I Waited 30 Years for Deep and Loyal Love

I did, I waited 30 years and I kissed a lot of toads and married a couple too.

This morning a friend sent me a text and it touched my heart because she has known me for that same amount of time and she really liked Larry.

This is what she wrote:

Just finished your wonderful book. Most people in life will never experience the love you had with Larry, may his memories warm your heart and lead you through. I am so proud of you. I love you and please keep writing.

Here I am writing and yes, there are more books. What she doesn’t know, what most people do not know is that it was 2 years ago today that I honored Larry’s advanced directives and had him removed from the ventilator and moved to hospice.

In the greater scheme of things, I don’t know if the day he stroked was the worst day of my life or if going with him to hospice was. We had carried hope in our hearts for 10 days and removing him from the ventilator meant all hope was gone.

I wrote in my book about those 30 years I looked for deep and abiding loyal love.

Chapter 24 is titled “Superlove” and begins with this quote:

“And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, ‘Oh, there

you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.’ ”

Unknown

To explain it I am sharing part of that chapter here today to honor Larry and the depth of his love for me.

When we met, I was intrigued. I liked him. I could tell he was one of the good guys, white hat, white bandana, and a white horse. However, a spark was missing.

The truth is that I wasn’t allowing the spark to light the fire that would result in smoldering embers of true love because along the way I had been damaged enough to believe I did not deserve what was standing right in front of me.

I was broken. I felt unworthy.

Then one day it hit me that Larry was everything I had been looking for in a life partner. I had asked God to send me the gift of a man I could rely on, a man I could trust with my heart, a man who would always take care of me, and there he was.

I had been having problems making the leap from hoping I would find someone to believing I had found someone. I had a duel going on inside my heart and my head between the words hope and faith.

I had been hoping all those years, and hoping led me right to Larry. I almost did not see that hope and become faith until I heard my therapist’s words from five years ago. That was the kick in the ass I needed.

Hope when you reduce it down to its simplest definition is a feeling of expectation. We all say that we hope something will happen.

Faith, though, is different; it is belief and trust that it will happen.

There is a difference. Once I learned it, I could see how it physically manifested itself in my life. Hope would make me think Oh please, oh please, oh please, and I could see myself popping a sweat. Faith is a way of believing that something can happen in the future.

Faith whispered in my ear, It is here now. Faith gives you relief because you realize everything happened just the way you had hoped. Faith cannot exist without hope.

I had hoped for years that a man of Larry’s caliber would fall into my life, and through the miracle of technology and online dating services, it all came together.

Thirty years. It took 30 years, and we only had 20 years to explore every nuance of what made us both so special to each other.

Thirty years of mistakes.

Thirty years of unhappiness.

Thirty years of loneliness.

Thirty years of tears.

I was done, despite those who wanted to make me all undone for one night, or one week, and leave me in a crumpled mess on the floor.

My energy was gone, spent by those who did not want to stay, and just when I felt used up, the man I called a beast found me. He was captivated, mystified, and intrigued, as if I were the finest wine he had ever brought to his lips and had until now, never tasted.

He got down on the floor with me. All the love he had longed for encircled him like a ring of fire, and eventually that ring of fire surrounded me, and we could see forever in each other’s eyes.

Loving each other was better than anything or anyone who had come before. His forever ended, leaving me to lie on the floor where the rings of fire had once burned extinguished by my tears.

My beloved husband, Lawrence F. Sanek.

5/14/46—3/3/19 he lived his dash very well.

As I read these words today I know in my heart he was worth waiting for, and we had 20+ wonderful years and I am so grateful he loved me. I am so grateful we found each other. I miss him with every beat of my heart and I love him more than ever with every day.

Thank you for reading this today.

Often
Fractured Pieces

2 Years Feel Like 20

2 years feel like 20 is where I am when I travel back in time to 2019. Why does it feel like 20? Why? Why? Why?

How can it be this long already?

Just the other day I put a post on “Mourning Thoughts” my new daily thoughts about grief and not just the grief from a husband or wife dying. There are many other reasons people grieve and I wrote about those reasons for a magazine this month that can be found here soon: http://www.brainzmagazine.com/

I am also working on the outline for the next book and most of it has already been written. It will be tedious at first for me to work on because I have to go back through 2 years of morning posts I wrote on Facebook and organize them into a book about strength.

A friend suggested it recently and I smiled because I already had the idea and it will be implemented soon.

2 years. 2 years ago doctors were not being honest with us. They were telling us he was making improvements. They built our hopes up daily until one day they just signed off his case without saying a GD word to me. They walked off and explained nothing. I hated them then, I still hate what they did to this day.

When I talk about moving from Florida to SC I say it was due to all the memories. That is not 100% true. It is also because I couldn’t stand to see TV ads for that hospital. I couldn’t stand to drive past that hospital. I changed doctors because my doctor’s office was across the street from that hospital.

4 years ago a surgical error changed Larry’s heart and his life. I am glad I left Tampa.

My wonderful loving husband’s life was changed and shortened and the surgeon who made the mistake admitted it to me. He whispered it in my ear that he was to blame after he repaired the mistake.

Yes, 2 years feels like 20.

Your Own Best Friend

One of the most difficult things I have found here in the wilderness of my grief is when a grief bomb explodes and scatters shards of desperation in every direction.

There is nowhere to hide, nowhere to take cover and no warning that this is about to happen, it just happens.

When Larry first died I changed my Facebook settings to disallow memories to show up because those photos are always going to cause a cascade of reactions that no one can just wish away.

No, we are hit with them and many times we feel we have nowhere to turn for help. It is so difficult to call a friend or family member (again) and ask them to listen to what just happened.

It is a conundrum.

Our friends and family may not even pick up the phone because we may have tired them out. In my world, I don’t want to bother anyone. Sharing my emotional pain may make me feel better but I just made someone else feel frustrated.

This is when we need to become our own best friends. You can do it, I have done it.

When the bomb explodes concentrate on your breathing and slow it down. Follow this with affirmative statements about how far you have come. I tell myself “Carole, you’ve got this.” It works almost all the time.

I was interviewed for a podcast show today and the topic of dogs came up in our discussion and the host could hear the tears in my voice as I spoke about the day I took my precious little Willie to the vet clinic knowing I would be coming home alone. There are so many photos of her on my phone, on social media, and in frames throughout my home. Some people would think it is just a dog, but no. Willie was the last anchor to Larry. She was my adorable little Bichon with one eye. My heart is still broken over her death.

Grief is the opposite of love so yes seeing photos of her always hurt and probably always will.

I look at her photos and remind myself how much she was loved and she knew it. Then I tell myself she is sitting on Larry’s lap and they are eating ice cream together just like they always did, and I smile.

With this pandemic we are called upon even more to be our own best friends. It is not easy, I know, but we can do it.