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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In the Arms of An Angel

Inspired by Kristine's blog, I went into my garage, found my video camera, recharged the battery and set out to find something funny to record. But alas, it was late in the day and the only thing worth recording was the season finale of "Desperate Housewives." But amidst all of the camera supplies and accessories, I found a tape. There was no label on the tape, but it clearly had something on it, for it had not been rewound. So I popped the tape into the camera, turned up the volume and was taken aback by what I saw. Actually, it was what I heard that stopped my heart for just one second: "Merry Widow, I love you."

There he was. My husband. Looking straight into the camera, smiling, and talking to me. I hadn't heard his voice in almost 3 years. In fact, I had forgotten his voice. I had forgotten how deep it was, how caring it was, how loving it was. I had forgotten that look that he would give me which always let me know that he had devoted his life to loving me. I had forgotten that his smile could make me melt in an instant. I had forgotten that his soul could reach deep down into my heart and make me feel like I was safe and protected.

I watched the entire tape. Nothing too exciting was going on in our lives at that time. I was just bored one day and had decided to film my husband doing mundane things around our apartment. I filmed him watching TV. I filmed him dancing. I filmed him making a sandwhich. I filmed him petting the cat. I filmed him taking a nap. All stuff that would be boring for most people to watch, but when I found this tape it had brought back a part of me that was the happiest time of my life. It was my life before this blog, my life before my adventures of being single, my life before I was a widow.

And after I watched the entire tape, laughing at his silliness, smiling back as he smiled at me, crying when I heard him tell me that he loved me, I did something that I never would have imagined doing. I erased the tape.

I don't know why I felt compelled to do it. I didn't even think twice about it. I just did it. And even though I don't regret my decision, I can't, for the life of me, figure out why I did it. Is it because I'm ready to really move on? Is it because I don't want to be reminded of what I once had? Of what I lost? I just don't know.

Three months before my husband died, he told me that when he died, he wanted me to move on. He didn't want me to be sad. He wanted me to go out into the world, find someone to love and to love me back. He wanted me to be happy. And I remember being appalled by his statements. I couldn't and wouldn't dare think of a life without him, let alone with another man. But he made me promise him, right then and there, that I would follow through with his request.

And as one year turned into two, and as two years approach three since his death, I have found myself honoring his wishes. I have ventured out into the world, at first tentatively and fearful, but eventually with my head held high, confident and ready to conquer anything that life threw at me. And even though I haven't yet found love, I have once again found happiness. And more importantly, I have found hope.

Maybe, somehow, someway, my husband came down from heaven, perched himself on my shoulder, and whispered into my ear, "Merry Widow, I love you. Erase the tape. For the only way for you to truly find love is to let go of me." It's the only explanation that I can think of that would make me erase that tape. Will it work? Only time will tell. But despite the erased tape, I don't think that my husband's love will ever be erased from my heart, mind, or soul. And for that, I am forever grateful.

posted by The Merry Widow at 12:17 AM |


Commented by Blogger Vajana:

That was just incredible. I am completely humbled by your ability to let go like that. Wow. You certainly do have an angel on your shoulder.

May 24, 2005 8:23 AM 
Commented by Blogger Dazed:

Amazing Merry Widow, you are such a strong woman. This post brought a tear to my eye, I am happy that youre happy. =)

May 24, 2005 8:25 AM 
Commented by Blogger michaela:

you are so strong. it sounds like you found that tape at the perfect time in your life - when you were ready to love it for what it was and then let it go, and not fall apart over it.

good luck to you.

May 24, 2005 9:52 AM 
Commented by Blogger Tuesday Girl:

recently I watched a tape of my babies when they were tiny. On that tape was my Father, his voice brought me back & reminded me of how much I missed him.
I am glad you found your way to happiness again.
It gives me hope, when I have none.

May 24, 2005 10:51 AM 
Commented by Blogger Pissy Britches:

You totally made me cry on this one. I think that your own answers for yourself are the correct ones. It is time to move on but it is only time when YOU say so..not anyone else.
What a wonderful story MW. I must go find a tissue now.

May 24, 2005 1:10 PM 
Commented by Blogger Darbi:

You rock, MW! It's so wonderful to see someone so emotionally grounded as you!!

Looking forward to tomorrow night - we'll have to iron out details soon.

May 24, 2005 2:09 PM 
Commented by Blogger what a life:

This post totally tugged at my heart. I'm sure your husband is so proud of you and bragging to the other angels, "that's my girl!" Someday you'll find love again and that guy will do the same...how cool is that! Women like you move the world!

May 24, 2005 3:48 PM 
Commented by Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl:

What a wonderful post MW.

One of my closest friends lost her husband at age 31 from a sudden and massive heart attack. His death took place 21 days after I helped them have their second son. It was a mind blowing experience and she has grown, like you, through it. Women like the two of you are amazing and strong and although you certainly didn't choose to have this experience, without it you wouldn't have this life that you were meant to have.

I honor you and your life, and what you are making of it.

May 24, 2005 4:43 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi Merry Widow,
I found your blog by accident and come back time to time. Your post today made me pause--just beautiful and heart-felt. I think I understand why you erased the tape. I think you found the answer yourself--but I want to add that I NEVER watch any of my kids' videos that I took. My kids are still alive--they just aren't the people on the tape anymore. Watching the videos make me sad because they feel so real and yet they aren't, and I want to stay in the present and enjoy my kids for who they are now--not yearn for what was.

