I am on a trail without a map. On August 17, 2014, I reached the trailhead of my writing about the Love of My Life, Maureen. On that day, I wrote the first post of this journey, “Our Story | Not Cancer’s.” For the next 2 months, before I posted each of these reflections and stories, I always sent them to my sweetie. To my Maureen. Only after she was able to feel the warmth of my love and my words did I share them publicly. As we drove between chemo treatments and oncology appointments, I couldn’t say everything I needed to say to the love of my life. The keyboard became the conduit for my heart. The last of the posts I wrote while Maureen was alive was the week before her passing. It was “Marriage and the Greatest of All Positives.” Little did I know at the time that these would be the last words she would read from my keyboard. From my heart.
This amazing and beautiful woman was a quiet and private person but all that met her were changed by her. She had that calm sort of peace about her. That peace still surrounds me and the kids. It is why all of the posts that I have written since her passing on October 21, 2014 have been written in the present tense. She is with us. As you might imagine, it is both easy and hard for me to write these posts. It is easy because I love Maureen. It is hard because I love Maureen. The emotions that erupt as I write are never the same. Quite often they are intense, yet I know that I must always fight through them. I wasn’t just changed by our love but transformed. Just like Maureen said yes to my proposal and yes at the altar, she said yes every time I posted and also knew that my gift for writing would continue in honor of her and in honor of the beauty and grace she exuded with every breath she took.
However, as we start 2016, the trail takes a new turn. . . another twist in an uncharted journey. I have been privileged by many generous comments as I post. The ones that mean the most are the ones that say, “I never met Maureen, but through your writing, I feel like I know her.” I truly wish my sweetie was still here so she could create new stories and share her love with the world. I am left with the privilege of telling the ones we shared together for over 25 years.
As difficult as it has been to “clean out our closet” and tend to her physical things, this holiday season was even tougher, as I began to close out her Facebook page, her LinkedIn page and other digital manifestations of her presence in this world. As I tended to those realities, I also started moving all of my writing about the Love of my Life to its own website, as well as a closed group on Facebook titled, The Love of My Life. As I open up these online “venues,” I am also closing out our CaringBridge and our Rallyhood. I thank you for the privilege of sharing my words with each of you these many months in these places.
As I continue to write, I am beginning to think about how and when to bring these stories together in a book, to be simply titled, “The Love of My Life.” This book will have four sections, like my writing to date. The sections will include: 1) The Love of My Life, 2) The Powdered Donut Manifestos, 3) Embracing Uncertainty, and 4) I Have Been Provoked. The theme “I Have Been Provoked” will also appear at my other blog site, The End of Linearity, since my personal story drives my professional and philanthropic activities. At the bottom of http://theloveoflife.us, there is a simple form where you can share your email address if you would like to be kept up to date going forward.
Cancer has changed everything, and everything I do until my last breath will be dedicated to #changingthefight with this insidious and invisible disease, as well as sharing the story of my unending love for the love of my life, my Maureen. Onward. With love. ❤️