I sat in front of the lapping water at a nearby wildlife preserve here in Central Pennsylvania. I had a goal to hit 40,000 words in the memoir this weekend, and I knew if I didn’t escape the walls of my apartment, or Roku, they would never be written. It has been an often discussed topic at my co-op – this need to get out of our homes in order to actually get some work, in this case, writing, done.
Within an hour I had written nearly 3000 words, more than I had in any one sitting in months. Maybe even in a year. The deadline for my first draft is impending, and by the end of 2011 I hope to have “Keepin’ it Kevin”, the memoir, finished and off to friends, family, and professionals to comment and edit as needed. Then? Publishing?
The waves at the lake reminded me of the water at the beach. It was fitting that I was writing about the Memorial Day trip to the beach, with my brother and his now-wife, just before he got sick. Writing about 1 month before life changed drastically. The month before the beginning of the end.
I could feel myself sinking deep into those memories, that longing, as I wrapped up my writing for the day. The depression was seeping in. I would stop and take breaks trying to shake myself out of it and it seemed to work. I guess I have come that far.
Had this happened to me 2 years ago when I was only delving into the heart of the memoir I would want to escape. Assateague. Montana. Anywhere that felt more like home than here. Now? The want for escape is in the woods nearby to my home – Lancaster.
It has occurred to me that despite how far I travel away to find happiness, to find a new home, that I live in one of the most everyday-beautiful places in the world. Maybe it has to do with knowing its history, the taste of all the seasons, the proximity to large cities, beautiful beaches, and mile high mountains, the gastronomical delights, the sticky smiles of my niece, the love of this new life, the final resting place of the love of my past life, the knowledge of this place. Could be.
Two weeks out from 3 years without Kevin is easier than the anniversary has been in the past. One year rocked me. Two years surprised me. Three years I’m standing strong. I no longer have that gnawing fear of what’s going to happen on that day. I am not worried about how others will act around me on that day or how I will handle the mourning and grief mingling with my current life.
I know that closure is not something that is achievable in grief, but moving forward is something that is. As the first draft of the memoir is approaching its end, as I mark 3 years since cancer took Kevin, as I move forward in many areas of my life, I feel more at home with my situation than ever before. No longer my situation, but my embraced life.