Thursday, September 27, 2007


This is my husband at 22, the year we decided to give romance a second try.

His hair is long because, was 1992, and his girlfriend was a hairstylist and he hated his neckline anyway so this was a good way to hide it. Also, believe it or not, it was "in style" then.

The reason I posted it is because he is wearing one of his work shirts. This was a different shop and he now wears/wore a light blue shirt, but the name is the same... the position (CNC programmer/engineer extraordinaire) was the same. Yesterday I finally got up the courage to go and get his tools. His tools were the paintbrushes he used for his art. They were not the typical hammers and screwdrivers, but bits and thread mics and drafting supplies. Tons of them. Tons is the truth because it took 3 grown men and a pickup truck to bring them home. And it hurt me so bad. I didn't realize when I set it up that it would be the 26th-one month since I lost him. When we walked into the shop I saw all the photographs of him on the wall, saw the pain in the faces of his coworkers and lost it all over again. They said so many wonderful things about him to his children and me. That he was an artist, that he was the 'go to guy'. That he was the smartest, most skilled designer they had ever seen. That they miss him and the pain isn't going away. That they hired two men to do the job he did so well as one. And I couldn't breathe from it all.

Afterward, we went out to dinner with his cousin and his best friend. Two of the men who helped with the boxes. The third was a coworker who pitched in because he wanted to. I gave him the very first thing Leonard had welded when he was just 18. This coworker misses him so much. After dinner his cousin's wife (who is the Suzanne from an earlier post) stayed until 2 AM. She has no idea how much I appreciated her presence. How it almost felt safe and normal for a second. And she told me a story that I hope with all my heart is true.

After the funeral we had the bonfire that I mentioned before. I have been having a terrible time because I don't feel him anywhere in my life. Not in the house, not in my head...only in my heart, but it's not really a feeling, it's the ache. Getting back to the bonfire... Suzanne's mother in law (Leonard's aunt) was sitting in the porch swing watching as several men tried to get the fire lit. Mind you, this was dry wood so it shouldn't have been a problem. While they did this, I was telling how Leonard could always get a fire started almost as if he were made of flame and one look could start it up. (Actually it was his trusty blowtorch, which made everyone laugh) As I've said before, my husband loved building fires. This aunt said that, as this was going on, she looked toward the garage (where Leonard's home workshop was) and swore she saw him standing in the shadows wearing a cream colored shirt (he had a cream colored shirt but she wouldn't know this because he had about 2,324 shirts). She said he smiled and at that moment, the logs caught. I do remember the logs catching all at once, all of a sudden...but I didn't see a thing. I so want to believe that really happened.


Gina said...

It happened, my friend.

This post made me cry. You are so very strong.

Shannon said...

My uncle shows up occasionally but though the mail. Leonard was and is there. I believe that.

Laurie said...

Reading this with a heavy heart I can tell you he was there and is still with you in spirit. The "sightings" are little blessings and you will have them. I'm glad you had help in picking up the tools. The things he touched and used daily to provide for you and his children. A great man is one who is spoken of highly and leaves a huge gap in his absence. This is Leonard and he is in your heart, and you will feel him again when the ache takes a break, and these moments will bless you with new hope. I am praying for your heart to feel blanketed in Gods love and lighter times for you in the days ahead.
Love, Laurie in Ca.

rachd said...

Laurie always says what I too feel and want to say, only better. Thank you, Laurie. :o)

I truly believe with all my heart Leonard was there. I'm not sure if you remember Brien's experience with Han, but I KNOW those we love come back to visit. I *KNOW* it. Take heart, he's waiting for the appropriate moment to visit, one that won't leave you aching and breathless.

So many big HUGS for you this evening.

Haylee said...

Having experienced it on more than one occasion, I know that communication exists from beyond our realm.

Sometimes our hearts hurt too much to receive it and, at times, it in in retrospect that you know it happened.

Trust in Leonard's timing and wisdom -- who knows you better than he?

Wishing you God's comfort and an increasingly peaceful heart and thoughts.

The girl left behind said...

Dear Mrs. Grumpy,

I believe he was there. And he will let you know, somehow. Love is eternal.

It's very odd to think of myself as a "veteran widow," after such a short time. But trust me, a month is no time at all, and I would not be surprised if you were still in shock. Losing your beloved is like being flayed alive, and the hole left in all the million places they lived in your heart and life is overwhelmingly painful, blocking out most all else, let alone the subtle signs that we are not as alone as we feel. All we can feel is loss. What I recall of that first month (and it's not much) is hurting so bad I thought I would die (and really wouldn't have minded), alternating with numbness. As the pain eases, his messages will be easier to find. Look for them; I guarantee you they're there. There are no coincidences.

Tessie said...

I believe it too.

Jen said...

what a beautiful moment - I am SURE it is true

Anonymous said...

Laura, my heart is breaking for you. Please be well and hug your children closely.

greatauntoftriplets aka Sheila