One thing I have always known about myself: I am no beauty. I am not, at least physically. I have lived with that all my life. No one ever really wanted my company, unless it was to help with homework, papers, or 'smart people' things. What I lacked in looks I was blessed with in intelligence; so I made that work for me. I studied and stayed to myself. But like every being on earth, I wanted to be loved, truly, honestly loved. Then I met Tony. Tony was fine. He was so fine. He was muscular from years of athletics and...just...fine. He was masculine, strong and a 'man’s man.' And, he wanted me. I could hardly believe it. I still can hardly believe it. And guess what? We were married 22 years! Yes, he was handsome but his true beauty became obvious to me when he looked after my health and safety even before we were officially dated. He won my heart after patiently taking me to a doctor after I ran a high fever for four days and then yelling at the doctor to “do something!” in a tone that no one could cross. A tone that I must admit have picked up over the years. Like I have said so many times before, he was also 'my' man. We met, we stuck like glue and never parted...until we had to. It was a love thing. The best part of that...he loved me every day. He saw me with his heart, and he loved me every single day we were together. I got on my knees and thanked God for sending someone to love me like I had always dreamed. Before you raise the eyebrow, we also fought like two alpha humans did. Sometimes it was so vicious, I often wondered, “Is this it?” But it never was. Our arguments were just lung exercises, and the door slamming and foot stomping were aerobics. He climbed into my heart and set up camp. He never planned to leave. I did the same to his heart. The hour of his passing, he did not want the tents to be torn down. He fought to keep the stakes in. But he did not have the strength and I did not want him to hurt himself. So I begged him to go and wait for me. Then, I could feel the stakes tearing from the corners of my heart as he faded. In that moment I realized that I would no longer have him, but even more, I realized I would not feel that deep feeling of love I had from him. His love was like a blanket that I would wrap myself in and feel safe and happy, even when things were bad. I sent my love with him...and it felt like he didn’t leave his for me. Then I was on my knees again, screaming “Why?!” The feeling of being loved was simply gone. How would I survive that? It was so hard for me to find him in the first place. Being blessed with his love opened my heart to love as well. What was supposed to do now? I was a different person without him. I felt unloved and unwanted and with the abandonment of many of my so-called friends and certain family members, that reasoning seemed pretty accurate. His love kept me front and center in his life. Without him, I felt worthless, unwanted and the center of no one’s life. First, I was angry. Then I was bitter. No one seemed to get it or even wanted to try. I didn’t give a good damn about anyone because no one cared about me. But I realized I was wrong, about many things. My husband had never really left me. He is still here, looking after me, caring for me, loving me. He is doing it through others. He is still sending me my favorite flowers through others who had no idea what my favorite flowers were. He is still getting me little gifts through people who didn't even know why they sent them. He is taking me out and sitting with me at my favorite restaurant. He came with me to see our son graduate high school. He comes with me to fight battles for our youngest child. He helps me figure out what to say when I used to be so tongue-tied. Best of all, he is putting his arms around me while I cry out my heartbreak for him.
He enters my dreams and soothes my soul, like he did before.
The thought that he still loves and cares for me sustains my heart. Now, I know there are those who don’t buy into what I’m talking about, and that’s okay with me. I know you will survive your journey any way you can, as we all must. For those who do believe in what I’m talking about, you already know it. It’s a love thing.
Cheryl has been with the group since January 2017 and we actually connected through Michelle Miller, a popular blogger, author, and speaker who writes about her husband's unfortunate death by suicide. Cheryl commented on her post in response to my article that was shared on her page and a friendship developed from there. Cheryl's husband passed August 29, 2014. She has two children, Malcolm, 20 and Miles, 12. Her hobbies are practicing Yoga, reading, visiting the beach, coloring, spending time with her boys, writing and swimming. She is also the admin of the Facebook group, Black and Widowed: A Unique Journey, a private online group for widows and widowers. Check her out her writings here: https://thinkabouttellingmystory.wordpress.com/