457 days

it still feels like day 1.


I can feel it coming on now. So, I have some time to ‘prepare’ but, how do you really prepare for something when you have no idea what to expect? I knew Wednesday was going to be hard…so I was ready. The thing I didn’t plan on was it hitting me this morning. Hard.

I woke up dreaming about dinner in The Food Studio @ Kings Plow in Atlanta, the smells. the big open room, the old tall factory windows. It was July 2, 1999 we had just been to the Cher ’Believe’ tour. The first concert i had been to with Trey. Cher, and Cyndi Lauper. We thought Cher was retiring?!?!? It was my first trip to Atlanta, and my first and only experience on MARTA.

We stayed at the Wyndham Garden Inn in Midtown. It was brand new, and so super fancy…I felt out of place. That’s when I realized Trey liked nicer things. Man, was I in for a surprise - Trey and his travel habits…

We had such a great trip. I never did like midtown. That was my first ‘Gay Neighborhood’ experience. Not for me…Never understood the need to separate, and all group together. I always thought people learned and grew from their differences among other people. When you stick with people that all agree with you, and believe what you believe…then you get stuck in that. I think that’s probably the main thing that bonded Trey and I. Meeting people that Trey could argue with, and still respect. Trey LOVED to argue. He would almost always take the opposite view…just so he could debate.

We had the best weekend in Atlanta. That was the first of many many trips. Turns out this time of year was always busy busy for us. Family, Family, Family. Always this time of year.

Mom, and sister coming out…or just Sistergirl. Or Mom, and Larry. The entire Sheppard family vacation…Aunt Janet, Gram, and Grandad. The Gordons…it was always someone. And it was easily our favorite time of year…well except Christmas. But, summer was family. And cooking.

Always busy, always working on the house always In the process of getting it ready. Trey never complained…he loved entertaining, and showing off Charleston. And food. Good food.

My favorite times were always with the kids. The girls, and the Trip with Alicia, Kelcy, and Nick are stuck in my mind.

The girls were absolutely everything to Trey. Anything they wanted…he couldn’t say no. Ice cream party at midnight? Sure thing. Mac and cheese for breakfast? Sure. He loved those girls hard.

We of course did not have children. We did talk about adoption a lot, but we always had an excuse to not pursue it any farther…..always too busy. Next year…put a pin in it…

The year nick came out is probably the year we talked about it most. But, again we got scared/busy/Distracted.

I just remember Trey playing/teaching nick the building principles of building a tower…they built it for hours. Again and again and again. Playing with the farm/barn set we bought for nick on the den floor.

Teaching Harper how to Cook, specifically grill(she probably doesn’t recall anything) but she loved doing what uncle Trey was doing. He was the best with kids.

And that’s probably what gets me most. All the missed opportunities…we were so focused on work, work, work. We missed out on a lot, always waiting until everything was just perfect before we even started.

But, that’s just how it is. Work was our baby. It always was. It was needy, and needed all of our attention.

On one of those last days in March I had to ask Trey what he wanted me to do…Should I stay and run the business? Or what? He didn’t even think about it. He said RUN…Don’t get caught up in it…be happy, it’s too much stress. Run, and get out.

That’s the last we ever talked about it. And just thinking about that conversation Is hard. Really hard. In so many ways.

I don’t even know how I could have stayed, there’s no way. But, working was my life. It was everything. We woke up talking about work, and went to sleep taking about work for tomorrow. It was non stop. It’s who we were.

So, a year snd some months later - I’m still lost. Some days I just don’t know what to do. There’s so much I want to do, but also a lot I can not do. It’s frustrating. There are days I’m looking out the window and decide I need out of here, so I’ll get on the lap top to look for a job. And in about 1.2 seconds I remember why I can not. I can’t even see where the arrow indicator is to log in. And once I do find that I can’t read anything on the screen.

I have to look at my phone in a certain angle to be able to see anything. If it’s not on my phone I’m not looking. It’s so unbelievably frustrating.

That feeling of being useless is not a great feeling. Being trapped in the house all day I find myself looking out the windows a lot. Lost in my memories of a life that was ... Trying to figure out a life that is, I just can’t sit around doing nothing, looking out the window, or cutting grass.


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