Tom often called me his "silly mouse". It would mean nothing to anyone but us. And it did have great meaning.
I collect mice. Any kind but alive. It started with a character I created during the time we were pastors in Connecticut. Melvin was our 'church mouse'. He came out at night and added stories and notes for the church newsletter. He spoke about his wife, Melsa, and their many children. Melvin said many things that needed to be said. He was so good at it. The only time I ever felt free was when I was Melvin.
I have never been good at social things. Jokes were not in my repertoire. Social events were my nightmare - and I was a pastor's wife. It seems that I can't say the right things. I say something - knowing what I mean - and it is taken another way. People aren't in my head. They only see the outside. The outside was my discomfort being in public.
Melvin had no such problems. Melvin could tell jokes, preach, teach, and laugh. Tom understood me. In the privacy of our home - I could be funny, laugh, tell jokes, sing, act, just generally be goofy. I was his Silly Mouse. He was my pastor, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, and the rock that made life doable.
Tom is gone. But the silly mouse is still here. I have found her coming out more in public. I am having to create a new self since mine was so interwoven with Tom's. I am incorporating Melvin into the new me. We shall see who/what I turn out to be.