Ice Cream (and Vernon's Birthday)
American Women

“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” —John Lennon

The past few weeks, I feel like I’ve entered a new numbness. Some of it has to do with a cold virus hitting the household at the turn of the year, but I think now, it’s more than that. I wonder…is this still Grief? It sure is depressing. Though I keep trying to remain positive, a new kind of exhaustion has come in. I’m fighting it with keeping busy. The painting has helped— I’m grateful for the ability to use this great mental health tool. And through that, I’ve been given two upcoming spaces to show my work….which means I’ll be spending the next few weeks figuring out how to frame and mount these pieces…as well as finish some more ladies. So that’s good news. I also have been invited to speak at a woman’s retreat in Texas this April, so that’s exciting to think about. But it remains…a certain numbness.

I realized it last week after I spoke with my attorney. He called to tell me that Mr. Phillips is willing to meet to discuss the accident, etc and was ready to set a date. I agreed that Monday, January 30 would work. Now, I had already been made aware that this could happen, so it wasn’t a surprise call. But I was surprised how the reality of fixing a date affected me. I feel almost like I’ve been thrown back into shock mode. I remember this feeling in the early days of the coma, though I think I was trying to talk more positively then (“I’m sure he’ll pull through/Our prayers will be answered.”) It wasn’t entirely unpleasant, this shock…it was like moving in a blanket of Grace. I didn’t have to be courageous, I didn’t have to think straight. I just had to show up. But now, Vernon is gone. There is no big event to focus on except getting the kids to school and working to pay bills. It’s just life. And the idea of finally meeting up with the other driver, though we have wanted this for so long, seems surreal—and my feelings, rather than angry or upset or even relieved, are strangely ambivalent. It’s as if its too much to process anymore.

But of course it can’t be. We have to process this too.I am bringing the kids along, at their requests, and I have asked that his wife attend the meeting with him. I don’t expect it will bring a full closure (and definitely not justice) but here we are at the tail end of the legalities that have been so slowly inching along outside of our dramatic story, which was filled with love and friendship, pain and suffering, fear and hope, faith and disappointment, hugs and kisses, fighting and waiting…and waiting some more. How can one meeting really make any difference? But we will be able to ask him some questions about that mysterious night…a missing puzzle piece. I expect he will be apologetic. And that may be it.  But it has to happen, whether or not we can get our heads prepared for it fully this week, and now we are nearly there. I think the children are clearer headed than I am at the moment. It’s strange to think about the past again when I’m working to hard to get my head into the future.

But if I can’t fully comprehend our own loss at the moment, I can look at Vernon’s…and speak for him.

But underneath it all, there was always LOVE.

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Ice Cream (and Vernon's Birthday)
American Women