Hi there


Here’s a friendly-looking statue on display at the Bellagio conservatory during their Chinese New Year celebration this past February. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the Bellagio hotel/casino conservatory in February 2014 during a visit with my Mom, and part of my famous Event, Garden, Las Vegas and Statue series.

Yeah, I know you can’t see much garden there, but it was there. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.

No post yesterday. I was in Tucson helping Chris and Jack get stuff packed and sent to Florida. Chris didn’t want to move enough stuff to hire a moving company or even rent a truck, so he packed up 12 boxes and shipped it all to himself. He’s loading up his car with a bunch of other things and driving it to Florida on Thursday, as I recall. It was nice being there to help. I hadn’t seen Jack in quite a while. He’s certainly a pleasant young man. Very impressive.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to post yesterday because it was a very important day. Shannon died four months ago yesterday. So much has happened since she’s been gone. For the first while, I pretty much just stopped living. Or at least I stopped living in the present. I spent my time immersing myself in my wonderful memories of the past. It was such a recent past that I think it did a pretty good job of masquerading itself as the present. It was so comforting to spend entire days looking at pictures of Shannon with our family, with me, or just by herself. I found old voice messages she had sent me and played them over and over again. I’m so grateful to have those; they help me remember her beautiful voice. In one of them, she told me she loved me. It was just a casual “I love you” thrown in at the end of a mundane message, but it’s priceless. I slept with the pillow she had used in the hospital to keep her knees from hurting in bed as she got thinner and thinner. I even put some of her perfume on the pillow and kind of felt like I could smell her at night. I talked to her at various times, hoping maybe she could hear me. I don’t know if she could, but it comforted me to at least keep up half of the kind of conversations we had so unthinkingly for so many years. I’m not ashamed to admit any of that.

But things have already started to change. I still treasure my memories of Shannon, the influence she had for good in my life, the wonderful children she gave me, the way she dedicated her entire life to my happiness, the beautiful home she made for me, the way she taught me how to be self-sufficient without either of us knowing she was doing it, and so much more. My life was so intertwined with hers that I don’t know how to separate them.

But they have been separated and I’m moving forward. I know it’s healthy. I have to do it. The past is distancing itself. I’ve started working a little. It’s still hard to concentrate on that, but it’s getting better. My relationship with Joanne has been a great way to help me focus on the present – not just going places and doing things with her, which has been great fun and very emotionally fulfilling, but also being introduced into a new circle of friends with interests that are new to me. Put it all together and I have a life again, for which I’m deeply grateful.

But even though the past has started to become the past, my love for Shannon continues undimmed. Even though Joanne has become so dear to me. Even though I no longer spend large portions of every day reminiscing. Even though I sometimes go for days without crying. Please don’t think, Loyal Readers, that I’ve forgotten my dear, wonderful wife. Her soul is still entwined with mine and always will be. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but just as I discovered that my love for Katie was undiminished when Paul came along and captured my heart, and then the whole thing repeated again for Andy and Mark, so too have I learned that there’s room in my heart for Joanne without making Shannon’s place there even the least bit smaller. That’s the miracle of love.

How I miss Shannon! How I love her!

And how I now love Joanne too!

Mark comes home from San Francisco tomorrow. He’s been at Katie’s house for a couple days. I’m excited for his return. Joanne and I will be at Planet Hollywood for dinner and a late show, so I might not actually see him until he next day. But I’m still excited! Drive safely, Mark!

And it’s time for bed. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare toilet news: toilet seat lid assault!

See you tomorrow.

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