A Judy sits on each of my shoulders like a Chagall painting. One is public, the other more private. Public Judy posts on Facebook about how hiking among the Sugaros helps her face her losses. Private Judy has been drafted against her will into an army of grief and uses the intimacy of her blog to help her process. Each Judy whispers messages that combine inside my ear: “Enjoy your days in nature, your evening out with friends, but don’t sleep well at night and don’t forget to wake yourself up sad at 6 a.m.”
I spent today with Ellen on an inadvertent five hour hike through the most gorgeous of deserts. We spent yesterday at the Arizona desert museum, followed by climbing up to look at petroglyphs in the Saguaro national forest. In the evening I sat in Arthur’s jacuzzi to watch the sun set crimson and peach behind those very mountains we’d hiked that afternoon, followed by dinner with Ellen, Arthur plus my friend and Cuba author Tom Miller. ( More news on Tom after jan 11). So there Ellen and I were, two merry widows enjoying old friends at a dinner I found both politically and gastronomically stimulating. At the same time Private Judy whispered in my ear that when I get back to Berkeley I’ll walk into a house empty of my loving mammal. No David to talk to about the fun I’ve had, just a smiling photograph in my living room. Upstairs a genial Stew stares down at me from Bell Chevigny’s oil painting with love as well in his blue eyes.
I want to re-learn how to enjoy life even though it can feel at times as empty as my bed. Still, I’m trying to keep the faith with what both David and Stew said to me before each died, “Judy, everything will be all right.”