Thursday, September 25, 2008

six months

Dear Jeff,
It’s been six months since you died.
I heard the deep baritone rumble of a truck stopping at the neighbour’s house last night. It sounded as if it parked in our driveway. It sounded like your truck. But I knew it wasn’t yours. Your truck sits in its’ spot beside my car; with grass growing long around the tires and dust, pollen and bird poop collecting on its’ blue paint.
I heard the door slam shut. I laid in our bed and remembered what it would be like if it was you coming home.
I would hear one stomp on the front step as you reached to unlock the door. You’d mumble something about me locking the door even though you’re on your way home. You’d try to quietly drop your fish bag by the door as your jacket rustled loudly threatening to wake the kids.
I’d hear you walk the two steps to our bedroom door and the knob turning slowly. My heart would jump and I’d feel a flutter knowing that you were home. Your huge sillouette would darken the doorway and block out the warm yellow light coming from the range hood in the kitchen.
“Snuggles?”, you’d whisper loudly into the darkness. I’d giggle and teasingly whisper back, “Yes, Baby Pumpkin?”…or say ‘SHHHHH’ depending on the kid’s level of sleep or my mood.
I’d be able to smell you from the doorway. As you got closer to the bed, I could make out the pleasant (yes, pleasant to a fisherman’s wife) smell of fresh fish, the tang of rusty metal on your hands and the smell of smoke in your beard. I’d feel the callouses on your hardworking hands catch softly on my hair as you lowered yourself to the pillow to kiss me. The softness of your warm lower lip would be such a contrast to the rough brush of your thick beard.
As you turned to walk out, I’d disentangle myself from Briar’s little body, or Olivia’s for that matter if she happened to be in our bed that night. I’d meet you in the kitchen. I’d nestle my head into your solid chest while you wrapped your arms around my waist. We’d lean against the corner of the counter and talk about your drive home, the kid’s activities, the fishing trip, a bill needing to be paid, your new electrical tape covered injury.
Soon, I’d go back to bed, but I’d hear you downstairs laughing as you watched tv. Making yourself something to eat in the kitchen. Horking while having a shower.
I’d fall asleep knowing that you were home. And we were safe. Life would be normal. Maybe even mundane and boring. I would take it for granted. I would do anything to live that life be have the luxury of being able to take our life together for granted.
I miss you so very, very much.
I love you, the whole pie, Jeff…..always and always.


Red Eyes said...

Mercy on the soul

Kathryn said...

My heart joins yours in your heartache of missing Jeff. You write so beautifully that everytime I read your words it's as if I'm right there experiencing it all too.
There's a favorite lullaby that I sing to my kids called Wings by Katherine Dines. One verse goes like this: If I could I would give you wings to lighten your heart through the years, they'd flutter soft around you then and dry up all your tears.
So I'm sending you some imaginary wings Jackie (hugs)

Danielle said...

Hugs from a stranger/friend in Mississippi.

Tara. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara. said...

You have an amazing ability to paint a picture with words. I too feel like I was right there experiencing the moments with you...right down to the fresh fish! I hope your writing, like your photography, help you release thoughts, etc.

As always, many hugs...thinking of you often in California :)

Ada Saab said...

Your writing is so incredibly special. I know you are writing for more than the people who read your blog but you have taught me to be happy with the small moments and not get so frustrated with the horrible ones.

Basically, you have reminded me to not take anything for granted. This is a beautiful gift. Thank-you so much.

indybarb said...

Jeff's spirit is out there. I'm sure he knows how you feel. He's just saying, "Find me now" he can take that spiritual journey with you. He must miss you too so much. Jackie, you are an amazing writer. Your letter to Jeff today reminded me of a book I started reading before you lost Jeff. It's called, "Letters to Kate" and it's written by a gentleman/writer/teacher who lost his wife whom he loved so much too. He published his book. I think you should do the same as your writing style is absolutely captivating. You are making all of us stranger/friends love Jeff too by making him real to us. I'm so sorry again that you lost your love/best friend. He was the same age as I am......and that seems way too young to me. You are in my thoughts and prayers and sometimes my conversations too.....I wish there was some way I could comfort you at this very sad time. Big hugs today from Indianapolis for you and Liv and Brair.

Shannon said...

