Birdsong and Burglar Lights

Dearest Rachel –

It’s still quite dark when I’m woken up by the sound of the birds in our backyard yelling at each other to stay out of their territory. It’s a welcome sign of spring, to be sure, but there are sometimes when I wish it wouldn’t be so loud so early. Don’t know how you always managed to sleep through them.

It’s somewhat exacerbated by the fact that it’s harder to fall asleep at night because the neighbors burglar lights (which if I remember correctly, used to be motion activated) are now on constantly throughout the night, and the light seeps through the shades on the southern side of the bedroom. All of which makes me miss the pitch darkness of the hotel room and the cabin, and the white noise that is the passing ocean.

But it can’t be helped; life’s ambient soundtrack is what it is, and there’s no changing it without straight-up moving. I’ll eventually need to reacclimatize myself to it all; I just hope it won’t take long.

Interestingly, it seems that E.C. is ever bit the early riser you weren’t (and I’m trying not to be). Despite the fact that it’s still dark when I’m woken up, she seems to have been up for at least an hour, having texted me at that point. Nothing too deep, you understand; just asking me how my day is going. It’s an interesting choice of tenses, though, for five in the morning.

I’ll be honest, I’d just as soon roll back over and go to sleep again. But I’m honor bound to both respond to her, and to let you know about things first. Whether this is another take on ‘the new normal’ or not remains to be seen.

Speaking of which…

Don’t think for a moment that I’ve forgotten what day it is. It seems like I still have a ways to go before the twenty-third of any month loses its significance. Fourteen months have passed since the doctors told me your brain functions had ceased, and I reluctantly gave the go ahead to turn off life support. It’s a situation that half of all couples go through, when they get the so-called ‘happy’ ending. That’s something that’s decidedly less than happy to chew on first thing in the morning.

Since then, as you well know, I’ve done my level best to bury myself in one pursuit or another, be it my work, my travels, my search for ‘Megumi,’ even my attempts to fill you in on all of the above. And while these pursuits, combined with the passage of time, can dim the memories and let the wounds heal, the scars are still there, deep and obvious. I will never be able to get back to where I used to be. It’s just not possible.

You can even take that quite literally. As much as I tend to blame scheduling conflicts for the fact that we haven’t sent you off the way you want to be – and that’s a legitimate issue, don’t get me wrong – the fact of the matter is, I don’t know if I’m ready to let you go. Heck, I’m not even sure I’m ready to travel to that island where we spent so many happy days together. That place is so infused with you, and your parents, none of whom I’ll ever see again (at least on this planet), that I imagine the place will just seem wrong when next I set foot on it.

All the songs of nature that I can hear in the air there will simply stand as a reminder that you have been stolen from me. But it would not have helped for me to leave the lights on. The Thief in the night takes home who He will when He will, and no one can prevent Him from working that will. All I can do is continue to rebuild thereafter, and maybe let you know about it as I make those efforts.

With that being said, honey, wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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