Sunday, December 10, 2006

In Mourning, Among Her Souvenirs

My first wife, as I have always reminded her she is, is in the hospital, and has not been home for over eight weeks. She has had many ongoing medical conditions, from hereditary thyroid deficiency to Type 2 diabetes. Her heart efficiency is about 30% after a heart attack in October, and now her blood sugar levels call for monitoring and readily available insulin. And what can I say about myself other than that I am in mourning?

Here I am, in a home where I am surrounded by her choices of nearly everything I look at. As you come in the front door, a lovely big bowl of fake flowers greets you, and the walls have her framed selections, some of family memories. In the off-kitchen eating area &mdash as we have eliminated a definite dining room &mdash the wall decorations range from extremely good to great, and the junk in the adjoining kitchen is definitely OK. In short, Margaret Hilda MacLeod Crowdis, my present wife, is just everywhere.

In the middle of the night, I am careful when I get up for drainage purposes, so as not to disturb her who is not there. In the morning, I always come downstairs early to read the papers, and can't help thinking about her preferences for breakfast. Since I am almost 93, what do you think I think of during those early hours but the future, and what on earth (good expression) I can do about it?

Between missing Margie, and wondering when we will again share the same residence, I am simply reduced to this: I am in mourning among her souvenirs.

74 Comments:

At 8:52 PM, Blogger JMH said...

You are a good man.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger Peg said...

You are indeed a very clever man with words. I will remember for a long time, "In mourning, among her souvenirs". I am younger than you, Don, but I am a breast cancer survivor, and it has occured to me from time to time - what will my family think of me when I am not there? What will they think when they see what I kept as precious to me, but not to them? Will they look at my picture and think kindly of me? Guess we won't know, as we will be otherwise engaged!

 
At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Mary-Heather said...

Don, I'll say prayers for your first wife to come home, soon, and be with you (and her souveniers).

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger MyMaracas said...

Though we don't know each other, I wish there were something I could do to comfort you, Don ... a smile or a hug, perhaps a mug of tea. I'm sorry you are in such pain. Here's wishing your wife a speedy recovery and a joyous return.

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger slightlyfleury said...

Mmm, nearly unbearable sweetness. Best wishes from another Haligonian. Take care of yourself, as well as your one and only!

 
At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don, my heart is broken for your sorrow. There is nothing more important than my companionship with my husband. Although still in young age, it wrenches my heart to think of unthinkable. Through these painful thoughts,I learnt to think different. Think about how well everything will be and how things are going to be good.
Please know that I am also praying for her speedy recovery and return. I will imagine you and you beloved one together as always, although I have never seen you and your family.
Take good care of yourself, so you can enjoy her return.

Sally

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Dana Huff said...

I'm sorry to hear Margie is not well. I am at a loss as to what to say, except perhaps that you and Margie will be in my thoughts and I wish you the best.

 
At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Ook said...

Don,

I will keep you and Margie in my prayers. Post some updates. Thank goodness you've created so much for yourselves.

P.S. Halifax is such a beautiful name. Befitting the city from the images I've found. Where does it come from?

--
freeman

 
At 1:03 AM, Anonymous antonio de la peña said...

My best wishes to you and Margie. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

 
At 4:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don, I'll be thinking good thoughts for Margie, and for you. I'll look forward to hearing of her return home, as well.

--Mykal

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Miscellany Miss said...

Amazing how community springs from nothing more than words in the ether. I've never met you, and likely never will. I have Canadian friends who know your name ... but it was new to me.

And yet I am fighting tears (I'm at work, or I'd let them come), and I know that I will offer up prayers for both you and Margie.

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Bev Sykes said...

I'm so sorry that you both are enduring this separation. She must be a very special woman.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Buffalo said...

It must be very difficult for you. May you be infused with strength and peace.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Francis Shanahan said...

Don, you are the man. This blog is just a treasure, packed with wisdom, humor and sentiment. I would never presume to offer you advice but I always find life's problems easier to deal with when there is some tangible action I can take. In those early morning hours, I encourage you to write your wife a note, perhaps even a letter. If nothing else than to document your lives together. (my wife and I dated long distance for 2+ years so we have lots of old notes to one another). Do you have any children? They will treasure such an item in years to come. It will surely lift her spirits and give you something to do rather than become despondent.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger Mad Munkey said...

Don - rather than mourning, why not revel in the wonderful environment she created for the two of you? I love the idea that Francis wrote. Perhaps you can combine the two.

I've spent a lot of time of late wondering if I'm ever going to reach your age. I can only hope I do and that I have someone that special to share the journey with.

Rest assured you not alone, just apart temporarily.

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

you and margie are most certainly in my prayers. i hope her souveniers will give you comfort in the memories that you have made together over the years.