I am new to your blog, but I've read your story from start to present in a matter of a couple of short hours. I am so sorry for your loss...even tho I know you don't want me to feel sorry for you. Jeff seemed like such a lovely man, he was so lucky to have you, and your beautiful children are lucky to have such an amazing mommy!! I admire you for all you've become throughout your journey. Your one of the most honest, loving people I think I've ever witnessed. Your ability to learn the world through your children's eyes is amazing. I pray daily for you to be able to find peace in your tragic loss, but I also pray that it happens in your own time. You've been so wonderful throughout your grieving process...I have faith that you'll be able to find you again! Keep your chin up...your beautiful in all your emotions!! Thank you for opening the curtains of your life for all of us!
Shannon in Kansas

Kate said...

Thinking of you today.

Marissa said...

I'm thinking of you, Olivia, Briar & Jeff today.

maureen from the PA said...

Jackie-You are in my thoughts today, as always. I'm so sorry for all of this...

Lindsay D said...

Sendling lots of love your way Miss Jackie- Your post today unleashed my tears. I so wish I could turn back time for you. . .

Hang in there, sweet girl-

Lindsay D. :)

Hawkfeather said...

I found myself last night lying awake thinking of your Jeff.. and of course of his family.

I end up thinking so much of my own partner. Our lives reflected so often on your blog.
I wonder sometimes if the real love- that special- magic -naked in the rain love two people can have ever stays *magic*.. with the kids.. the dogs and bills.. schools- the sleepy argues and pissy mornings..

The constant reminder I get from your site- that it could slip away in a blink and all the begging and pleading couldn't return it.
Can I appreciate my partner enough?

I want to.

I want to see that even the bad days are a blessing.

Your site teaches me things I needed to learn in life Jackie- and I am thankful.
and heartbroken at the same time.
No one should have to hurt like this.

I wish I and words.. or something to offer you and your two beautiful children.
I send out love.. across the water to where I picture you being..
and I hope the waves and tiny crabs that pinch my babies carries it to you.
and you know you are still so very loved in life.

Alena said...

Thinking of you today.

leigh in the sav said...

my thoughts have been with you all day. i don't expect that to lift your spirit in any way - just want to echo the thoughts of so many in saying i wish you some sense of peace.

your writing has led more than just me to see and recognize beauty in extraordinary ways. i am sorry i had to learn from you in this way, but am grateful nonetheless for the lesson.

darcie said...

Jackie, Liv and Briar ~ I so wish there was something that would ease the pain, the heartache - something that would make you feel ok, even for a short time. Know that there are so very many of us thinking of you and wishing you well, today and always, but especially today. I am so so sorry Jackie.
xoxo - darcie

Crash Course Widow said...

I'd temporarily forgotten that you were hitting the 6-month mark this week; I'd remembered last week that it was coming, but the date hadn't registered this week.

I'm so sorry for where you're at right now. I remember the 6-month mark being really tough.

Sending you extra hugs and some extra moments of peace.

Be gentle with yourself this week.

Kris in the MN said...

Jackie - thinking of you and your kids and sending lots of love your way. Take good care ~

Anonymous said...

"When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness... makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters"~ Henri J.M Nouwen

Jackie, I am here and though I don't always leave comments, am here with ya through it all.

Hopefully you have my number written somewhere, please don't ever hesitate to call what ever time may be (chances are pretty good that I'll awake too).

Hugz to you and yours from me and mine.


Anonymous said...

I meant chances are that I"m awake.. duuah..

cara said...

wish there were words to ease the hurt. and wish i could give you a great big hug.

love from mn

Anonymous said...


Please know that you are not alone. We are all thinking about you guys and hoping the pain gets easier day by day.

Six months was hard. It feels like everyone seems to forget the milestones except for you. But we can remember with you. Your words bring us along with your journey and the great romance you shared with Jeff. He just seemed to ooze kindness and light. The sparkle in his eyes is evident
in his photos and in your posts. Keep remembering and writing. It keeps his spirit around you.
Much love, Christi

TheSingingBird said...

~sending more hugs today♥

Going Crunchy said...

Thoughts to you with this marking of time in your life on a journey that you didn't want to travel. Shannon

Christa said...

More hugs from a stranger/friend/creep...

Melodie said...

This is so beautiful. I couldn't imagine a more perfect letter. Thank you for sharing it.

Much love and comraderie in our journeys.