I recently stumbled across this old photo. Vernon was 39—around the time I first met him.
I’ve been missing Vernon a lot lately. It’s not like in the early days after he died when I seemed to step through strong currents in the air filled with sudden and overwhelming anxiety. Life is more peaceful in that way. I’ve managed to get on top of my mood swings for the most part (says I). Now thoughts of Vernon seem to drift down and about me like a plastic bag carried on a breeze. It’s not unpleasant, but I can’t say I don’t miss the intensity of the thoughts like I had in those first months. I don’t take time with them, I don’t hunt and try to pin them down. I am lucky enough to notice them at all with all the other details I’m trying to hold together at the moment—getting-on-with-life stuff.
It might be seeing an elderly couple walking together, it might be a Turner-like sky, watching Maki work out his old teenage soul on the strings of his guitar, the shape of Justine’s legs and feet. In an old notebook, which I had apparently written in after a dialysis session sometime last year, I found this: “There are times in Vernon’s recovery that I come home after spending the morning with him and recognize a sweetness in myself that I’d picked up just being with him. When Vernon isn’t totally confused or angry, he can be very loving to me. He can’t remember my name but most of the time, he knows I’m his wife.” It’s good to be reminded of that.
Earlier today, this old email came to the surface. (I must have been visiting America while he stayed in England.)
I’m just thankful that we have so much to remember him by. Remember to put things INTO the world when you are able. If nothing else, your loved ones will be grateful for it later.
“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”— George Bernard Shaw