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger THE Michael said...

No need for mourning, my friend; even now you are both in transition, walking your place on the wheel of life, retrospective of all that came before and preparing for that which comes after. She will never leave you in spirit, and if she proceeds you into the next great experience, know that she will patiently await your own time, for summerland knows no time, only being where you need to be. My thoughts go out to both of you, and thank you so very much for sharing with us, even the pain.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Shandi said...

You are a living example to me of what is important in life and the wonderous capacity people have to love so deeply. I hope I am as loved as she so obviously is. You're in my thoughts.

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

You're in my thoughts Don ....
both of you.

Peace.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger NoirKat said...

Don, I cannot imagine the depth of loss you are facing. My heart aches for you and your wife.
I would wish the two of you yet many a happy year spent together ... among her souvenirs.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger I_Wonder said...

Don, I hurt because you hurt even though I can't imagine the depth of your mourning. Peace to you.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and touching tribute to your wife. Our thoughts go with you. May you find peace and strength in the comfort of friends and strangers alike.

magdala~

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger James Shott said...

This must be an enormously difficult time for you, Don. I pray your pain will be lifted and Margie will be back at home soon.

Until then, seek solace from your good friends. They are always there when you need them.

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous selkie said...

Don, Buffalo told us about your wonderful writings some time ago and although I haven't left a comment before, I have enjoyed them immsensely. I can only imagine how bleak it must feel for you - I have been my beloved D. only 35 years ... and the thought of not having him there freezes me ... my heart is with you and your beloved.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don
How hard it must be for you........please know that many hearts are with you.

m

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will leave my quiet prayers for both you and Marg... Your entry today is a wonderful testament to the life you share and the love you have.....

may god grant you peace...

sheila

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Dodge said...

Hold up big man. Margie will pull through for you. You are such a good man. Stay strong and keep smiling :D

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger watcher said...

my very best wishes that her return to health is quick... she has someone wonderful waiting at home.

 
At 6:48 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Don, I am sad, and deeply affected by your post. You and Margie do not deserve this, I hope that you are both soon reunited under one roof again. I live alone now that my Pat has gone, and it really is a lonely life, even though her things are still around me. I sincerely hope that you can both enjoy each others company for a long time yet.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger whitesnake said...

My mum passed away some 20 years ago.
To this day and mainly at this time of year I miss her the most.
I take comfort in the fact that the only souveniers she left me were my brothers and sister.

As I look at them I see the many facets of my mother and that gives me some comfort.

Treasure the things around you, remember the good times, think of the time she put the flowers there and why, do this with all that she has placed about you.

It is truly a time to be grateful for not only what we have but what we had.

Take Care Digger

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks DOn for sharing your Heart.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Decio Biavati said...

I chopped some onions three hours ago, but somehow my eyes are wet again.
Tonight I will kiss my sleeping wife twice.

 
At 7:52 PM, Blogger Me said...

My thoughts are with you and your wife.

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger Darth F said...

So what do you guys all think is better blogs or custom built web sites? Doesn't it seem like all blogs are narrow down the center of the screen like a newspaper column? Does anyone besides me miss full page, full sized websites that don't feel all boxed in? I would like to take a poll and see what everyone thinks about this. I think it is possible to make a full screen blog that doesn't look bloated or stretched; check out my motorcycle helmet blog and see what you think. Is it too horrible and should I scrap it for an HTML site? Or does anyone know a better way to get the full sized look and feel from a blog in a better way? Am I the only one bothered by the narrow column looking blog sites popping up all over the web?

 
At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Claire said...

A hug.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May your present mourning become a brighter morning very soon.

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Dannster said...

You are a lucky, lucky man!
That kind of love just isn't something you can pick up off the store shelf.

 
At 4:49 AM, Anonymous mc said...

You and your wife are in my thoughts and I wish her the best. We should all be as lucky to be so loved through such beautiful words.

 
At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don, my heart goes out to you and your wife. I'm sure Margie thinks of you as well, and I wish you both whatever well I can.

I've linked you up, hope to hear more!

-Chad E
http://www.chaddavid.com

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous kentucky.shovelbum said...

your love shines through. love like that is rare these days. as you look around, try to let yourself remember what it was that made her "souvenirs" special enough that she surrounded the two of you with them. let the smile come, and know how glad she would be to know that she helped you to smile, even in this achingly tough time in your life together. my best wishes for you and your Margaret Hilda MacLeod Crowdis.

 
At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Magdelena said...

The grace and dignity of your words are sage reminders to us all to cherish those we hold dear. The momentos of a life are small and fragile, especially in the face of loss, yet your courage restores hope and demonstrates the true beauty of love.

