Two of my dearest friends, Mike and Tracy, came to visit me the week before Christmas. They were coming home for the holidays from Australia and made a point to spend a few days with me in Wilmington before heading to Maine and New York to see their family. These same friends made that long and expensive trip shortly following Lynn’s passing in June. The timing of that first trip was perfect as they arrived 3 days after Lynn’s service in Wilmington and the house had emptied out from all the family and friends that had come to provide support. For me the toughest times are when I’m alone in the house and it’s quiet. I think about her all the time, talk to her, and just shake my head wondering how this could be. So, having Mike and Tracy there at that point in time was a Godsend.
This latest trip was also well-timed. As I mentioned in my last blog … these “firsts” without her are brutal … the winter holiday season and Christmas, in particular, is just a really difficult time. The holiday season is so much about family traditions, spending quality time with one another … enjoying good food and drink, laughing ,and celebrating life. For us, Lynn was central to the holidays and now she’s gone … it’s hard to comprehend. As you might imagine, I’ve been dreading this holiday season. I knew how tough it would be as the waves continue come crashing down with incredible force … often and unexpectedly … and sometimes it’s hard to breathe. Mike and Tracy provided the perfect distraction, at the right time, and provided an opportunity to spend “quality” time with great friends … laughing, eating, drinking, and reminiscing.
I posted a picture of Lynn and I on my Facebook page earlier today. The picture was taken two minutes before midnight exactly a year ago. As I said in my post … there’s no way you could’ve convinced me at that moment … nor any other up until the time I found my sweet Lynn … that things would’ve unfolded this way. Because at that point and time and frankly for most of time we were together (I have to say “most” because like any couple you have those “other moments” … I don’t care how good your relationship is) … I thought we had it all. And I’m not talking about material things. I’m talking about deep love, companionship, respect for each other, support of each other. As Lynn would like to say on occasion … “we not only love each other, we like each other”… and that’s a great place to be in any relationship or marriage.
As a Christians … Christmas is as special as it gets. Not trying to “take you to church” but with the birth of Jesus … mankind was given an incredible gift from God … the ultimate gift of forgiveness and love. Let me focus here on the “love” part and get back to Mike and Tracy. On their last night with me in Wilmington, we were sitting around the family room enjoying the fire, sipping wine, and listening to music. I was playing DJ on the Sonos system and randomly one of us would suggest a song or artist and I’d play it and we’d sing, dance, and laugh. We were having a blast and did this for what seemed like hours. As it was getting late and Mike and Tracy had an early flight … we decided it was time for “one last song”. So I queued up one that I thought fit the occasion perfectly … Joe Cocker’s … “With a Little Help from My Friends”. It’s a great tune and I love the chorus line …
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mmm, I get high with a little help from my friends [to put this line into the proper context … the wine flows freely when we get together!]
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Since 6/15/17, I’ve been blessed with the gift of love and support from so many … family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers, etc. it’s been phenomenal. And I can’t really articulate how much I appreciate it. But Mike and Tracy … traveling ~9,000 miles one way to be there to support me … epitomize the type of support my boys and I have received from so many.
So yeah, it continues to be an extremely difficult time. And I know we have a long and difficult road ahead. But I’m confident that we’ll “get by” with a little help from our friends … and the good Lord.
One last point, I want to re-iterate just how eye-opening this terrible tragedy has been for me. As I interact and engage with people and I share my situation with them … whether it’s talking to a stranger while sitting on a plane, engaging in a conversation with a friend or colleague … it’s amazing just how many of them, in some way, have been impacted by depression and/or suicide. And it’s the very fact that it is so common and affects so many that I’m motivated to keep blogging, to keep talking about this difficult and painful topic.
In what’s been the toughest year I could ever imagine … I sincerely thank all of those who have reached out and supported me and my family through this challenging time. And I truly wish you and yours the very best in the year to come.