September 3, 2015
Today would have been our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. In my heart, it still is. The last one we celebrated together was 34 years. That seems so long ago. At the end of December I will observe the second anniversary of Rick's death.
I couldn't understand why it was being such a lousy week. I was so depressed - felt like I was under a huge sack of wet sand. All I could do was watch TV and play solitaire.
Then yesterday everything set me off. This computer, which has so many quirks and seems hellbent on living a life of its own regardless of what I want it to do, opening windows and moving the cursor away from whatever I was typing for no reason I could see, was making me apoplectic with rage. I was so angry with it. I even banged on it with my fist hard enough that I hoped I hadn't broken it. Everything was going so wrong.
Late in the afternoon I came down with a migraine, which I seldom have these days. After missing so much of my life to migraines over thirty plus years, I have been pretty happy not to have them so often any more. Once in a while, though, I'll get one.
At the end of yesterday's perfectly awful day, I felt one blooming within my unhappy cranium. I ended up taking a couple of pain pills and going to bed for a while until the pain receded. Sometime in there I remembered what day of the year it would be in the morning.
Thirty-six years ago today we woke up at my mother's house on Wilkie Street in Watsonville, and we got up and got dressed and drove out to the Corralitos Womens Clubhouse and were married on the lawn in the yard by Father Charles Moore, a maverick retired Catholic priest who had started his professional life as a lawyer and got into some trouble - thereby hangs a tale. He did a great wedding sermon.
He said this was the third day of our marriage.
The first day was the day we met and recognized each other.
The second day was the day we confessed our love to each other - something we had struggled against saying, it being so serious a thing after all.
The third day was this day, the day we were wed.Charlie was a pretty smart guy.
He talked about what a lot of trouble it was to get married. Man, was that the truth. I have said since then that weddings and funerals bring out the best and worst in people. The day of our wedding, my mother's sister, whom we called Sister, was not speaking to my mother because my mother and I had invited my father's sister to the wedding. Well, we invited both of his remaining sisters, and they both came, but Sister really hated the older sister and was furious that she was at my wedding. I had to have a separate picture taken of me with Sister and Uncle Mike because she wouldn't be part of any family pictures.
My father's sisters, by the way, hated each other and had done from childhood. When the older one died and my cousin Nancy called the younger sister to let her know, the younger sister said, "What do I care?" and kind of tore Nancy a new one for bothering to call. Yeah, that aunt was a piece of work. But I digress.
Today, thirty-six years on from our wedding day, has been a day of sad and sweet remembrance. I sat in my chair on the kitchen porch and thanked Rick for marrying me: you made my life so much better than it might have been, and you were such an awfully good sport.
I could swear he then thanked me for marrying him, giving him the life and family he had despaired of having. So the words formed in my mind.
I do remember how desperate and angry he was in the aftermath of his first marriage. His first wife cheated on him, which for him was unforgivable, and he was still angry. Maybe even apoplectic with rage, if he allowed himself to fall into brooding on it.
Rick was one of the most stubborn people I've ever known, and once he made his mind up about something, he would not un-make it. So even though I know he was angry at his first wife for the rest of his life, it wasn't one of those keeping up the relationship by being angry things. It was a Rick being angry that she had wasted his time and broken his heart thing and he'd never forgive her.
He was a good guy, my Ricky. He didn't live long enough, but if he'd taken better care of himself over his lifetime, maybe he would have lived longer. Sometimes I think that, but I don't know, and what does it matter now? I just miss him so much.
In between the wistful bouts of sadness, there were adventures today. When I went out to use my car, it wouldn't start. I managed to jump start it with Rick's truck. Later this evening my friends Harry and Leanna gave me a jump start in town so I could drive home and Harry said he thought it was the starter, from the sound of it. Sigh. After I drove home and turned the car off, I tried to start it again and it wouldn't start, so I think Harry nailed it.
Drove up to the mailbox today and it was full of ants and their eggs. I had noticed them in there a couple of days ago, and bought some ant traps which I was going to put in the mailbox, but yesterday because of my migraine I didn't get around to it, nor did I pick up the mail.
By this evening when I stopped to put the traps in, the mailbox was fully colonized, as was yesterday's mail. Hundreds of ants, thousands of ants, millions and billions and trillions of ants.
I picked up a brochure and a few hundred ants and eggs fell out of it.
I took all the mail out and waved it around and smacked it against the mailbox post trying to get all the ants and eggs out of it. Ugh. When done with that, I used a piece of cardboard to sweep as many ants and eggs out of the mailbox as I could, and set the new traps in.
Here's the irony: last year when the ants invaded the mailbox, I put ant traps in. They were using last year's expired ant traps as the base for this year's new colony in the mailbox.
I don't know why ants set up housekeeping in my mail box, but they've been doing it for years. Ants, and spiders, and occasionally paper wasps. Does everyone's mailbox get this buggy?
Well. So today was our anniversary. Tomorrow I'll make an appointment to get my starter replaced. With new tires and a battery, I felt all set for winter. Not quite. Life goes on, my dears, regardless of grief and dead car parts and ants in the mailbox.
Happy Anniversary, Ricky.