In our darker days of 2009, we worked to simplify the life that I would lead after Mike's passing. We sold off; we gave away; we traded down; we packed up.
Doctors' stressed that if there was anything Mike (and I) wanted to do, NOW was the time to get to it. From my perspective, I found myself wanting Mike to realize some enjoyment from what he had earned as a lawyer. But, the idea of travel was crude when suddenly Home and Family and Friends were everything.
He sold his plane. He sold his motorcycle. He donated the office and parking lot. He gave away guitars and equipment. He hired a gun expert to assess our weapon arsenal and then sold it off. I saw all of these acts as his trying to make things easier for me. Plus, as to the guns, I imagine he feared I would have a monster garage sale and just let them go for a dollar apiece. (This is Indiana. People have guns. I don't much care for guns.)
Up in our attic, way off in a corner, was a collection of equipment purchased over the years, with a thought toward hiking the Appalachian Trail: something Mike has dreamed about, read about, mapped out. He really didn't plan to walk the entire trail, from Georgia to Maine, but he knew the dates and time to begin and end, just in case, to avoid dangerous weather.
Over the last year, we have restocked our toy chest. Mike bought back 1/2 interest in his plane. He added a few more guitars, amplifiers, and 'etc.' to the music arsenal. A vintage Ducati is wintering in our bedroom.
And last week, Mike began to drag down camping things, a little at a time, until one side of our bedroom (the one without the motorcycle in it) was filled. He opened up the tent and he weighed his loaded pack. He and his sister (and maybe his brother) are penciling in a week in May to hike the Trail.
I don't recount this for any other reason than I see all this as affirmations of life. We need to stop living with dying at our door.
And that's the 2011 resolution for us.