It’s another stormy day, similar to this date three years ago. The thunder rumbled in the distance early that day and would return that afternoon as a deep growl. A signal perhaps, of the life ending, life changing events to come.
It all changed that night. The end of Leroy’s life meant the beginning of a different life for me. I look back on these past three years and wonder how I managed to muddle through the pain, the sadness of losing this man. I loved him. He wasn’t perfect, no one is, but he held the key to my heart. Losing him broke it into pieces.
The first year of loss was a blur. I guess that’s why ‘they’ tell you to get your affairs in order. It makes sense to me now, because the person left standing, is left with a brain that isn’t working and a heart that has gone beatless. I call it “The Year of Going Through the Motions.”
And just because a year has passed doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. There is no time limit on healing. From where I stand, three years out, healing will continue for the rest of my life. Missing Leroy is never going to stop. That big life, left a very big hole.
Every walk on the canal, I miss him. We left countless conversations and even more foot steps on that dirt path. Those size 13’s were my compass.
Maui, the Pacific…the place where we would renew so much of what made us who we were together…and the place where he rests today.
The gatherings of the old “Nightline” gang are a bitter-sweet event for me, but it’s so important to stay connected. These were Leroy’s people…he admired their talent, their creativity, their friendship…they were an extension of our family then, and now.
Leroy paid it forward during his treatment years up at Hopkins, I’d like to think he would be proud of me, knowing that I’m reaching out to other cancer patients and their caregiver’s in those same exam rooms and therapy centers.
Some old friends have become distant, I guess that’s to be expected, but most have stayed strong and true. They have been great “lifters.” I have “Leroy missing moments” that come out of the blue and they hit with a mighty punch…thank goodness for family and friends.
I don’t think I could have gotten through these years, without the “Our Cancer”community. I mean that, sincerely. I’ve come here to share my highs and lows, just like the rest of you. You’ve given guidance and understanding and there’s no better listening-post on the planet. Thank you
This new journey is a constant rebooting of life. Some days it brings smiles and some days it brings tears.
Today, it brings both. I will visit the canal. I’ll feel all 6-feet 5-inches of him, in his favorite t-shirt and shorts, next to me. I’ll look at pictures and think back over the years when we made so many memories together. That’s when the smiles will break through the tears.
Remember him today, if you find a moment. He was a good man. He was a strong man.
I only hope he is resting in peace.