Saturday, July 19, 2014

Getting My Feet Wet

My kitties back in 2011 checking out the new kayak.

I'm struggling tonight. A mix of emotions are coursing through my veins… as is always the case with anything new on this journey. Why does every single new thing have to pull at my gut with uneasiness for the fact that he is not here? *sigh*

Today my Crossfit class had a water workout at the lake. Swimming, kayaking, lots of hard work and fun. We had about 10 or 15 people come out and spend the entire day out at the lake after our workout. I met some new people, and got to knew a few people from my class a bit more. And for one Saturday afternoon I pretty much just hung around being a normal 31 year old chick… which was nice. But since coming home I've been all kinds of emotional. Why? Well, I did something huge today. I took our kayaks out to the event for everyone to use.

The reason it's so huge is because our kayaks have been in storage since he died. Mine in fact had never even been used - as he has bought it for me for my birthday the fall before he died and we hadn't yet had a chance to take them out together. So today was actually the first time that I used the kayak he bought me. And I had to do this without him. Ouch.

I suppose fortunately, I was having enough fun to not think about it too deeply while there. But the undercurrent of emotions was riding below the surface all day. And as the night is coming to an end and I am curling up in bed alone again, it's all coming up.

He should have been next to me the first time that I used that kayak. Next to me, at the lake in Dallas where we always camped. The lake where we took our first kayak lesson together. I can still remember all of that like it was yesterday sometimes. (God, how is this my reality?)

Still, it was wonderful to share our kayaks with others and have a part of our life be a part of my new life and new events in it. To know that someone else sat in his kayak for the first time today. And someone else put on his life jacket today for the first time. I don't even quite know who that first person was, since we had so many people there. All I know is that it wast him. And of course since these are not close friends, not a single person there had any clue that all of this was going on underneath my cool, easy smile and bright laughter through the day.

I'm physically exhausted, from the workout, but I'm so much more emotionally exhausted. It was a huge step to finally take those kayaks out. Because it isn't just about a couple of water toys, it's about being able to accept in one more small way that he isn't coming back. And about feeling ready to let go of that one small piece of pain and try to share that part of my life with new people in order to give it new life. It isn't easy. And it hurts like hell. But today, I did it, and I'm proud of myself.

Seeing all the fun everyone had did bring me new joy. It made my heart feel good to share. And to be driving the kayaks there strapped down in the bed of his truck, a reminder that he is still so much a part of everything I do. Not the same way as he was. And certainly not in the way that I want him to be. But at least in some way, he is still here.


  1. Oh Sarah, I do know exactly how you feel, just got my kayak on the lake this summer. Being on or in the water is so healing for me, we based a lot of our lives around water activities, so I feel his presence there most of all.
    Yep, how is this my reality everyday day over and over. My daughter was married yesterday, I held it together all day for her, but am losing it now. He should have been there.Take care.

    1. Oh my goodness Cathy - sending you lots of extra love, how bittersweet such a special day is without him here to be part of it. I'm so sorry. But also sending much love to you, and to your daughter on a beautiful new beginning.

      Water was a big thing for us too, and I grew up on the South Texas coast myself - so i'm with you, water, and especially beach, it like coming home to myself.

  2. Sarah, everything you write resonates with me somehow. I had a somewhat similar experience few days ago when a friend asked me if she could drive my husband's car (because it's a really nice car). He was very possessive about it and didn't let anyone (including me or his brother) drive it. He was always afraid that we'll scratch it or something. So I flat out said no to my friend's request. After she left I thought about it, and sadly realized again that he is really gone, he can't be upset if the car is scratched, my friends are here, they are taking care of me in my darkest time, this is the least I can do to convey my thanks to them. So few days later when my friends were visiting again I asked her to drive. She was surprised but was so excited to drive! And then another friend wanted to drive on our way back. He was so happy too! It felt really nice to make them happy with such a simple thing.

  3. Oh Asha - yep, what a similar experience! It does feel really nice to share something that brought them joy with others in our lives, doesn't it? Still so hard though. Drew was the same way about his truck, I'm about the only person he would ever let drive it, and he was a total back seat driver the entire time! To this day I have only let one other person drive it, and only because I had too many drinks to drive so one of our best buds drove. ha.

    Thanks so much for sharing that! =)

  4. dear Sarah,

    I ask the same questions about why every single "first" has to be so fraught with grief and the glaring fact that he isn't here. each time it feels like a fresh wound to my already mangled heart. but I am so glad that the day also brought you some real joy and fun, and that you feel he is still here, being pleased the kayaks were being used and enjoyed.

    much love,

    Karen xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Karen. You are so right, every little "new" is so hard. Sending you love, thank you for reading

  5. Sarah I am so glad you got to use the kayak he bought for you. I am sure he is smiling knowing you had fun and enjoyed the day. Yes it is both sad and bittersweet but isn't it great that you got to do something he wanted you to enjoy. My husband and I have kayaks and it was so peaceful and serene to be out on the water. My nephew was helping me sell some of my husband's things and mentioned selling his bike and kayak. I decided to keep it as someone else may enjoy using it with me. Just have to find a way to transport it as it is difficult to put on top of my car. You did give me an idea for my husband's first anniversary in October. I may get our families together for a picnic and kayaking.
    Thanks for the thought and a way to create some new happy memories.

    1. It definitely was healing. I am looking forward to taking out more friends with our kayaks in the future. So i will always keep them as long as I am able.

      What a wonderful idea to have a picnic and kayaking with your families - I love it. A beautiful way to celebrate each other and him. Good luck!

  6. My Dave had bought himself an expensive kayak two summers before he died.
    It was two large & heavy for me and I struggled to decide what to do with it.
    I eventually gave it to my sister to keep at her cottage. I could always use the money and considered selling it but it just felt right to keep it around and let family use it.

    Like you, sharing just feels better.

    1. Those nicer ones sure do get heavy Valerie! Sounds like you came up with a good compromise for how to keep them and still be able to use them. =)