I pray that one day very soon, you'll wake, and she will be there, sleeping peacefully beside you.

with my warmest wishes,

Magdelena

 
At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I amire your wisdom and courage.
marg ottawa

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Donald Crowdis said...

Thank you, everyone, for the overwhelming feedback. As the situation with Margie progresses, I will write about it in future articles.

Don

 
At 12:51 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Best wishes to you and your wife, Don.

 
At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don

man you just made me cry, but that's not bad

I was thinking about my Grandmother who passed away 10 years ago.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Icylyrics said...

Don, there is nothing more priceless than a precious memory. A heart that continues to beat with love, is one that beats with purpose. You and your beloved will be in my prayers.

rh

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger kenju said...

Don, I have just discovered your blog through the ageless project. I sincerely hope that Margie will come home to you before your birthday and Christmas, so that you can quit mourning and start celebrating her return, as well as your birthday and christmas.

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger Mayang said...

You both are in my thoughts and prayers. You are not alone, Don.

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope your wife gets well soon. It sounds like you two have made a wonderful life together.

 
At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rock on, grandpa. stay strong for your lady.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, it is now a scientific fact that prayer can enhance an ill person's return to health, if everyone who reads this post makes a prayer for Don and Margaret Hilda MacLeod Crowdis, maybe we'll get a Christmas miracle and Margie will return home to reside again with Don. It's worth a try!

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Katie said...

Dearest Don,

I stummbled onto this blog from reddit and I am so glad I did. My Grandfather recently lost his wife of over 55 years and me being 25 and only just starting out on the journey of life with a special person, I have had no insight into his grief. Thanks to your thoughtful writing I now have a better understanding of how he's feeling, thank you.

All the best to you and your wife, I hope that she gets better soon and you can resume your journey together.

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger lisa said...

Don:

I am lucky to have many more years with my “husband”, but I read your note and think of our lives together. Every night when I come home alone part of him is here with me, making me feel loved.
It is truly something special to be loved by another.

We do not know each other, but I have heard many great stories about yourself and your wife.
You and I have a family connection – my “husband” is Robin's Nephew – Stephen..what a great family!

I truly wish you all the best for both yourself and your wife.
Keep up the good work with the Blog...all my granny did was knit :)

 
At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is the definition of True Love--I send my best wishes to you and your beloved wife.

 
At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Noss said...

It's been a long time since I read something so absolutely poignant and beautiful as this entry.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Jan atherton said...

Don,

I was introduced to your blog by the "Up All Night" show on the BBC,tonight, you reminded me so much of someone I volunteer with,who is still full of curiosity and life,he's taken up jewellery making and enamelling recently.

This post really struck a cord for me I was at a recent exhibition about the Dalai Lama here in Chicago, there was an installation which was perhaps a dozen I pods in a circle in a room, they had interviewed a group of people who were talking about love,peace,the importance of compassion,caring for each other and hope,I became aware that many of the things that were being said were the same as what my Papa (Dad's Dad) had said to me and my husband before we had married,it was like he was there for me at that time even though it had been about 5 1/2 years since his passing. I came out of the venue crying...

My Grandma has continued to live in her own home since the death of my Papa,the alternatives - sheltered housing,or hospital are not for her,she seems comforted by those little touches of Papa around her,from the seats he made in the kitchen to the hothouse in the garden, she wants to go,as he did at home,she may need to keep those alternatives in mind,but she is determined to remain indipendant joining a local community group and visiting and receiving family again.

I hope that your wife does manage to come home again,my thoughts are with you both,

Love, Jan

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Jan atherton said...

Don,

I was introduced to your blog by the "Up All Night" show on the BBC,tonight, you reminded me so much of someone I volunteer with,who is still full of curiosity and life,he's taken up jewellery making and enamelling recently.

This post really struck a cord for me I was at a recent exhibition about the Dalai Lama here in Chicago, there was an installation which was perhaps a dozen I pods in a circle in a room, they had interviewed a group of people who were talking about love,peace,the importance of compassion,caring for each other and hope,I became aware that many of the things that were being said were the same as what my Papa (Dad's Dad) had said to me and my husband before we had married,it was like he was there for me at that time even though it had been about 5 1/2 years since his passing. I came out of the venue crying...

My Grandma has continued to live in her own home since the death of my Papa,the alternatives - sheltered housing,or hospital are not for her,she seems comforted by those little touches of Papa around her,from the seats he made in the kitchen to the hothouse in the garden, she wants to go,as he did at home,she may need to keep those alternatives in mind,but she is determined to remain indipendant joining a local community group and visiting and receiving family again.

I hope that your wife does manage to come home again,my thoughts are with you both,

Love, Jan

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when one feels boxed in by the miseries so prevalent in today's world, one comes across something so simply sweet that one's faith is restored. Thank you for that Don. You and your wife have made this world better.

 
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