I have other family. My older son Robert lives less than an hour away with his wonderful wife. But they don't come here much (they're busy, and my house is it's usual mess), and I'm so busy that I seldom go there.
My daughter Raederle and her husband live here, but they have their own agenda of things to accomplish. And Raederle expends all of her overt caring on their lives. As she should.
And Hubby. I love him, but we have never developed any real intimacy. It was Roy who would stop to smile and lovingly grip my shoulder as he passed my desk. It was Roy who played board games with me. It was Roy who helped with the house, and developed the garden with me. (Ah sh*t. Tears.)
I learned 40 years ago, when I got divorced, that the real kicker is not so much loss of love as it is the losing of the plan. At that time, eager as I was to be relieved of the burden of my immature husband, I cried over losing the plan I had of a family, of a home; the plan of what I was going to do with our house and yard.
I'm not dealing with an inadequate, no-longer-loved husband now, but with my dearly loved son. It is not the loss of *my* plan that I'm crying over, but the loss of *his*.
We were going to turn the upstairs into his apartment. I cry as I work on finishing the drywall in the laundry, which was to become his kitchen. And I cry when I eat the just-now-ripening tomatoes that he worked so hard on this spring.
He built new bins this year:
He added a raised row of strawberries.
And two planter bins.
The bin near the fence has lettuce and spinach, and we ate a lot of it all spring. You can see in this pic how much weight Roy put on this last winter.
The nearer bin is full to overflowing with tomatoes. He had to put a 2x4 across one side, because the tomato cages simply weren't holding well enough. They're doing so well in that location that I will continue to use that place in future years. (I think probably it's the amount of sun there.)
With new-gardener enthusiasm, he had a half-baked plan of taking them to sell at the Saturday farmer's market. Because of that, he planted wa-a-a-a-ay too many. I had planted only six plants myself, aware that it was really more than we need, and he planted another six. We're going to have far more than we can eat. Probably Daughterly will be glad to take up the slack. (I don't can them. I grow tomatoes so that, for a couple months at least, I can eat real tomatoes. Although I may end up making an exception this year.)
The tomatoes are just ripening. I picked them yesterday, and have quite a collection of them sitting on the counter. We have four varieties: Red tomatoes which are Sweet 100's (the best cherry tomato there ever was) and red romas. I like the firm, less juicy texture of roma tomatoes. And there are two yellow varieties: yellow romas; and yellow pear, which are a 'cherry' tomato that is yellow, and the smoothest, creamiest tomato you ever ate.
And Roy left the day before they ripened enough to pick. For all of the effort he put in, all of the work and all of the plans, he got one Sweet 100 tomato.
And it makes me sad.
Put all of this together, and the tears flow easily. His new life had f*cking well better be worth it.
But he was dying here. Year by year, he was more depressed and fatter. He needs to be the man of his own home, and have his own woman beside him. So he has grabbed what may be his last chance to restart his life, to recover his self-respect, to rebuild his health; and gone to Hawaii (Kauai).