thoughts on the frailty of life. After traveling for a week, my groom and I visited his grandmother. Soon after we arrived his grandmother’s sister lost her husband in the middle of the night and the commotion woke us. I still can picture every detail of the guest room as I lay for a long time holding tight to my new husband.

This week I took my sons to see the movie Up. The loss of a long-time partner never fails to make me crumble. Since I don’t want to spoil the movie, I won’t give away any plot, but go see it even if you don’t have kids.

As many people know, one of my best and most supportive friends, Michael, lost his partner last summer. Ira’s friends and family have maintained a blog in his honor. I read the posts and feel Michael’s pain.

Reading Michael’s most recent words and seeing Up both brought me to tears, but more importantly they both showed me strength and hope after losing someone you’ve spent a lifetime loving.

So I’m sharing part of Michael’s message of renewed spirit:

He would be proud of Zachary and I but at the same time tell me to settle down -
just be. Sit on his beloved couch, read a bit, take a nap or just hang with
Zack. This Michael who understands mortgage rates, homestead exemptions and
watches the market's rise and fall would be very boring to him and worst of all
only make worry about us more. He would ask what happened to my shopping,
gardening and why aren't you sitting down to dinner anymore? The poor guy - his
last meal was leftovers and he was perfectly happy with that. I've always hated
leftovers but he defended them like a UN Peace Keeping Force.

So that takes me to the thought, in end I've become a "leftover" another way to
look at being a widower. But what if I embraced it the way he did? What if I was
a "festival of leftovers"? What if I represented the very best of what I had
been? What if what was left of me, of him, or us was the very best - made
richer, full of flavor - savory. Now I understand the attraction to the
"left-over". So cast in the light of open refrigerator I am resplendent like a
piece of apple pie at midnight or cold pizza for breakfast. So embrace your
inner leftover and maybe just maybe you'll here his chuckle, feel the warmth of
a distant smile or know the perfect happiness of cold KFC.

We shouldn’t waste our lives thinking about what was or what might be, rather we need to embrace what’s best in our lives now, confident of our love. I've become a great fan of leftovers too.

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