Bathing In It

I am a water person.

Don’t get me wrong. I won’t be swimming to Alcatraz any time in the future. I don’t do laps in the pool unless there’s a bar with umbrella drinks at the other end, but I love being in the water.

I love being near large bodies of water. I love the sound of crashing waves. I love, despite my lack of regular showers these days, soaking in the a bathtub, especially one long enough to accommodate my tall-girl bod—a rare find, and certainly something I don’t have in my house.

The past few days I’ve had the luxury of having access to a tall-girl approved bathtub. I’ve also been just steps away from the Pacific Ocean.

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This dream of a healing experience was made possible by my tripod. Have I explained my tripod? I think I did. I’ll review for any newcomers. I have these friends. They hold me up. We hold each other up. We form a tripod. Simple concept. Really fucking important, like LIFESAVING important to my life and world during Bob’s illness, death, and now, my grieving process. They are unreal and they keep me real. And grounded. And make sure I am ok. And call me on my shit. And do all of those important things that have to happen for me to heal and be a whole person again.

It was also made possible by my family. They gave my kids their own mini-retreats. My kids got to go to their special, happy places to hang out for the time I was gone. I cannot imagine what I would do without their support, either. It is absolutely going to take a village to raise my children, and I appreciate the love and support they show us immensely. And I know my kids do, too. Having Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins who love you and make your world special is a priceless thing.

And my friends back home made sure my house kept standing, my pets kept living, and even went above and beyond the call, as all of my angel peeps seem to do.

This trip has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me even though it probably didn’t look like it on the surface. Or maybe it did and nobody told me?

The high of the anticipation of getting away, a change of scenery, and time away from the kids (love them though I do…we were all ready for a break from each other), carried me through those first days with amazing aplomb. I felt like a new person. A huge weight lifted. I was laughing with my girls, skipping down the sidewalk (quite literally), and taking silly pictures. I got to visit with another close friend, which was hugely healing, too. We ate and walked and laughed and sat in the sun.

The sunsets and ocean combined to soothe my heart in a way no other geography could. The bathtub became my sanctuary in the evenings to warm up after watching those sunsets.

By tonight, though, when I watched the sunset, my heart was heavy. The grief had settled back into my chest, found it’s home there again. The tears fell involuntarily from my eyes, dropping with the sun. By the time I got to the bathtub, I was sobbing.

I soaked, remembering all the times Bob would hoist me out of the tub when I was pregnant with our kids because I was too huge to get out on my own. I remembered all the times we’d shower together because, well, you know, we were together twenty-one years and showering with each other is fun. And, as the water drained, I drained, feeling like I was swirling down with the bubbles, my life leaving the tub with the water as I slid down onto my back and let the last of the water leave the tub until I was literally suctioned to the bottom so that when I went to stand up in my pity-party state, it made a loud farting sound and I had to laugh because I guarantee my husband had a fucking hand in that. Bastard.

He doesn’t want me to go down the goddamn drain and he doesn’t want me sitting in the tub feeling sorry for myself. He said so, himself. He said cry for a bit, and then live.

Live