I love the image of your husband saying one last time, "I love you." I am hopeful for you that you got another glimpse of your happy, ordinary life just to remind you that you are loveable, that someone is out there, and you will have that life again. It will be a different life, but you will be loved.

Thanks for sharing (typed as I wipe away a tear).

A fan, HMBalison

May 24, 2005 5:41 PM 
Commented by Blogger Random and Odd:

What everyone said.

I second it.

You amaze me. EVERY DAY.

May 24, 2005 7:51 PM 
Commented by Blogger Head of our pack...:

I was crying by the end of the first paragraph. This post is very beautiful and I am so happy for you that you have again found happiness and that all important hope.

You really are amazing.

May 24, 2005 10:23 PM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

To everyone: Thanks so much for all your kind words.

To HMBalison: I wasn't sure how to put into words how I felt, but you said it PERFECTLY ("...I want to stay in the present and enjoy my kids for who they are now--not yearn for what was.) I think you pinpointed exactly how I feel. Thanks for understanding.

May 25, 2005 3:41 AM 
Commented by Anonymous Di:

That's amazing. I wish I had the ability to just let go.

May 25, 2005 8:47 AM 
Commented by Anonymous sarcastic journalist:

I'm pretty sure we've had this conversation. I don't know if I could do it.

I feel like I'm going to cry now.

May 25, 2005 9:52 AM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

SJ, I am no stronger than anyone else. I just had no other choice. I'm pretty sure that you would do just the same.

And don't cry!!! Happy thoughts only, dammit.

May 25, 2005 10:04 AM 
Commented by Blogger Random and Odd:

NO MW, you are stronger than A LOT of people.

I had a hard time throwing away some pictures of past boyfriends a month ago.

What you did...COURAGE, WISDOM AND SO MUCH STRENGTH beyond what normal people can handle.

May 25, 2005 11:18 AM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

Wahhh...I can't make the tears stop. That was an amazing post.

May 25, 2005 12:40 PM 
Commented by Blogger Von Krankipantzen:

I got pretty choked up too. Sounds like you are one grounded lady. We can all learn from you.

May 25, 2005 2:40 PM 
Commented by Blogger Darbi:

MW - checked my email but nothing there. send it to darbidoll@gmail.com - that's my best one for now.


May 25, 2005 3:27 PM 
Commented by Blogger Julie:

Wow, Merry Widow! I stumbled upon your blog today and your story is very inspiring. My husband lost his wife when they were 33 & 34. She passed very suddenly from cardiac arrythmia and left him w/ 2 little boys, 2 & 5. Your husband really loved you to tell you about moving on. I know it is hard to do but there are many wonderful blessings in store for you. Take care,

May 25, 2005 4:19 PM 
Commented by Blogger d:

That was such a beautiful post, I'm honoured to have been able to read it and I felt that I must leave a comment and not just breeze in and out this time. Thank you, you made me remember something that I had forgotten, that it's ok to let go and that it doesn't mean that you loved that person any less.

May 25, 2005 6:28 PM 
Commented by Blogger Agent 99:

Wow...that's all I can say...Wow.

Your words are so inspiring and humbling at the same time. Darbi told me to come check out your blog, she said it was really awesome. She is right.

You've been blogrolled.


May 26, 2005 8:19 AM 
Commented by Blogger The Merry Widow:

Again, thanks everyone for your kind words. And thanks, Nicole for blogrolling me!!! I'll be checking out everyone's blog soon, as soon as I have a little free time.

May 26, 2005 5:16 PM 
Commented by Blogger mrtl:

It makes sense, what you did. Too much sense. Three years of progress so easily wiped away. Bittersweet but terrifying. I wouldn't have been able to do it -- too much of a packrat and always wanting to leave myself the option... all the more reason to let it go.

What really shocks me is that you made Pissy cry and lose her f-bomb.

May 27, 2005 1:34 PM 
Commented by Blogger Jessie:




May 27, 2005 7:06 PM 
Commented by Blogger Weetzie:

You are very brave. I lost my hubbie 11 years ago and I still can't get rid of some of his stuff although I do think I have moved on in spite of that....you were lucky to get to see that tape again! There are good sides to what we become when we loose someone that close :)
ps. I like your blog!

May 29, 2005 10:37 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

MW, you made me cry. I just got married on Sunday. Pardon me--I'm going to go film my husband.

May 30, 2005 9:07 PM 
Commented by Anonymous Anonymous:

Ok, that hurt my heart to read.

But you give off a good vibe. You are deserving of great things in your future.

- debutaunt

May 31, 2005 12:42 PM 
Commented by Blogger Nessa:

oh my god, I love you. Jumped over here through Kristine & you just touched me - you don't know how much. You've given me the courage to go home tonight & tell my husband I forgive him for the rotten shit he did this week because I know he loves me & I don't ever want to imagine going through what you went through. Thank you - thank you from the bottom of my heart.

June 08, 2005 2:30 PM 
Commented by Blogger Marie:

Kristine's post today compelled me to come by and visit your site, particularly to read this post in which she was referring. I was (and still am) truly moved by your openness and the words you used to describe your experience. I am wiping tears from my eyes now. :) I love what you wrote and am so filled with admiration of your strength and wisdom. I hope you don't mind, but I will be coming back to visit. :-)

June 08, 2005 2:37 PM 

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