Last Night I Lost My Husband

In a crowd of thousands, I was helpless, unable to move. Jim, my love and companion for 33 years, was gone. And rarely have I felt more alone.

We went downtown for the soul music festival. Icon Buddy Guy was to perform as the headliner of the evening. The weather clear, the air silky on my skin. Bass thundered, echoing in the canyon of buildings. People stood or sat listening, bobbing their heads with the music. Those moving wound their way slowly, snakelike in the cool of evening.

The intersection was blocked, stage to the north, canvas sling seats filling the space south of it. Some concession tents and the “beer garden” took up much of Iowa Avenue to the east. We got blocked trying to move through, to find our friends. A two-step here, a triple-step there, not in keeping with the music… We dodged others as we moved.

Jim got caught. I side-stepped the blockage and kept moving, him behind me at that point. I stopped a few feet away, when I reached the corner. I stood next to a man so I wasn’t in the way, and looked down or around or … something. When I looked back, Jim was gone. He’d passed me and I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t see him crossing the street, and I couldn’t see him going down the sidewalk. He was just gone.

I waited but kept looking, and started to feel a little panicky. Nothing too bad would happen — I knew where we parked our car and in the worst case I could just go back there and wait for him. But I still couldn’t see him. I thought about how we never take our cell phones when we’re together, because we’re together, so we don’t need them. So I couldn’t call him or text him.

Helpless, I waited a few minutes, just looking for him.

All of a sudden he was with me. He’d thought I was right behind him, and then I disappeared from view. So he stopped to wait for me. He hadn’t followed me at all.

We were only a few feet from each other, but there were so many people we couldn’t see each other.

Losing him, even in such an innocuous way, rattled me. It was a vision of aloneness I’ve no wish to recreate.

We’re home. We’re fine. I lost him, but he found me. And we’re where we belong. Together.

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8 thoughts on “Last Night I Lost My Husband

  1. Gayle Ledyard

    Melaine I too know that feeling..it happens more than I care to think about. In our case we do carry our cell phones…just in case. Sometimes though my husband doesn’t hear his phone or feel its vibration in his pocket…so I usually have to search for him. In a crowded mall or store it happens. Its such a relief to be rejoined.

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      It is a relief. I was surprised how upsetting I found it to be separated. We are not phone people in general, and we usually don’t carry them. All the less reason, it seems, to carry them when together. From now on we’ll either have them or make a plan for where to meet, if we do get pulled apart. Often we do that, but it didn’t occur to us last night.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  2. Jim in IA

    I ought to write my own version of this. I couldn’t figure out why you were taking so long to catch up to me. What seemed like a long time probably wasn’t. I’m glad we got back together right away. 🙂

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  3. shoreacres

    Once upon a time, a very long time ago, I was in the northern California redwood groves with a friend. Given the size of the trees and his personality, he thought it would be great fun to pop behind a tree and disappear while I wasn’t looking.

    He did, and it was the most disorienting feeling in the world. The great irony is that in my situation there wasn’t a single other person within who knows what distance, but the feeling was so sharp I still can experience it. It was like the axis of the world shifted.

    Glad your separation was short!

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      I understand that disorientation. It was the oddest feeling, especially since later I could visualize exactly what happened, when he lost sight of ME. And if I could have seen that then, I would have gone back to him. But it was as if my ability to solve problems evaporated as quickly as he did!

      Thanks for stopping by today. I wish you a beautiful day.

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    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Free therapy is good! I’m glad you had a chance to stop by. It was kind of upsetting at the time. I am a little anxious about loss these days, so it bothered me more than otherwise warranted, perhaps.

      Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day!

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