I’ve been struggling with writing this next part of our journey because it just brings back sad memories for me.
Here we were in New Orleans – a city that had called to us insistently for two years. We had talked and dreamed about spending a month here – exploring – playing – enjoying. We had planned and poured over information about what to do while we were here and we had vowed we would see as much as possible.
However – at first that didn’t happen.
I love to travel with our little trailer. Not only does it provide a home away from home for me but it also gives me time to spend with The Man. It’s time that I don’t get often and that I long for daily.
These five weeks of holiday were all accumulated overtime for The Man. That meant I spent time alone while he worked – often arriving home after I was in bed. The nights he came home earlier he was often too exhausted to chat and sometimes dragging a handful of words out of him was all I could do.
Our move to a more secluded part of the campground gave us many opportunities to investigate parts of our life that had been left untouched for far too long. It put a huge spotlight on our grief and the fact that we had been avoiding it.
I spent the first night walking the campground in the fog. I followed the shoreline to its furthest point from everyone where I broke down and sobbed. I railed against life and the pain it brings. I railed against whatever entity took my precious Dolly away from me. Why was life like this? Was I always going to have a life of pain and anguish?
When I returned to the trailer, The Man searched my face and tried to find out why I had gone out alone without him but I couldn’t talk about it. In the morning the dam broke and we spent the next two days sequestered in our solitude and talking. With New Orleans at our feet we preferred to stay inside and investigate what was eating away the foundation of our happiness. And it was our grief – a grief that we had not shared completely and that needed to be talked about and dealt with.
Now I consider The Man to be a real man. He is one of two men that I have loved in my life who has never raised a hand to me – never beaten me. He is quiet and sometimes painfully shy and he cries in front of me. Sure he doesn’t do some of the things I ask for but I bet I have many faults too.
And here we were – crying and clinging to each other. Talking about our loss of Dolly and Deeb and how much it hurt us. How he heard her crying in his sleep and how he couldn’t find her or help her. How I couldn’t think of anything else except my loneliness and my loss. Did I judge him for her loss? No. Did I think he could have done more than he did? No. My blame lay elsewhere and always will. But he didn’t know that until I told him. Would we ever be the same again? No never. We had lost our children and the hurt that came with that were two huge holes in our lives.
Still – we had each other. And after two days we emerged. Drained but solid in our relationship and love for each other and for the two we had lost.
New Orleans lay at our feet – waiting. And we were ready to explore it.