Fucking Warrior Goddess. That's the term I came up with as I began my travels after my husband's death. I don't even consider it a swear word. For me it's a reminder that I can and I must and I will, live each day without him fiercely and in an uncompromising manner.
My career in hospice bereavement support, back before Chuck and I began our adventure, culminated in the founding of Tapestries of Hope, a south central NJ non-profit dedicated to women grieving the death of their moms or mother figures. In May 2009 I turned Tapestries over to a friend so that Chuck and I could go out on the road together. Initially we thought to find a place to settle down, but 3 months into it, we decided we were having way too much fun...so we drove on. We spent our last 4 years together on the open road, calling ourselves Happily Homeless; traveling America, gathering stories and growing our love story. We danced our last dance in Death Valley.
Our life together ended way too quickly on April 21, 2013 when my beloved husband died of cancer, following a 3 week illness. Prior to his death I told him I planned to continue living on the road and that I'd paint my car pink, so that he could find me out here somewhere. I'll be looking for you, was his response. So, here I am, full-timing on the road, and each night I rest my head on a pillow that's in my comfy bed in my T@b Teardrop trailer, purchased after his death. The trim is painted in pink, and I tow it in my equally pink car. The color is customized and named Chuck’s Watchin’ Over Me. To give you courage to return to the road on your own, said Anthony, who created the color for me. Now Chuck will always be around you. In the months following Chuck's death, I shaved my head and donned invisible armor (that appears very pink to the outside world), didn't flinch through 3 tattoos, and I set out on this Odyssey of Love, honoring Chuck's final request to scatter his cremains at his favorite places, and, in so doing, creating this new life without him. In my old life, I'd never camped and never towed but you know what? I'm doing a kick-ass job on both. I'm fearless and determined, and his absence from my life pulses through me with every heartbeat but I believe in the magic of love, and I dare you to open your own heart to what life can offer even after devastating loss.
It’s nothin’ but Love. Every day. Every mile. Every hug I receive and every hug I give.