Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This is a post that I made a year ago.  It feels right to reprise it today.  

Shortly after my daughters had done me the favor of removing all of Gwen's belongings from our home, I found a drawer they had forgotten to empty. The drawer was filled with undergarments. Most of them were "everyday"undies. However, way down on the bottom of the drawer were two pair of black silk panties.

Others who have suffered the loss of a loved one have told me about how it's often the discovery of little things that make it so difficult to adjust to the "new normal" of living without the normalcy provided by one who died. 

Gwen and I were both born and raised in the U. P. It goes without saying that a proper "Yooper Woman" wouldn't wear those black, silk panties on just any occasion. They were meant for special events, as I allude to in the poem. And, I, a "Yooper Man" to the core, understood that better than anyone. It is the reminders of those special events that comprised our life together that now conspire to prevent me from dashing headlong into whatever the "new normal" is to become for me. As far as I'm concerned, the "old normal" was just fine--at least for a while longer.


Black silk panties
with frilly lace around the edges,
how they teased and pleased me
on those special times she wore them,
birthdays, anniversaries, nights out,
a hotel room in Las Vegas.

Now they lie in a box
there on the closet floor
so out place, on their bed
of white cotton underpants,
like the living among the dead.
And they tease me still.

John A. Bayerl
December 16, 2010

While there is the risk that special things with their special meanings will keep me tied to the past and prevent me from becoming the strong, centered person Gwen asked me to be after she was gone; I know that I will get to that point eventually. As I've told my children; it will take as long as it takes. Meanwhile, I find great delight and no harm in enjoying the teasing reminders of my perfect partner that I happen to encounter. I believe them to be messages from her.

This morning I drove to a charter school in Pontiac and observed a student teacher doing a superb job of teaching fifth-grade students how to do long division.  On the way home, an hour drive, I found myself feeling that lonesome longing for Gwen that occurs for no apparent reason.  

In the afternoon I got to the gym, something my body has been telling me I need to do.  I feel so much better when those endorphins start circulating.

You are very much with me today, Dear.

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