Life is Good

To wear a ring or not … I never supposed it would be such a topic of discussion and thought.  Before Tom died I was firmly on the side of remarriage.  I think life can be long and lonely and if you have the chance to remarry, that’s a good thing.  But I didn’t count on the feelings that come with losing a companion of so many years.  I belong to a Widow/Widower group on Facebook, which sometimes offers comfort in the fact that I’m understood in a way that few can, but more often makes me feel like I’m in a foreign land and I really don’t want to stay! I guess the topic of when to take off a wedding ring is a popular one.  I’ve hardly worn my engagement ring through most of my marriage, but always either my wedding band or another similar band on my left hand.  For six months after Tom died I wore his ring on my index finger.  Then one day I took it off and I didn’t feel the need to put it back on.  But it’s proving harder to let go of that band on my ring finger.  Somehow I just don’t want to give up my status as Tom’s wife … and yet, at the same time, I don’t necessarily want to spend the rest of my life alone.  They are contradictory things in my mind right now and I’m not feeling very patient about waiting for them to naturally reconcile.

A few years ago Tom made me a “mix tape” compilation of songs for Valentines’ day and included personalized liner notes.  I listened to the first disc and read the notes pretty soon after he died, but have never listened to the other disc and finished reading the notes – not really sure why… maybe saving them up?  Anyway, I read through them today.  I didn’t listen to the music because I’m pretty sure that would have brought on the tears, but some of the things he said feel so applicable to me today.  Under Dido’s “Thank You” he writes “being with you is the best day of my life” – swoon!  Bernstein & Sondheim’s “One Hand, One Heart” got this commentary, “how grateful I am that our lives became one in this life and into the beyond”, and Billy Joel’s “You’re My Home” got a “Amen, brother Joel”!  I’ve wondered and wondered what exactly he is up to in the heavens while I’m moving forward down here.  I wonder if he still misses me like I miss him.  But reading those words I was reassured that as much as he loved and cared for me throughout our marriage, he hasn’t changed.  He’s doing the same for us now, even if I can’t feel it.  I needed that today.

Maybe it’s because I know what a good marriage can be that I want to do it again.  I want someone to care for and to be cared for by.  I want someone I can share those bits of news that no one else really cares about.  I want someone to share my bed and my kitchen and all my home improvement plans.  I’ll be disappointed if this was my one go-around and now it’s done.  But at the same time, if I could, I’d have Tom back in a heartbeat … and while I have no idea what our reunion in the heavens will be like, it’s the secret dream of my heart.

And on that note, romance has landed smack dab in the middle of my family.  Spencer, number one son, has found the girl of his dreams in one Miss Kayla Bixler.  They’ve made it official and got engaged last week.  I’m so happy for them both – glad that they have found each other and excited to see them as they begin to build a family of their own.  And I’m secretly glad that Tom got to know Kayla a little – and that she got to know Tom a little before he died.  It makes me feel like she is somehow more part of the family because she knows first hand about his BBQ expertise and his humor and because she shared our sorrow last fall.



It goes without saying that Haley is having kittens about a new sister!!

We also had a new baby born into the extended Cottle clan.  Introducing Emilia Catalina Cottle…



darling daughter of Alex & Cynthia Cottle and little sister of Alex & Benny…



Life is good …


27. August 2015 by tjsjohanna
Categories: Blog, Family | Tags: , , , , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. Love you Johanna. May the Lord continue to bless and guide you. I think you are amazing…

  2. Johanna,
    You have expressed so eloquently the thoughts of many of us who have been members of the “w” club, and the difficulty that comes with the decisions we must make. Sending you (((abrazos)))

  3. Enjoyed reading your thoughts, Hermana. Brought a few tears and also hope. Thanks so much for sharing your insights into a tender topic. Much love!

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