He's been gone for 18 years. She says it feels like it happened just yesterday. When they were sitting in a room alone together, it was likely that one of them could guess what the other was thinking. Married 34 years. Best friends. Soulmates. Her sons says, "If dad had a headache, mom took the BC." And you have to know this gal. She's a fiesty, semi-old-timer, who has been there and back again. She takes care of a handicapped daughter, and has raised at least one other child from what I can tell through her stories. She researches all her supplements before she buys them, and knows as much, or more, about the product as I do. A faithful customer.
Around the holidays, though, she gets sad, because she misses him. She doesn't often offer personal information. Unlike most people, she isn't aching to tell her story. She seems to be saying, nonverbally, that she has made it this far and doesn't need our sympathy to make it the rest of the way. Although today, she did say something that caught me off guard.
"Did you know this is the time of year with the highest number of people who do away with themselves? You know, suicide?"
I wasn't ready for that one.
"Only thing stopping me is that Mississippi doesn't have a bridge good enough for me. Besides, my husband always said it wouldn't do me any good because I know how to swim."
Joking, I assume. But sort of serious. Likely, she was communicating the fact that she can understand why some people might choose to end this journey, because they are so sad, however, I don't know if she will believe this tomorrow, because she seems to have the sort of spirit that comes out of these sad moments and realizes the fullness of life. When she's raking the leaves in her yard. When she gets a laugh out of us here at the store. When the sun is shining brighter than usual.
When I told her Jeff was my best friend and we never get tired of each other, she didn't roll her eyes and say, "Just wait; you're only on your 4th month." Instead, she said, "I know... when you've found your soulmate, you know. I do not understand getting married 3 different times!" [enter rolling of the eyes and throwing up of her cute little hands.]
Soulmates. Best friends.
Today, this gets me through.