More than a year has passed since I returned home from the trip to scatter Diane’s ashes at Mirror Lake, then began writing the story of our life together. That trip defined the end of my former life. I have begun a new journey. This time I share the camper only with Heidi. Plato is gone, relieved from his awful pain from a suffocating illness. I miss him, but Heidi keeps me company. She has her own health problem, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Someday it may take her life, or maybe she will live a normal life span. It is hard to predict, since we don’t know when her disease began. For now, she is here, I love her and she loves me. That’s all we need.
Heidi and I will travel west to meet a friend in Michigan, then meander together north along the coast of Lake Michigan, experiencing new terrain, new sights, and a new friendship—a radical departure from the life I lived for the last six years, increasingly isolated and weighted down by responsibility and an intolerable future.
A year and a half has passed since Diane died from advanced dementia. In that time I have done little to change my home from what it was while she lived. I don’t know how this trip may change that; I don’t even know how long it will last. I am making a leap of faith into unknown possibilities, hoping that it will bring me into a new relationship with my life. Bear with me and see how it unfolds.