I've titled this post, Woodswoman, because the book, written by one of my favorite authors, Anne LaBastille, is sitting open beside me on my bed and has been for many days. I know in my heart Kevin will help guide me but I have had so much chaos and so much pain it's hard to feel it right now and it's also almost impossible to focus. But I was guided to pull out that book.

I've read all of her books, she's inspired me in a lot of ways, like a lot of strong women have, but it's lying open beside me because along with A Sand County Almanac, it's the first book, or item, Kevin ever gave me. He gave it to me because he saw my pioneer spirit and my heart, and we shared the same dreams. Even though the story is a womans, it inspired him after his divorce, after his health difficulties, and career change because of them. It was a difficult time in his life, before he ended up at this farm, with new dreams, new goals. He thought he had nothing left and he told me it was one of the books that reminded him to have courage and to also, follow your heart and dreams.

I expressed to Kevin when we first met, even though our courtship was an odd one because of our age difference that I truly believed following your heart was the MOST important thing in life. And I still know that. If I had not followed my heart and and had listened to society or other people I would have not taken a big chance moving to this remote farm with a man 3 decades older than me. I would have never experienced the unconditional love and partnership we shared.

I honestly cannot thank everyone enough for the out pouring of support and love and while I am surprised at the same time I am not because I know there are many very beautiful and honest people in the world. Your simple messages of support and prayer have had me in tears.

This last entire week has been brutal for a multitude of reasons, the main and first being loosing my husband completely unexpectedly. I thought we had got him to the hospital in time as did all of the Doctors originally working on him, and it was all such a shock I'm still not even sure what has happened to me most moments of the day. That night my sister took me to emergency because my eyes had swollen shut from crying, but we were concerned since I have an inflammatory disease it might have been part of it. The Dr that first saw Kevin before we went to the Kingston cardiac unit was there and she broke down and cried with me, she said this was not supposed to happen.

I can barely think about it because I have little time to grieve right now and realizing that he is actually gone from me, physically, is at this time too much for me to process. I loved that man and we spent every moment of every day for the last 10 1/2 years together. This farm was our life, it was me, him, the animals, and our work and dreams here, that was all that mattered. We had started to wonder about a lot of things with me continuing to be sick but we were on the right path to healing we believed and were starting to hope and dream for our future again. 

I am not the type of person to ask for help, I have always been very independent before and even with Kevin, except that with Kevin we have been a team. I also know I am a very strong, probably a whole lot stronger than I believe but right now it's hard to know or be that woman. But she has not abandoned me. 

But the reality is it's almost winter. This is the FIRST winter we have no fire wood prepared, none. Kevin had been waiting for help to come but also for the cooler weather when it's better and easier to work in the bush. And on top of that he has spent the past few weeks trying to fix our mule (ATV) which needed major work. He's had it torn apart and he's been working on it for weeks but was working on it even the day before he passed and was making progress. But it's not been usable and it's our main logging vehicle next to the tractor for both the winch and carrying firewood. 

I have a mile long drive way that I need to plow. I can do a lot of things on this farm myself, as I have worked side by side with Kevin for many years. But my health is not a helpful factor at this time AT ALL. I need to get through the winter. And aside from chores, I have my animals, OUR animals, who need me as usual and things are right now, a mess. I have many things to try and organize, process, and deal with, and all I want is first off, the man I love back. But secondly, to sit and allow myself to grieve. But I cannot right now, I have lives depending on me and this farm and while I cannot see the future I need to focus on the immident needs of the short term.

Jim is still here and still able to help. I'm not sure what I'd do without him, but the reality is, Jim is also a dependent/responsibility of mine. He is a friend, first, and he's been helping us a lot, but I also am responsible and need to care for him. 

The only other thing I have felt guided to do in the past week, was write today. It's all Kevin ever wanted me to do, write the blog, write books. He loved it, he knew what it meant to me and he always encouraged it in me from the very early days of our friendship. I haven't been able to really write in a while and I can barely find words to my friends right now most of the time but after another sleepless night, I thought of writing and when I started, it poured out of me in a way I did not even expect right now. I hope this makes sense, I'm not spell checking, I'm not rereading to make sure I've used all proper English as I always do, I'm letting my heart guide me because it's never, NEVER, lead me astray and neither has Kevin.

