God, what should I physically be doing with my time/life? For the first time, in a long time, I can follow the answer with very few restraints. I pray that somewhere between the foothills of the Pyrenees and Pamplona lies the answer to this glowing question. I feel like I may be a little narcissistic to think this, but somewhere in all this misery I pray there is magnificence: an opportunity to share her story of courage and optimism. I found that the greatest place to clear my head for direction was on the Camino. I pray it is the same the second time.
I used to sing that old song that Billy Joe Shaver wrote from 1981, “I’m Just an Old Chuck of Coal, but I’m Gonna be a Diamond Someday” to my wife while on road trips, and she rolled her eyes when I sang that song! She never missed an opportunity to let me know that song annoyed her! Truth is? That’s what I want to believe. I believe that my wife made me a better person. Given enough time she would have helped “us” become great together. She refined me. She taught me. She filled a piece of me that I always wanted filled but didn’t have the discipline or “know how” to fill myself. I was talking to a good friend last night after the show, someone with whom I have the utmost respect for, and he said he has seen a change in me since I married her. A change for the better. He knew me from the Speedtrucker days and said I have made a 180 degree turn with respect to how I live my life since I married L. It’s hard to see that when you are so close to yourself, and full of yourself. My outward actions may have changed, but in my mind I still feel like the same old Mike. I’m starting to see a difference though in how I live my day-to-day life, as well as, how I interact with people. At least a few times a day I can hover above myself, look down and see me doing what Lindy would have done in a particular circumstance or conversation. It feels good to finally take her advice. I always put up walls when she tried to give me advice. I can witness myself finally letting those walls down. Walls I feel most newly-married couples put up out of pride, ego, or just habit. I know she would be beside herself if she was alive to see me handle things the way she would have.
My therapist says she has never seen anyone beat themselves up over every little thing as much as I do. Lindy used to say it a little differently. She always said, “why can’t you just be present in the moment?” I was always, and I mean always lamenting over something when I was with her. Whether it was a perceived wrong comment I made to someone that day, or just a tone I gave a client earlier. Or tormenting myself over a decision I made that I was second guessing. I was always beating myself up constantly, when work was going bad, for not making the right educational decisions at a younger age. (Better known to her as the proverbial chip on my shoulder). I am learning to live in the moment and accept where I am in life- with pride. At least I perceive that I am.
One of the few things I can be proud of is walking my wife to the other side with absolute, unconditional love. I know she knew how I felt about her and us. I want to think that I was a part of her peace, courage and strength. She knew I was there come sunshine or torrential downpour. I know she never had this peace in her life. I was meant to be in her life. I didn’t know that at the time, but I know that now. The ins and outs we had the five years leading up to our getting married was nothing short of His clear, cut design. What we experienced together the last several weeks will forever be a road map for me with how to live the rest of my life. It’s confirmation of my innate sense of commitment and loyalty.
We lived a happy life overall for the 41 months of life she was blessed with after diagnosis.
“There was no shame in ignoring the cold hard truth- it got us through. We had 41 great months of loving, dreaming about the things that we were gonna do. I’d give anything, I mean anything for one more night with you”
Lindy, I know you are here in spirit:) I pray you approve of how I am handling myself. See you soon, but not soon enough.