joegoda: (chethead)
[personal profile] joegoda
How do you wrap up more than half a life with someone? How to you even begin to talk about the laughter, the tears, the joy, the anger? I haven't touched upon the grief I feel because there just doesn't seem to be time in my life right now. It'll happen, but it's a boxed thing, waiting to be unwrapped when it it.

Linda, my ex wife, died seven days ago. She had been in and out of hospitals for months, and, according to her son, she had been very ill, having screaming fits in the night.

I don't want to think about these things.

She had been my friend since I was 15. Really, the first person outside of my family that recognized that I had a special sort of crazy and I made her laugh. We sat and talked and laughed and sang and she taught me to drive a standard shift in an old convertible and taught me to love the ugly Volkswagen bug. She got me stoned in my bedroom closet and then she taught me the ways that a man might lose his mind, gently, gently, and with brilliance.

She was my older brother's girlfriend, then.

The world world moved on and I moved on to girls my own age - Linda was 26, I was 17, and I broke her heart, she told me later. It wouldn't be the last time.

We loved each other in a way that made the world shake at times. This was not always a good thing, because sometimes the world shook poorly and in fear and sadness.

We were a good team and she was a fantastic traveling companion. We could talk for hours and laugh and nothing was beyond the bounds of discussion, with a few exceptions.

It was those exceptions that would later break us apart, along with my own stupidities. No break up is done alone. Both parties must take a role. But on that day in July, July 3 1996, I left my wife, and broke her heart again.

We stayed in touch, we were still friends. Not "friends". Not "Friends with Bennies". We were friends. We still talked and still laughed and there were a few times, at the beginning, where we still traveled a bit together. But then, I moved on a bit, took to having women friends. And I broke her heart once more.

She moved to Colorado, she said, out of spite. She stayed there for a while, maybe a year, maybe a bit less, but money woes and a loneliness brought her back to Tulsa.

Her health had started to fail. She had not been in the best of health the last years of our marriage, of our living together. I stayed married to her for the next 13 years, keeping her on my insurance and helping when I could. I took her to the hospital for an operation, and visited when I could. We were still friends, and we still loved each other.

She took a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the state she claimed as her family home. She fell in love with the little town and decided to move there. She packed up a truck, her two kids, her dog and her belongings and left.

I visited her there, many times. I remember the first trip I took to see her. Twisty turny roads and I was sure I was lost at least 50 times. It was lovely, and it was healing, and she looked good and was up and mobile and we went and saw a few things. I must have visited her two hundred times or more during those first few years there. I spent New Years and Christmas and Thanksgiving sleeping on an ugly little sofa in her cabin in the woods. Sometimes my friends Tim and Sherry would go visit with me. Once, my baby brother James and his wife went to go visit on the last trip of his life.

I got married in 2010. Linda was supportive of the relationship, saying that it was time for me to move on with my life. She was right, of course, but it brought changes to the dynamics of our friendship. No longer would I be traveling there. No longer would I be spending holidays there. So, her heart broke again.

Her landlord was a crazy person, who didn't take care of the property and demanded that Linda do all the maintenance on the place. Eventually, crazy landlord raised the rent to the point Linda couldn't stay there and so she and her kids and the cat left for a town called Green Forest.

I think that was 3 years ago. Her heart had always been giving her trouble, even before she left Tulsa. Her Father died of heart related disease. I forget what her mother died of.

She went to the hospital earlier in July by helicopter. She had been up in a helicopter before, being flown to the hospital in Rogers. She told me what it was like, flying in a helicopter. She was excited about it, like when we were first married and things were good. She sounded young again, and it made me laugh.

He's the reason for may things. I didn't know because her son didn't and doesn't inform anyone of what was going on. I don't want to talk about that because it brings me to great anger.

I didn't want to talk to Linda until after her hospital stay. She was under enough stress being there, and didn't need me bitching at her for not telling me how bad off she was, about the screaming fits in the night, and that her son was an unconscionable bastard for not telling anyone anything about her state. I was going to wait till after she got out, you see.

She got home on July 23rd to rest after her hospital visit. On the morning of July 24th, the hospice nurse went to check in on her. She was gone.

I have a lot of things in me. Anger comes to mind the first - at her son, who didn't take care of her - or maybe he tried but couldn't. I don't know. I'm way, way angry at him, but what good would that do? Sadness is second, or maybe first. It's a big ol' sadness with shaking shoulders and eyes that will never dry. Sometimes it's so muddled up. I do know this: I miss my friend. I miss her a lot.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-30 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hdsqrl.livejournal.com
I'm so sorry your friend is gone. :(

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Thank you squirrelygirl. I don't think she's really gone. I just can't talk to her like I used to, and it takes her a very long time to answer. I'm sure we'll meet again, somewhere, on a dusty road, in the middle of nowhere. We'll turn to each other and say "oh! There you are... "

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-30 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shackrlu.livejournal.com
I miss my friend too. I was able to do some of my grieving yesterday. There will be more days like that I'll bet. Hugs

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
I envy your time. I have little leaky moments when nobody else is around and the world is quiet for a bit. There's just too much to take care of right now. I'll get there in the by and by.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Hug back, silly you.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-jenny-of-oz.livejournal.com
*hugs, Big Brother* You've been going through so much lately.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
You know, though, as long as I keep going through it, I will come out the other side. That's important.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rebeccafiddler.livejournal.com
*hugs* I am sorry. :-(

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Thanks, Becky. A billion things keep running through my head, and I can't quite understand the voices that are saying them. So, I just keep moving forward, because to do anything else would be to tip over.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm So Sorry Dearest Chet. ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-31 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Thank you, Anonymous person.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-08-04 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Now... This is Journiey! I'd recognize your voice anywhere. Hi Hon.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-08-02 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] capi.livejournal.com
*looks at her little brother with eyes full of compassion*

I am so sorry, luv. I am sorry she is gone from your easy reach. I am sorry it hurts. I am sorry i can't be there with you now. I am just plain sorry. You and i know it's how it is, necessary and all that, but that doesn't ease anything right now. Logic has no place in grief.

I am here to listen, to loan you my shoulder, my ears, whatever you need, even tho i know you have others much nearer to hand.

i love you so much, dear brother. So much. You are too far away, dear heart. ((((((((( big hugs anyway ))))))))))

(no subject)

Date: 2013-08-04 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joegoda.livejournal.com
Don't be sorry, little sis. You have your live to live and in a way, I'm glad she left when she did. It was time, her body was ready, though her mind refused to let go. Her heart was a stubborn broken piece of equipment. Yeah, there's been a few times I started or wanted to call her, and then remembered...Oh.

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