Writing a Blog, Thinking of Loss & Someone New

Writing a Blog, Thinking of Loss & Someone New

One month ago today I launched this website and blog for my late husband’s memoir – his life in the Czech resistance during World War II and the Cold War.  It was May 11, Charles’ birthday – a magnificent “opening day.”

I couldn’t help thinking – what am I getting myself into? Everyone said I had to have this site and blog as part of the platform for Charles’ book.  I decided I better do it. I even took a blogging class and a website webinar. My plan was in place, but I put off starting it – finding numerous reasons to wait like “Who’s going to want to read what I’m writing? I didn’t write the book, Charles did. I’m getting older and tire more easily. I’m just one person. How will I find the time and the energy to keep with all of this, etc.? It takes me hours to write a paragraph.”

But once I started I got into it. I really surprised myself. In fact, just last week as I was in the midst of writing blog #4 my older sister called from New York. “Do you know what day

Heydrich’s death mask, photo – Holocaust Research Project

today is?” she asked. Well of course, I knew what day it was, but how did she know it was the 70th anniversary of Reinhard Heydrich’s death?  Had I already told her what I was writing about? I didn’t remember doing that. I hadn’t talked to her about the blog so how could she possibly know what I was writing about?

I responded with great authority, “Of course, I know what day it is. It’s June 4th, the 70th anniversary of the death of Reinhard Heydrich, Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. He died eight days after the assassination attempt on his life by members of the Czech Resistance. Strangely, he died of blood poisoning from the . . .” Suddenly my sister blurted out:  “No, it’s not – it’s the anniversary of the day you first met Charles!” Her words jolted me and I burst into tears. I was so involved in getting the blog out I hadn’t taken the time to think about one of the best events that had ever occurred (at least to me) on that June day.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you, Sandy,” my sister said apologetically. Her husband had died two years before Charles. She understood my response.

“No, that’s ok – I’m just grateful that you remembered,” I replied and continued.  “But we didn’t actually meet in person.  We met on the phone.  It was at 8:30 am – the day I had to take Phebe, [my dear blue merle collie] to be euthanized which was actually June 5th.” My ex-husband and I had

A blue merle collie like Phebe, AKC photo

maintained joint custody of our dog for four years. Phebe had been staying with me and had recently suffered severe seizures. The veterinarian wasn’t hopeful for her recovery. My ex and I crouched quietly over Phebe stroking her soft, multi-colored fur, saying our goodbyes.   Suddenly the telephone rang. I thought of not answering it, but something made me think it was important. I picked up the receiver and was greeted by an unfamiliar male voice with a captivating accent. He immediately introduced himself as Charles Novacek.  Aha, I thought. It’s the man our mutual matchmaker /artist friends Lula and Electra had put in touch with me. He was a widower seeking a companion/travel partner/muse.  Charles had asked the two women to help find him a match based on specifications he provided. They did their research and gave him a list. I was Charles’ first choice out of the three options he was given.

I was intrigued and wanted to talk with Charles, but not at that time, so I promptly explained to him what was going on with my dog. He gently responded that he had recently lost his dog Silva, then quickly asked me when I would return so he could call back. Thinking he was being a little pushy and needing to leave I responded I would be spending the day with my parents and wouldn’t be home until late.

“What time would that be?” Charles asked.

“I don’t know,”  I responded slightly annoyed. About 9 or 10 pm.

“I’ll call you at nine o’clock, Sandy.”

I could have gotten more annoyed, but the truth is the way he said my name melted me. I asked myself if it was possible to be sad and happy at the same time. It was.


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