Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Burning

Fire is supposed to cleanse and reinvigorate. It is suppose to take away and destroy all those things whose time has come. For the last several weeks I have been burning. I have been burning the remains of much of my old life. With the coming of cold weather here in Denver, I have lit my wood burning stove that I have in my basement and have had fires almost every day. I have burnt through about an 1/8 of a cord of wood in the last 3 - 4 weeks. On top of the wood, I have been burning things from the past that have needed to go. In particular, I have been burning many of my late wife Patty's personal belongings. I hated the thought of just throwing these things out to molder and rot in a garbage dump. (Most of these are things that cannot be donated to charity.) Instead I have burnt them. Each day I make a decision to burn another set of these things. At first I thought it would be really hard to do this but I have realized that there is a sense of liberation as I burn these things. It is as if I am truly setting Patty free and letting her "cross over to the other side". It is not as if I am driving Patty from my life as that is definitely not the case. It is that I am not using her memory as crutch to get through life. Patty has been gone for 454 days now. (No I don't count it. I have a spreadsheet that I track all my athletic activity. In it I have a column called - days without Patty. It gets incremented everyday automatically - so I just need to look at that column to see how long she has been gone.) Patty's memory is more precious to Zack and me now then when she died as we have forgotten about so many of the painful things we endured during her illness. Instead we only focus now on the loving and good things we experienced with her. Regardless though, it is time for her earthly things to be gone from our day-to-day lives. So the things that can be donated are being donated. The things that can be burnt are being burnt. The things I want to have for Zack when he is older are going into storage. And the keepsakes and memories are being put in their right places. I think it is fitting that I am burning these things as we had Patty cremated. But I know she understands that it is time for these things to exit Zack and my lives right now. We still love and miss you immensely Rae, but we know you approve that we are moving on with our earthly lives. We hope everyone had a great weekend. It was an amazing football weekend - how about those Stillers (Steelers in Pittsburghese) and Broncos. Never thought I would see this with the Broncos! Thanks and peace to all! - J.

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