Me, alone. Life after loss.
The gumbo pots would come out for Christmas, as he cooked for family and friends. His gumbo was something you would not soon forget. He truly expressed his love for me, for family, for friends in his cooking.
And he loved people. He would talk to everyone, in stores, supermarkets, elevators, the DMV. Often, I must admit, while I stood there, anxious to get going.
When his friend Bob had a serious stroke and it was touch and go, Errol spent hours with Bob's girlfriend, now wife, on the phone. Then Errol fixed up a house for Bob so he could sell it, even though he wasn't feeling well himself. Now his gift comes back to me. Bob and his wife keep in touch and are concerned about how I'm doing. They have become friends now.
He had courage too, on so many levels. Once he crawled into a burning house and rescued two old men, but maybe I already told you about that. And sailing with him was always crazy -- water on the glass, which means the boat is listing toward the water, and you're holding on.
He loved his dogs, cats, and birds, and couldn't pass up an animal in need. Of course he wasn't perfect and we were very different in temperament, but as we got older we really came together in a beautiful and meaningful way.
I haven't posted a picture of Errol because he was, as he said, "old school," and didn't want to be found on the Internet. He even made his nephew take down a family photo that included him. So I haven't, but I think I can now, one from a bit of a distance, one where he stands on his land, so happy then, with his arm outstretched. He always did that in pictures. I have so many of them, arms outstretched, ready for a hug, with a big smile.
A happy day in the fall of 2005. My favorite picture of my love.
A few weeks ago, I realized that this year will have a happy ending, after all. I, who was often impatient with Errol when he took time to talk to strangers, to kid around with people, am now doing it myself and enjoying it. I'm laughing more, Mary has been so wonderful for that. And I'm cooking too, something I never really enjoyed, and now I love it. And it's good, the food I cook is really good! Imagine that!
Errol left a legacy for me: Be more open, laugh more, meet more people, learn about them, cook, hug dogs, and love life. How I wish I could thank him for it.
Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin
great tribute to your husband. we both used the word zest. congrats, you did great on the challengeReplyDelete
This post has me smiling with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful tribute to him and to the strong woman that you are. If it wasn't for this blog I never would have known.ReplyDelete
Hi Inger - such a wonderful post for you and Errol and your life ... beautiful - and it's so good to read a little more about Errol, then to see his photo - I can understand the 'old school' ... and how lovely life seems to be coming together for you ... and you've learnt your lessons from your beloved.ReplyDelete
That's brilliant to be zestful and happily enjoying what the zoo of life offers us ... wonderful words, delightful thoughts ... and many congratulations on finishing the A-Z and for actually doing the A-Z ... I'm sure as you said, it'll have given you an outlet and led you forward into this coming year ... with many thoughts and hugs - Hilary
You ARE thanking Errol for it, Inger! By sharing your world and all the good you both had/have to offer is "sharing it" ! Oh I know what you truly mean but surly this is so very special for you and us to see and experience your TRUE LOVE, ERROL!ReplyDelete
Massive hugs from far away but hey we could be very close really!
Maybe the end of 'A to Z' but the beginning of a 'new' life for you, Inger. Errol, I am sure, is smiling.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this incredible journey here.
Errol looks like he was a warm, loving and compassionate man. You were both fortunate to have found one another.
Now....what's for supper!?!
Good morning Inger!ReplyDelete
So beautiful tribute and words to your dear husband Errol and also of your life with him!
Love your words about Errol's legacy for you: "Be more open, laugh more, meet more people, learn about them, cook, hug dogs, and love life." I am very sure you thank him for all this, Inger!
Very beautiful and expressive Errol's picture with his arms outstretched!
What a wonderful man. So sorry for your loss. It's so obvious he loved you, people and life. So glad he passed those things on to you. What a gift! I am a new follower.ReplyDelete
I have often thought about how wonderful it would have been to have met Errol (and you, in person). Thanks for this post. I feel like I know him a bit better now. He certainly was an amazing man!!ReplyDelete
What a suitable finale for this exercise. I hope you feel better after working it out from A to Z.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful man your Erroll was! You can tell from his kind face even if you never said a word! That was a nice tribute to him.ReplyDelete
You described the Errol Bud & I knew perfectly. The night he passed we thawed out his gumbo for dinner in his honor. We miss him mostly in our hearts but also in our stomachs!!ReplyDelete
I am so happy you posted a picture of Errol! I can now put that face to the memories you have created for me. He is a 'beautiful' man, Inger. You were a lucky lady!! And from how you described him in this post I know he and my Richard would have gotten along. That is exactly how Richard was. However, Richard didn't make gumbo! Keep laughing and living, my friend!!ReplyDelete
Oh, he knows.ReplyDelete
You have painted such a wonderful word picture of Errol, one that comes to life on the page. Love that picture and his wide open welcoming stance. You found a treasure in him as he found one in you. Wonderful job on A to Z. This had to have been cathartic for you as you took us on your journey. Very well done.ReplyDelete
You have painted a beautiful picture of Errol with your words. I had to laugh at the part about him talking to people and you anxious to go -- that is very much Brett and I. The man could talk to a brick, I swear.ReplyDelete
From each person we meet in life, we take something away that they have taught us. You are luckier than most in that Errol gave you many things to help you survive when he wasn't there. Love that photo of him you shared with us. Thanks for allowing us to see the happy man you loved. This theme has warmed all our hearts, Inger and made us see the lovely person you are, too.ReplyDelete
Your A - Z has been wonderful, Inger. A great journey and a great tribute. Thank you for sharing it.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful man you got to share part of your life with. So many happy memories. : )ReplyDelete
A great picture!!
You are thanking him for it now. He knows. He lives on inside of you- your heart.ReplyDelete
this was such a fabulous post to honor your wonderful, life-filled, love-filled man. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for this - It's such a great post - and demonstrates for me the saying "May his memory be a blessing . . " - You've shown me how this becomes true . . . sending you love . . and gratitude . . .ReplyDelete
Inger thank you for sharing Errol with all of us. HUGS HUGS BReplyDelete
You are indeed a fortunate lady! Such a wonderful life you shared with Errol and such a wonderful man. In the end it's alway quality, not quantity and that you two had for sure.ReplyDelete
a beautiful post. celebrating life itself.ReplyDelete
he surely would be smiling that smile of his now. even in seeing his picture here!
i lost my own beloved bob to cancer many years ago now. and he is with me still.
life can find its own joy again. bless you.
this is a really awesome and inspiring tribute to the love of your life... he was amazing and oh so handsome to... i share his trait of talking to strangers but not the cooking gene... you were truly blessed to have him in your life. and it is good news you are talking and getting out. and have all these fond memoriesReplyDelete
Inger, you could not have ended this challenge more beautifully.ReplyDelete
He sounds like a good fellow. You are a lucky Lady to have had such a good husband.ReplyDelete
I know this was a trying challenge, fraught with difficulty and pain, Inger, but all of us who have visited are the better for it. Earl has now touched a world of people in warmth and love thanks to you. How pleased he would be to now have a multitude of new friends from former strangers! This was a lovely series of posts, Inger. I am so happy that you are my friend, RolandReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing the picture of Errol. His spirit and love of life shine through ...ReplyDelete
This is a wonderful tribute to Errol. Obviously he lived a meaningful life, full of zest.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the completion of the A-Z challenge :) and your post was heartwarming as always. How beautiful that you are embracing the legacy that he left for you!ReplyDelete
This was an incredible memory of Errol. Just slice of Errol's legacy to all around him open of a magnificent world he shared with all around him. Such a blessing!ReplyDelete