Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I've blogged about my marriage and divorce before, so many specifics aren't necessary.  I was married in April, 1986 and divorced in December 1997.  My ex-husband, Bill, died in 2005.

Bill and I remained somewhat close after our divorce, especially the last couple of years.  Due to some bad circumstances in his life he wound up living in an apartment across the street from my house.  It is all good, though.  We both lived our lives, yet would have dinner together every month or so or just hang out and talk.

After Billy passed I felt his presence around me a lot.  Since he was a fabulous cook, it was usually in the kitchen!  There were times over the years that I would feel him next to me or actually feel him pat my shoulder, a gesture of endearment he made while we were married.  Many times I would reach up to my shoulder as if to touch his hand and say, "It's OK, Billy - I know you're here and I'm OK."  Sounds weird, but it's true.  It wasn't scary, but very comforting. Call his presence a spirit, a ghost, an angel or my guardian angel - it doesn't matter. I believe Bill will be with me until my time on Earth is up and it is a good feeling.

When I sold my house and moved to Georgia in 2010 I felt Billy's presence less and less.  I knew he was always with me, just did not feel him around as much.

Lately, though, he has been around more and more.  I don't actually feel him patting my shoulder or standing next to me, but he has been lingering in my thoughts quite a bit. And, even after almost 20 years of being single again, several relationships during this time, and 12 years after his death, I still think of Bill and what it could have been.  Divorce was inevitable if I wanted to survive, but it doesn't mean feelings weren't still there.

When I lived in Milwaukee I suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  For many years I would go on a light anti-depressant in late fall and ween myself off in spring, with my doctor's approval.  Billy knew this, of course, and would do sweet things for me during those winter months while we were married - bring home budget bunches of flowers more often (he did bring them home all year around, but increased them in the winter), planned spring vacations, plan our gardens, etc.

One of the things we talked about during our marriage was our retirement years.  We both loved the South and took several trips to the southern states.  We joked and talked a lot about moving to the Chattanooga area, purchasing a small ranch home and having a beautiful yard full of flowers. Well, here I am living 90 miles from Chattanooga, in a ranch home and I tend a pretty garden.  So, I am living the dream we had, but without him.  At least without him as a living, breathing man!

When I moved to Georgia, I noticed that my SAD seemed to have stayed in  Wisconsin - I didn't notice it and assumed and hoped being in a warmer climate with a milder winter sent SAD on its way forever.  However, last year it reappeared, but so mildly I hardly gave it a thought.  But this year it seems to have come back pretty strongly.  Having a burst pipe, flooding and losing all of my hardwood floors in early December and living on a concrete slab for seven week probably didn't help keep a depression away very much either!  SAD is back.

I stay busy.  I hang out with my friends, volunteer at a dog rescue group, am part of other socially active groups, so it is not as if I am sitting around moping.  I keep going and am basically a pretty happy, healthy person.  I don't dwell on the past.  I enjoy my life, simple and quiet as it may be.  I am glad spring is right around the corner, though.  I am done with winter, even a mild Georgia winter, and I want this depression gone with it.

So, is Bill back because I am slightly depressed?  Does he know I need a little spiritual comfort in the form of a ghostly presence?  Or is he waiting for me to get out of my slump and open up and listen to my heart a little closer?  I have found when I tend to think a lot of a person in my life who has passed, that they are trying to tell me something or maybe I need to open my eyes and heart and listen to what the universe is trying to tell me.  Maybe Billy is nudging me because I am just not listening.

On the other hand, I could just be slightly crazy!

But, I don't think so.

Welcome back, Billy.  You know you are welcome anytime.  We both know the SAD will fade away, but keep on nudging me.  I'll figure it out sooner or later.  And, the next time I go shopping I think I'll purchase a budget bunch of flowers just for you.

April 23, 1986

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