Letters to Tuvia #266 HVWP July 2016 (7-14-16)

Morning T.,

If it’s July, the HVWP moves takes over and this year you aren’t hear to remind me that I need to keep you in the mix.  I’m not watching the clock, the phone isn’t ringing with you on the other end, no balancing act and… I miss the tension.  But like every month of this first year without you, I am revising my life.  There’s no choice- revise or stop living.

I’m back home on my couch, working virtually, preparing for a very full week ahead starting Monday.  Just the dry run felt familiar, thrilling and exhausting.  Back at the Main Course on Tuesday, for a very long lunch, I had the conversaion I’ve been looking forward to for months.  Lynn and Agita joined me- SUNY Babes, friends for years, connected through our work as teacher supervisors, giving back something to the profession we love.  Now we are tied together in widowhood and we sat together from 1:00-5:15 and never felt time passing.  I learned so much about us and what we face in this revised life and hope there’s a lot more of these meet ups.

And that was just the beginning of this whirlwind July start…

Dinner at Tom’s, created by a trio of Singapore teachers he met on his educational trip to the Far East, now in the US and sharing their culinary passions, I was there as the process began. I watched, I helped where I could, we shared some great red wine and I listened to the conversations around me as more of our HVWP community arrived to fill out this annual summer dinner at Tom’s La Luna horse farm.

After enjoying the feast, the dessert, the last of the wine, the last dish washed and dried, the last guest off, I could switch into my sneakers and head out with Tom to walk his dogs and decompress, enjoying the fact that I was sleeping over, something I did often during our intense HVWP Julys. We were enveloped in the inky black darkness of his country world. In wonder, would you have enjoyed this walk? Why Tom would want to live so far from town was something you could never understand. I think it was always easier for me to walk in someone else’s shoes.

I took myself  back in my childhood, walking on country roads around my grandfather’s bungalow colony,Oakwood Cottages.  Tom had his dogs, I had my iPhone flaslight when oncoming cars interrupted our flow of conversation and we had to quickly shift to the left or right side of the road. By it was amazing when we were surrounded  by  gangs of fireflies and  we listening to chourses of singing frogs.  I itched to  call and share it with you.

The next morning I was up and dressed before I heard Tom evening heading for a shower. After some rich coffee and a great slice of healthy toast we were off for the Insitute. I didn’t have that churning in the pit of my stomach. I was just happy to be welcomed warmly and the join the table for the familiar rituals-writing, reading, sharing and snacking. And just before my exit I got to interview a few fresh young teacher participants and my buddy Antia, now joining the summer’s leadership team.

Then I was off for one more meet-up.  Back at Main Course for lunch and Open planning with Kristen and after a promising session back in the car and a race to back to this couch for a necessary chill…

Yes, I would have rather taken the New Jersey exit for Paramus and you.  YES, this revised life continues to be the life I have to live not the life I loved living with you.

And finally, YES, I continue to ache for you…


Bonnie S.



5 thoughts

  1. These lines catch my ear (and heart): “I’m not watching the clock, the phone isn’t ringing with you on the other end, no balancing act and… I miss the tension. But like every month of this first year without you, I am revising my life. There’s no choice- revise or stop living.”

    There are choices of course, and you make yours like I do too, each day. I had no idea how strong a will I had to live until this year as I guess it was something I just tok for granted. It is the spaces between events when sorrow rises and I think about that as I read this letter to T. (I am getting to know him through these posts, Bonnie). I realize that within the events that now form my life, my remembrances of Rob are sweet.

    • I watch a movie I made a few days ago of Tuvia and I dancing during my 50th birthday celebration. I changed it up a bit- added a song I played over and over again right after he died as I drove in my car without him. It wasn’t a song that he listened to but a song I needed in my grieving.. After a month or so of sorrow I started listening to NPR podcasts in the car instead of music to torment my soul. Now, months later creating that 2 minute piece, I watch it at least once a day. I share it with friends- it’s a document of our mutual love and it doesn’t dismantle me. Something to be said for time to get used to this life in a process of revision. I am smiling more when I’m alone, talking to Tuvia… feeling his presence. Next month it’s a year for me. We are his unveiling scheduled for August 28. Good thing his family, Ami especially will be with me.
      Thanks for inspiring my thinking for me.

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