Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This Odyssey of Love~

I'm down to my last month here in Phoenix, staying with our oldest son.  On June 21 my daughter and I will hitch up my PinkMagic rig and head north and then west on our Nothin' But Love cross-country tour.

We could head directly west and then north along the California coastline.  We could, but we won't.  Quite simply, I can't.  If we head due West, she and I would be driving the very roads that my husband and I drove a little over a year ago, headed to our 3 month rental in southern California, where he died.  And as much as I've pushed myself in this last year since his death, I just can't do that trip.  Maybe someday.  Not now.  My heart is too broken.  With our more northerly route I'll still be traveling the roads he and I did, but those roads will carry a different meaning for me.

My next 6 months on the road will be, in many ways, my final farewell to my husband, as I scatter his cremains in our favorite places.  There is bound to be pain-how can there not be as I stand where he and I last stood together?  But I know that there will be beauty also.  The beauty that comes from knowing how deeply I was loved in this life, and the beauty that comes from knowing that I will always have that love in me and with me.

Chuck set me on this path with his last request.  He told me that he'd find me out on the road and I believe that he will.  Friends will join me and my daughter for rituals along the way and the love he left behind for us, for so many, will spread in a ripple effect from state to state.

I'm going to find him out there and I'm going to find a place of peace within myself and feel even more strongly bound to him because of it.  My heart is open to life, even with this devastating grief.

Crater Lake, Oregon.  Little Big Horn, Montana.  Crazy Horse, South Dakota.  Those are the places he named for me.  He knew I'd know the others and I will.

He and I spent 4 years traveling this country as Happily Homeless.  Its been 1 year and one month since he died.  I spent 3 months traveling from Connecticut to Florida and then here to Arizona.  In 1 month my daughter and I will turn my pink car, towing my pink-trimmed trailer, out of my son's driveway and begin an Odyssey that will take me we know not where, other than a general direction.  And I'm okay with not knowing. We're headed north then west, then east, then south, then west again, returning to Arizona near the end of the year.  Along the way we'll meet people who will change our perspectives, our grief, our lives and our hearts, I have no doubt.

Chuck prepared me, because of the life we lived together, to be able to do this.  His love will travel with me, with our daughter.  The Odyssey of Love continues in one month~


  1. So inspiring! I also love taking my camper on the road. You've already reframed my outlook, calling it an Odyssey of Love. I look forward to reading about yours.

  2. Good luck in your travels Alison! You are truly an inspiration! Life for widows changes so drastically but we must make the best of it. I am grateful for the love I shared with my husband and the family we created.I am impressed in the way you are going to memorialize your husband a sign of love everlasting! May you find peace and comfort in your journeys!

  3. I saw you in Sedona! I was visiting with my late husband's mom. I actually took a photo because I loved your ride! From one widow to another YOU ROCK! Happy travels!

  4. GowitheFlo,
    I hope we meet somewhere out on the open road! Honk if you see us~

  5. I'm at thirteen months as well. I'm in Tucson, and I am heading up North to MN again for the summer in June. I towed my trailer up last summer, so it is waiting for me stored in a friend's garage. I hope to see you folks out on the road, and you can count on my honking and waving. God Bless Alison and daughter, safe trip.

  6. Lovely! And I love your pink camper!

  7. God bless you on your journey. I'm into year 4 and still miss my husband every day. We traveled The West too, bittersweet to revisit those places. Like tatoos on this town the song says. The memories do get sweeter and more comforting as time goes by.

  8. Have you heard of The Birdhouse Project? The man who teaches & came up with it lost his son 8 or so years ago, and he went on the road and lived in his car, and drove to every state for many months. He made a birdhouse (it's a grief tool) in every state, talked with many about love and loss. You should look him up and compare notes!