One hundred letters and counting, each one helping to fill the void in my heart. Not a single letter has been read without shedding a tear and filling my heart with some level of hope that this empty feeling will turn to anything other than pain.
Finding a reason to live is difficult these days. We all have some driving force that fuels our lives with desire. I’ve spent the last year carrying Chloe everywhere we went, now I have an open void that needs to be filled If I’m to survive this.
I never wanted this new freedom I have but here it is, I can go anywhere or do anything without responsibility, time frames or travel restrictions. Travel is no longer an obstacle to be dealt with. I can walk out the door and never come back if I choose. It was Chloe that always kept me grounded. The restrictions and responsibilities of traveling and living with my little buddy are gone. Last week traveling 100 miles was like packing for an expedition, now I need little more than the clothes on my back.
My brother showed up unannounced and kidnapped me to his ranch. We spent the weekend eating drinking and laughing with him, his wife and two amazing doughters. I slept the whole night through for the first time in years and had no reason to wake up early. No 6:00 Am rows to shore or midnight walks. there was and endless supply of laughing and smiles on the outside but deep down I’m more frightened than I ever have been. Do I go back to work now that I don’t have an excuse not to? Backpack around the world? Bike tour America? sail to Alaska?
I know I’m not ready to go back to the boat anytime soon. My brother is threatening to send me to Austrailia via Hawaii and the South Pacific. My heart tells me to get lost on the Pacific Crest trail but my crippled knee has me wondering if I can hike 20 miles a day for 5 months straight. The only gear I have other than a turn key blue water sailboat is a steel bike with no gears, a titanium mug, a 45 degree down bag and half a camp pad. I know I need to do something or I will loose my mind. I’m committed here till November so I have some breathing room but its the perpetual silence that has me going stir crazy.
So my mourning process is to just live, to get lost out on the trails of life as often as I can and to think about Chloe every chance I get and find a way to smile. To have asked her for one more single day would have been greedy. I know Chloe is snuggled up in front of our fireplace waiting for our next big adventure but for now I’m flying solo.
If you smile when you are alone then you really mean it.