A Gentle Soul


Last night, for the first time in 16 months, I dreamed of Shel’s death. It wasn’t his actual death, in that inscrutable way of dreams, but another death. What I dreamed was that moment of leaving, that stark knowing that I’d never see him again. Perhaps I whimpered in my sleep, I don’t know.

What I do know is that this sweet three pounds of feathery fluff, who’s only lived with us for two days and hasn’t yet revealed his name, came to me at that moment, climbed onto my chest, just over my heart, and settled in to purr. And when I opened my eyes to look at him, tears that I hadn’t know were there slid slowly down my cheeks, and he patted my face very gently.

It’s a week now since I left my old life, my Shel life. I’ve worked on the crush pad, driven two forklifts, worked in the tasting room. Today I’m going to meet some new people and play boules. I’m well and truly gone from the world Shel and I shared, which in a way is like having him die all over again. I hadn’t expected this grief, because this is the new life I spun for myself out of the merest wisps of hope, the life I chose, the life that seems to be the very best life I can live at this moment. But still, in starting over I left him behind, in a profound way that still fills my eyes to overflowing.

And now I have a kitten who might read my heart. I love Toby, but he’s not an empathetic cat, doesn’t notice how I’m feeling. It’s one of the hardest things, to lose the one who always knows how you feel. Of course, a kitten and a husband are not the same thing, but maybe, just maybe, now I have someone to pat my cheek if I whimper in the night.

Explore posts in the same categories: Becoming A Winemaker

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5 Comments on “A Gentle Soul”

  1. Barbara Jacquin Says:

    You’re both lucky to find each other at the right moment.

  2. Marcy Buchab Says:

    Love this vignette. I love cats and kittens. But ever so hard to travel now that I have 11-year old Ricecake, since April 1, 2014. Compliments of friends of my daughter and son-in-law. The USAF couple with two girls were moving to Jordan and could not take this Turkish Angora, with one blue eye and one green eye. She is extremely loving and likes to pat my face with her clawless paws. She sleeps in my bed most nights, but on my loud snoring nights, she moves to another venue!!! So happy you have a new furry friend to join you and your older furry friend!

  3. Marcy Buchan Says:

    I misspelled my own name and do not know how to fix it, Abra! Met you a few Thanksgivings ago in La Calmette!!!

  4. Byron Warner Says:

    It is not supposed to ever go away.

  5. Nancy Says:

    It’s difficult to stay open, once one fully grasps what it is to be vulnerable. Not only do you continue to risk, to stay open, to keep loving and living – but you also do it in public, for all the world to see. How I admire your courage and your example!

    …and I’m very glad you’ve found a new empathetic cat companion. He looks like a sweetheart!

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