MORNING COFFEE 43 - beautiful places

By Susan Weber

In Letters to Kate, Carl H. Klaus describes his trip to Hawaii with family and friends to scatter his wife’s ashes. As I consider this, part of me wants to go to beautiful places like Hanalei Bay to do the same for my husband. I immediately feel guilty that we never did the romantic Hawaiian getaway. But we had Barcelona, North Beach, the Oregon coast, Toronto’s waterways by canoe. We had visitors like our German-Italian brothers who adorned our front porch during their romantic getaways to Cleveland. We had family trips to Europe and Montana, the coast of Maine and Utah’s wealth of canyons. We got away to reunions and weddings and swimmer parties, remarkable plays, and laps of silver water never ending.

When our boys moved away, my husband saw Japan and France and Switzerland on work trips and I saw India and Israel with family. We shared it all by phone and screen and told each other stories when we got back to Ohio. On any given day, I still anticipate coming home to him to file my full report on a chance meeting or discovery, until I remember that I can’t. Earlier in grief, I thought I had to break myself of this habit as soon as possible. Now I hope I’ll never lose the urge to fill him in.

Dear husband, today I swam a mile and a half before breakfast, including the set I asked you for on that morning in the hospital when just the two of us, peaceful, faced your impending death. Today’s workout began and ended with your set. I imagined how you felt moving through the water. I remember you sitting on your hospital bed, telling me to keep swimming even when you wouldn’t be around anymore. “It’s so great that you’re able to do that,” you said, referring to the stamina and fitness our typical workout takes, and how many a younger person couldn’t come close.

I’ll swim this way until I can’t anymore, because my dearest told me to, because I’m swimming for two now, and because of his legacy and presence in the water, helping me survive his death. We have always had our share of beautiful places.

Photo by Susan Weber CC BY-SA 4.0