April 26, 2016

Goodbye Guilt. Hello Golf.


Dear Pat,

I couldn't sleep last night.
I was restless and my mind was racing.

The email came yesterday.
I'm never prepared for it.
I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I still can't.

"Dear Sandra,
I am writing to you today to confirm the renewal of your floral deliveries to Patrick Began. Your first delivery of orange silk tulips and yellow fresh tulips is scheduled for May 5th. Could you contact us to confirm the delivery of flowers to the cemetery this year and update your credit card on file.  Thank you."

I was standing at the grocery store when I read it on my phone.
My heart sank.
My hands shook a little.
I told myself "don't cry."

I got to my car and cried.

Pat, you know I loved you.
With all my heart.
I can't send you flowers anymore.
I don't want to send you flowers anymore.

I'm not sending them to you.
You are gone.

I'm sending them to a cemetery.
Why?
Why am I doing this?

Why am I putting myself in a painful situation every time I receive a confirmation email from the florist?

"Dear Sandra, This email is to notify you of the successful delivery of your floral order to Patrick Began at Oak Hill Cemetery."

I read it and get angry.
What 44 year old woman is sending flowers to her husband's grave?
I am.
That is fucked up Pat.

Those emails hurt Pat.
Every time one pops up on my phone.
Pain. Tears. Anger.
No more.

We moved.
I felt guilt for leaving you.
I wanted people who visited the cemetery to know I loved you.
I was leaving you but I loved you.

It has been two years and that guilt is gone.
I've learned to let guilt go.
So much guilt I carry because you died.
Guilt for laughing for the first time.
Guilt for hating you at times.
Guilt for not being able to hear your laugh in my head anymore.
Guilt for wanting to move forward.

I carry enough guilt.
And Pat, your boys carry guilt too.
Guilt no person should ever feel, but they feel it.
They talk about it.
They cry about it.
I know they think about it more than I know.

I know friends and family carry guilt.
They have told me.
"I should have called him back."
"I should have asked more questions."
"I should have noticed he was not himself."

I tell them let go of the guilt.
Nothing would have changed what you did.
You were sick.
You were tired.
Your sickness took you over.

So much guilt we carry.
Guilty for what?
For loving you?

I'm not going to feel guilty about flowers you and I don't see.
I'm sending you flowers to show others I care.
I'm over it.
Let the judgement begin.
It actually started the day you died didn't it?

No more Pat.

So guess what?

I'm taking the hundreds of dollars I spent on something to prove to others I loved you and I'm using it to take golf lessons.

Yes, golf.
Your favorite.
Your passion.

The hours you spent golfing with the boys are some of the best memories they have with you.
They want to golf most days in the summer.
They talk about you.
They laugh about the crazy things you did with them on the golf course.
They tell strangers they golf with how their dad taught them to golf.
They tell them much you loved it so they love it too.

They feel you on the golf course Pat.
They both wear your golf shoes now.
They are big enough to use your clubs.

Golf is their peaceful place.
Their time with you.

I want to be part of that too.

Forget the flowers.
Forget the guilt.

We will now have our own foursome won't we?
It will always be our time together.
4 again.
With you.

I will always love you.

Sandra


Truth, love and hope in your inbox every Friday. Sign up for my newsletter here