Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life Moves On

Two years ago today my ex-husband, Bill, died.

His official date of death is tomorrow, June 1st, since that is when we found him. But he had been dead for over 24 hours.

A two tours of duty in Viet Nam vet with 10 years in the Marine's, it seems fitting that he died on Memorial Day. He loved the Marines. I am glad I gave him a simple military funeral, which is what he wanted. Maybe his death wasn't dignified, but his funeral was.

Some people can fight life long demons and are able to overcome them, surviving to live long and happy lives. Bill just couldn't fight his demons and they chased him all of his life. One time he told me he thought of committing suicide most of his adult life, but was too afraid to take action. But there are many ways of commiting suicide. Alcohol abuse and heavy smoking caused poor health, which in a way, was Bill's way of suicide.

The last years of Bill's life were not happy. He sank further and further down into depression. Even though he bounced back from several health scares, the booze and smoking increased. Two DWI's and a short stint in jail didn't help to change his ways. He stopped trying to cover it up. He stopped fighting. He stopped running.

Here are some things that I remember about Billy and why he will always be in my heart:

  • Kindness

  • A yard full of beautiful roses

  • Great gourmet meals including outstanding Christmas Eve dinners (well, except the Virigina Ham Christmas!)

  • Fun, inexpensive trips together where we really had great times

  • Gentleness

  • Disney World (3 times)

  • Twin Peaks

  • Tenderness

  • He loved my Gracie

  • Sitting with me at my Mom's memorial service, while we both wiped away our tears (this was years after our divorce)

  • Annual pig roasts

  • New Years Day chili parties (he made the hottest chili)

  • He loved me

For a long time after his death I use to feel Bill around me. A gentle pressure on my shoulder and a slight pat. I don't feel him much any more. That's OK. I hope he has gone on to a better place. A place where he no longer suffers from the memory of child abuse, needs to partake in substance abuse, the horrors of war are forgotten and all his other demons can't reach him.

Rest in peace, Billy. I will never forget you.

Semper Fi.