A year later…

May 9, 2013 03:53 – 03:53

It’s now been a year. Karen’s terminal cancer was discovered in February. And while we fought to make the prognosis not come true, she succumbed due to toxic shock on May 9th, 2012. I miss her laugh, her brilliance, her sense of adventure in travel, and her ability to analyze and understand virtually anything non-mechanical. She was also the most amazing travel partner, able to make sure we got the absolute most out of every travel dollar we spent.

Before her diagnosis, we were planning a trip to Scandinavia. Even after the diagnosis, we were not planning on her dying, and she was continuing to read books, make lists, and make plans.

And, that’s why I’m in Scandinavia right now. I decided to take the trip. It’s not the same trip, since I’m doing it without the benefit of Karen’s wonderful planning. This means fewer museums and many more hikes, and I decided to skip Iceland. But, I decided to be here in Scandinavia on the anniversary of Karen’s death, rather than at home wallowing in grief.

Yes, I grieve. But, I do not wallow. And, if my view of the vast interconnected web is correct, then Karen’s energy is here with me, and her spirit has already saved me several times from drivers who thought their cell phones were more important than paying attention to oncoming traffic.

So, thank you, Karen, for being my best friend for 40 years, and my wife for almost 38 years. And thank you for inspiring me to try to be a good person, and to face my fears rather than cave into them. I love you and miss you, and wish you were here to share in the joys of discovery and exploration. And, if your spirit is with me, I hope you’re enjoying the random and mostly unplanned trip so far.

Karen’s sister, Jan, would often listen to each of us describe our trips, and wondered aloud “Are you sure you were on the same trip?” because what we remembered about trips and how we described our experiences was always so different. Each of us is on our own journey, even when we travel together.

From my song, Odyssey:

Way back when we met,
We couldn’t possibly have known,
That this future was set,
By the seeds we had sown.

Took it one step at a time,
Left it all up to chance,
You see, what some call haphazard,
I call romance.

Oh, I don’t know where I’m going and
I’m not sure where I’ve been.
But, I’m positive tomorrow,
I won’t know where I am.

Life’s a journey of uncertainty.
Taking one step at a time.
One day away from the future
On this Odyssey of mine.
One day away from the future
On this Odyssey of mine.

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