I wonder if I just never looked up. Was I just so focused on getting home from work that I never noticed the sunset? Was I too busy doing what was next on my to-do list that I never noticed the clouds? Were my eyes closed this whole time?
When Joe was first diagnosed and going through chemo I remember him driving around with the windows down and his hand out in the wind. He played this one song over and over and and would get little goosebumps up and down his arms as he let the breeze skip over his fingers. He allowed himself to feel deeper than he even knew he could.
To be totally honest, I sometimes thought he was slightly crazy as I’d over hear him on the phone with his cousin who would walk him through mediation exercises. He’d tell me later about how he could put himself in the water, clear his mind to think of nothing but this imaginary water flowing around him.
My husband had turned into a total hippie cook-a-doo, I told myself.
It was like he had been awakened to the world around him, though it had been there the whole time.
I feel it now as I look up at the sky. I stare into the stars hoping for some kind of response back, as if suddenly I’ll see his face in the clouds.
We took this picture together October 30th and he went into hospice November 2nd.
Joe had a sudden burst of energy and decided he’d let me push him in the wheelchair around the neighborhood. His pride rarely allowed him to accept this kind of help but he honestly had no choice. We walked up and down the streets behind our house as the sun was setting and the sky danced all around us.
“If you get a choice, you should go to those pink and purple clouds,” I told him as we pointed out our favorite shapes in the sky.
“I definitely will”, he said. “I’ll sit up on top of them probably the really weird shaped ones like that one too,” he went on as he picked out the strangest ones we could see.
It was the most beautiful walk of my life as I knew it was one of our last. I’d give anything to walk that street pushing him again. I felt such a peace over the both of us as we were given a few minutes of calm, pain free time together.
I wonder if the sky has changed since he’s gone to those clouds or did I simply never take the time to look?
Every stroke of color that stretches across the sky I’m sure he painted. I tell Mira as we get out of the car at night, “There’s daddy. Isn’t it beautiful what he painted for us?”
I wonder if the sky has always looked this full of light but I’m only now open to really seeing it. My eyes are wide open for the very first time and I feel the way Joe must have felt on those long drives as he let the world wrap him up.
Maybe you never see what’s around you until you know it could all be taken away.
Maybe I see it now because my heart is in the sky.