I've been riding my bike every morning. Up early to beat the heat, I ride down the newly paved streets and around the park. It feels good to get up and start my morning this way and the routine of some exercise feels comfortable again. The rides have become my time for reflection and morning conversation with you. A time for clearing my mind and figuring out my directions for the day. I know it sounds odd, but I swear I can hear your voice in my head, reminding me, guiding me. On Tuesday, halfway around the park, it began to rain. A nice, soft warm rain. I knew it was you. It was such a comforting feeling to have the rain surround me as a I rode home. It's small things, subtle gestures which remind me you are still with me in many ways. It can be sunlight coming through the window, the memory a photograph brings, a song I hear, or a soft summer rain. I know you're not here, but the quiet thoughts, the awareness of them, keep you with me and bring me comfort.
Our house in Orlando finally went to closing this week. It created a strange mixture of emotions for me, but I know it was the right thing to do. Many thoughts and memories of our time there came back to me. It was a house where much sadness related to your illness happened, but it was a home where we both felt safe too. Most clearly I can remember you, wrapped in your red bathrobe, sliding into the breakfast nook each morning. I remember long Spring evenings on the front porch, watching the world pass by. A cozy bedroom where you would be found reading or taking naps. A home where our relationship, though stressed by illness, became stronger and deeper. Those are the memories I want to bring with me now. It's a relief to let go of the house, but I'll hold on to the memories of home.
I guess it's been a mixture of many thoughts and emotions this past week. I'm reminded by the strength of your presence, I'm reminded by the power in letting go. It's been six months today since you left here. I wish I could say it's getting easier, but mostly I can say it's getting different. I'm slowly healing, slowly becoming more aware of the world around me, slowly crawling back into my own skin. I know you were worried about me, afraid for me, but sweet Ellen I'm slowly finding my way.
I think it's still cool enough for me to take a morning ride.