I am so beyond grateful for every single moment I had with him, good and bad. We had a total partnership, and we knew at no time would either of us abandon the other. Through sickness, health, the easy times and hard, neither of us feared the other would give up. That's not something that most people ever get to experience in life. I had the best. I'm grateful, I'm fortunate. I don't have the words.

He opened my car door for me ALWAYS. he helped me put my coat on, he loaded groceries in the car because he wanted me to sit inside and be warm. These things are so stupid as they run through my mind but this was my man, he wanted nothing more than to make life safe, comforting. And with him, safety was never an issue. I always knew I was safe and he always told me, relax in it now because someday you will be on your own, and I know you'll be strong, but it won't be the same. He told me that so very many times. Rest in my arms, in the comfort that I am protecting you from the entire world because someday you will face it without me.

But I also know he prepared me in ways that I don't even know yet. I know our partnership has not come to an end, it has just changed from one form, into another.

I know these things, and I remind myself a thousand times.

But still all I want is him back in my arms. 


jody said…
I have not and I cannot stop thinking about you Donna your partnership with Kevin is a love story and it will always be. with how lucky you have been to have him with you and he will continue to be there like you said. I have found that the only way is to go day by day focus on today and not tomorrow although I know that's hard when you have so many other responsibilities but for now try to just take it day by day Donna and think about yourself and your grief..sending lots of thoughts and prayers always thank you so much for sharing my blog friend..
WendyFromNY said…
Anne LaBastille! I loved her books! My mother got me interested. It was a connection between her and I, so lovely that it was a connection between you and Kevin. My first husband died suddenly when he was only 42, leaving me with our 8 year old daughter at thirty five years old. I remember the limbo I was in, but having a child kept me focused. The love you shared gives you strength to carry on. Many hearts are feeling your pain and wishing the very best for you. I fervently hope the GO FUND ME account gathers steam and carries you through these early days. Prayers for you.
Idaho PugRanch said…
We heard of your loss through blogger friends and stopped by to leave our sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved husband
hugs and prayers
Idaho PugRanch
Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel
Mom Linda
Cathy said…
Oh Donna.... I can't even find words right now so I will just tell you that I am so, so sorry that you are going through this now. I can't even imagine the broken pieces of your heart. Thank you for writing to us, your readers.

With great compassion,
Cathy in Florida.
Cathy said…
Oh Donna.... I can't even find words right now so I will just tell you that I am so, so sorry that you are going through this now. I can't even imagine the broken pieces of your heart. Thank you for writing to us, your readers.

With great compassion,
Cathy in Florida.
Dee said…
Cannot begin to understand your grief. I am so sorry for your loss.
Primitive Stars said…
My heart hurts for you my friend, prayers and big hugs,Francine.
Joanie Houston said…
My darling Baby Girl, Donna Jean. My heart is breaking for you for the second time in my life.
First when we lost your wonderful Mother, Bev., my good friend. Hence I became your MaJo. I told your Mom on her death bed that I would always be here for you, and I am.

I wish I could come over and help you, but as you know, I'm fairly crippled and would be more a hinderence than a help. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and I love you my Baby Girl.

Love and God Bless Always: - MaJo
O'Quilts said…
I am shocked for you. Though,death is always a shock... that nasty death. I remember a bit back how you comforted me on the death of my man 6 months ago of ALS...WE never thought at that time, that you too, would feel such loss.. So much is out of our control. Grief takes us on an unforgettable ride...and as I have been told, we are never strong until we have to be. My heart is with you. xxoo from Charlotte, North Carolina
We are still holding you in our thoughts.. and circling you with our love,, even if it is from a distance.
tweedles and moms
I just found your blog today. I am very moved by your words and so sorry for your pain.
The JR said…
I'm broken hearted for you. Men like Kevin are rare. He was very special.
Lola Enchanted said…
This post has made me very emotional for you... I couldn't imagine losing my spouse and to have all the animals depending on you has got to be hard. I wouldn't even want to get out of bed let alone take care of others. Your a strong girl, Kevin is with you try to trust and believe in that. I do hope your ok, And I'm so very sorry for your loss. I'll be checking in on ya from time to time..... Wish I could help you, sending hugs and prayers to you...
Terra said…
I thought I already left a comment. Your love story is so strong and now you have so much to do, with grieving, and with the animals to care for and your own health needs. Kevin sounds like he was a true gentleman. Sending you prayers and hugs.
LoriU said…
I am so so sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine. Praying for you.

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