I hurt as I did as a nursing mother leaving my infant even with the most competent caretaker. When I shared this feeling with Steve, he said, “Mom, when you came back last year from vacation I had a hard time handing Bob’s care back to you. I know how you are feeling. Go, he will be fine.”Communicating uncomfortable insecure parts of myself felt shameful all my life; it was enough, I thought, for me to be aware of those parts of me I didn’t like, sharing them with another felt too vulnerable, too open to criticism. No longer.
Returning alone to the life my husband and I shared so lovingly for such a long time is better than it is sad.This apartment is a very expensive vault where all of my good memories are stored along with lots of our collected "stuff" from heirloom china to plates and paintings brought back from our travels, recipes and Bob's cooking equipment as well as penkives, tools, exercise weights, winter clothing and photo albums. The building staff, the members of our synagogue, even the fruit seller on the corner greet me as a long-lost relative and welcome me back. Each one asks about Bob; no one likes my sad look as I say, "No, he is not with me, he is being well cared for in Arizona." " I had to ask," one acquaintance replied. I know.