I think I’ve figured out my sense of foreboding regarding our impending move to the “cold desert” and it was a dutch oven that made me realize what is happening.
Moving to a “cold desert” was the dream my fiancée and I shared.
The dutch oven was bought by my fiancee. We did a lot of tent camping (hauling it all in the car) and we wanted something more than just skillets to use on the Coleman stove. That was why the dutch oven came into my life.
The dutch oven was purchased from a “junque” (fancy name for junk) store for something like US$5. It had some surface rust, but was still smooth on all its surfaces–nothing that a bit if vinegar and seasoning wouldn’t fix–the bottom was flat, the lid fit tightly and there were no cracks in the cast iron.
The dutch oven was supposed to be a wedding gift to us, but it was given to me just before we left for the doctor’s office…where we found out that her cancer was “terminal”. The dutch oven ended up in a box at the very back of a shelf in the garage for seemingly “forever”. I was moving stuff in the garage when my daughter and wife found it. I told them the story about the dutch oven and my wife brought it in, saying it was a waste to not use it. I cleaned it up and have been using it on a daily basis since then.
Today I packed up the dutch oven into a very well padded box and I realized why I had the sense of foreboding.
My fiancee and I had goals that when achieved, would allow us to reach our dream. The dream was for her to have a pediatric medical practice in a small town in northern or eastern Arizona, anywhere in New Mexico, southern Utah or southern Colorado. These places are all in what I call the “cold desert”…the high desert.
My wife has always wanted to live in a small desert town that is not hot. It is essentially the same dream that my fiancee and I had. My wife and I, in about two weeks, will be achieving that dream.
Packing the dutch oven up made me realize that the move was reminding me of my fiancee, and this is something I try, very hard, to not dwell on. And, when I “overdo” it, I feel guilty because I don’t want my wife to compete with a ghost.
My fiancee was determined, almost desperate, that I “keep on keeping on” and continue to live my life. It took a while, but I did go on and I’m sure my fiancee would be both pleased and proud.
While I was packing the dutch oven, I realized that as long as I don’t compare the two people, and don’t continually do it, thinking about my fiancee is okay.
For what it is worth, thinking of my fiancee was actually helpful when my wife was undergoing surgery, chemo, and radiation for stage 3 breast cancer. I was able to draw upon my experiences with my fiancee to help my wife. If my fiancee could have communicated with me, I know she would have been proud of me.