I have a skeleton plan; I will give my notice at work next week, take a few days off to finish sorting our stuff and go to Seattle in August to look for an apartment that will take me, my dog and cat and not bankrupt us. I’ve told my sisters and dad and a few friends. I am looking forward to telling my boss I’m blowing this pop stand (though probably not in those words, probably) and giving her my resignation letter.The drama at work has reached new levels, so much so she even sent out an email telling us to stop it or heads might roll. It’s one more thing to leave behind and not regret.

This is real for me. I bought 2 pet carriers and mats tonight online. That I spent real money, I am invested in this plan now is what makes it real.

A lot has happened and has not happened this year. My son is teaching in Vietnam now and will be there at least a year. My brother-in-law is in FL with his and Jerry’s mom adjusting to a new life there. My youngest sister is going into rehab on Thursday, she’ll be in treatment for alcoholism for 3 months. I sold Jerry’s car. The entertainment center is gone and I took several bags full of kitchen stuff and linens to Goodwill. I’m still getting used to the reality that Jerry is gone. I don’t feel as awkward in the back room or when I see his things still there but I am not ready to sleep in there, not yet. It’s not fear, it’s an emptiness, the realization that he was there but isn’t and that’s more dreadful than fear. I don’t deny the truth, I can’t. I was the one who found him, who touched him and understood something awful had happened. It’s the sense of being alone, especially at night when it’s quiet. It is something I am not used to, that I can’t ignore the way I manage to do during the day when I can make myself busy and occupied. I often wish I could ask other widows how long. How long before they made peace with the aloneness, the loneliness and finally accepted it, how long before they felt comfortable. Saturday will be one year he’s been gone. A mass will be said for him that morning and two more the next week, on Monday and Tuesday. I don’t expect some magical shift will occur after Saturday, that I’ll be different, cured somehow, Except for Bear, I don’t think anyone else will notice and mark the day.I haven’t mentioned it and frankly don’t see the need;  if it is important to them people will notice, if it isn’t they won’t. I don’t want to make a big production of it, I know Jerry wouldn’t like it or want it.

Leaving this apartment is a literal way of leaving him behind. I need to, if only because I can’t afford it and character of the place is changing, lots of people walking around, hanging around, traffic at odd hours and maintenance isn’t as good as it once was. I feel a little guilty thinking I’m leaving him here alone even though I know better. I imagine some of his DNA is still in that back room.

About twenty years ago we had talked about leaving here and possibly going to Seattle. Microsoft had exploded, there were tech start-ups and anything internet or computer focused was making money, at least for a short glorious time. We considered it, possible opportunities that didn’t exist here looked darned good. He was a tech person, a hardware guy and before having a degree in computer science was a requirement he could have been successful. He, we might have had a better life, less struggle. I don’t have his skills or knowledge but even as a lowly office worker I can see having a good life and freedoms there I don’t have as a lowly office worker here. There’s an opera company, indie bookstores, museums that offer free admission, local tribes, tolerance for all kinds of people, vegetarian restaurants and wifi everywhere. There’s amazing public transportation and even the cops seem laid back, at least the few I saw. I see this as a second chance and I have to take it, because I don’t think I’ll get another.

Some good Seattle food


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