I hope that we can be together on our upcoming anniversary. It will be 9 years. I’m sorry I couldn’t say yes to him five years ago when he asked. I told him I’d love him forever, just never ask me to get married. But he did. I said yes because I truly do want to marry him but– he knows I can’t.
It’s because I never wanted to get divorced again. I didn’t want it the first time – even though I asked for it. I knew by then it was over and the only thing to do. We had been friends then, my ex and I, not wanting the bitter divorces we saw around us. We had two kids to raise, albeit now from separate homes. It didn’t matter in the long run though as the rancor rose up between us anyway.
Life is difficult to navigate on one’s own. It can be scary, so very scary. I miss his laughter, the songs he fills the house with and the aromas that waffed from the kitchen when he cooks. It’s only been 5 days but it will be at least another two weeks before we can be reunited. The pandemic – the virus making its way through society. We got seperated – everyday family challenges tearing us apart. Figuratively and literally. We were supposed to be together – safe on our mountain like we have been living for the last four years. We weren’t supposed to be apart right now.
When we said goodbye, I knew there could be a chance that was the last time I would feel his touch, smell his scent. I pray not. I pray everyday that he remains healthy. This invisible killer amongst us and he is so far away right now. Out in the Petri dish. I’ll make it through by myself but I hope he is able to come back to me, to come back to our home. Our story isn’t over.
Something is missing since we’ve been apart A part is missing Something has been lost and I thought it was you Since you’ve been gone I thought that piece was you A part of me has been missing I truly thought it was you But when I look at it closely it was a part […]
Post I wrote but never published from June 2012: Welcome and forgive my absence, as usual a lot has been happening around here. Life is constantly throwing things at you just when you think you’re at the finish line – an obstacle gets thrown up in front of you. It’s June and graduation season is here and in ten days my son will be graduating from high school. It’s been a long, hard road at times. The finish line was clearly in sight, he had just a few weeks and he would be done. All it took was an unfortunate push from behind during a lacrosse game while he was coming out from the goal resulting in a torn ACL needing surgery to make the sprint to the finish line more of a hurtle. The surgery was 9 days ago but it feels like its been a month. The first week, twenty four hours a day his knee has been on ice requiring me to fill up the ice machine multiple times a day and once during the overnight. He had to be given medication as well on top of having to use a CPM (continuous Passive Motion) machine for 6 hours a day. It’s been hard to do anything around here to say the least. Since the surgery I have only been out once and that was with him to go to the physical therapist. He still has to finish his senior project, a photography portfolio of his work in order to graduate which is due next week. His prom is next week too. He did the same thing to his leg last year but earlier in the season. This kid has been injured every single year of high school playing lacrosse. The first two years it was concussions. The second concussion was so severe he was out of school for 24 days and had headaches for months before finally disappearing altogether.
I reread the post above which I never published at the time for reasons I don’t remember and I get knot in my stomach. Eight days ago I received a phone call from Nick, my son who is now a freshman at Ithaca College. I had just finished a long relaxing bath after my metal sculpting class (washing is required afterwards since I look like I’ve been down in the coal mines). My cell phone went off around 2pm but I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t pick up. It was Nick, he sounded upset and scared. He said he had been in an accident snowboarding. My first thought – his knees and did he hit his head. It was difficult to understand him a little – his breathing was labored which I figured was from him being so emotional. He tells me he thinks he dislocated his shoulder or something – I relax. Dislocated shoulder, not problem we’ve dealt with much worse. I tell him everything will be okay and that he should keep me posted and that I’d call his Dad who was also in Vermont at the time. He said okay and hung up.
It was long before he called again and said that the EMTs at the base lodge told him he didn’t have a dislocated shoulder and recommended that he get x-rays at the hospital. Since I was no where near Nick and I was getting the information via text message and poor-cell connected short calls, my concern level wasn’t tremendously high at this point. Nick has complained in a text about waiting with all the other morons in the emergency room and how he just wanted to go an hang with his friends. I was afraid he’d leave if the wait was too long. I was in bed watching TV when he finally called me again. He put the doctor on the phone who proceeded to tell me that Nicholas punctured his lung, bruised his kidney and could have a hairline fracture in one of his lower lumbar vertebrae. He recommended that Nick stay the night in the hospital although he said that Nick wanted to go back the condo and stay with his friends and just rest. It was at the time I had my boyfriend who is training to be an EMT who told me that the doctor couldn’t force Nick to stay their legally – all he could do was urge Nick to stay. “Put Nick back on” were my next words. He was scared and didn’t want to be alone in the hospital. I told him had to stay – it had become clear he had suffered a traumatic impact – that I’d get his father to get down there as quickly as possible – but he had to stay with the doctors. I was relieved when he finally agreed.
Some people rely on the groundhog to predict spring – we have Nick’s annual injury which seems to have become our own personal indicator of spring. However, so much has change in our household since Nick’s first injuries in high school. Nick is in college – struggling to find his way through making the transition from living at home to living at college and being responsible for one’s self. I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man who I’ve known for 25 years. We will celebrate our second anniversary of being together in May and has lived with us for the last 18 months or so. We also started a new business together, Homegrown Harvest where we help people grow their own vegetables by installing pre-seeded and planted raised bed and container gardens for them. My daughter has been on her own journey throughout the years. 17 now, she is a junior in high school who has been on her own journey of self discovery. Another story for another blog entry, I’m sure.
Change happens in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it happens fast and sometimes its gradual. It can be painful. But overall change is good, it means your life isn’t stagnant. Life should be like a flowing river – at times there maybe rapids and it gets narrow and rocky. Other times it flows slower, calmer and stretches out comfortably. Either way the river is in constant motion. Sometimes in life we don’t always feel like we are making forward progression that we may have taken a few steps backwards from time to time. That’s life on the river – it can sometimes lead you down a false tributary that leads to an end where the waters lay stagnant. It’s your decision to get out and find the right path though. Sure it will take a lot of effort and energy at first as you have to work your way through the marshes and blaze your trail back where you eventually find the waters flowing again and lift you along with them. Just remember you are the one steering the boat. You are the one making the decisions to set a new course – to make that change despite how difficult it may be.
My brother taught me this lesson when I was 25 years old and engaged to someone I realized was not the right person for me in the long run and I felt trapped and scared and alone. Some of this may have been because I was drunk off my ass when I had this epiphany in the bathroom of my godparents’ house as my future in-laws and my fiance’s two brothers were showing up to meet my parents and family for the first time. I was in there for 3 hours terrified to come out. I eventually let me best friend in and my sister in law in. After many hours I emerged from the bathroom and hid in my cousin’s room where my brother gave me I have dubbed “The Path Talk”. He was the one who told me the story of being on a path in life and discovering it wasn’t the path. He said when that happens you can always change paths but sometimes you may have to get your machete out and blaze a new trail to a new path and that can get messy and take a lot of effort but in the end you will find a clear path for yourself. I have lived by these words over the years and found them to be some of the greatest words to live by.
I’ve been reading a bunch of stuff lately about various people’s life stories. Yesterday I finished reading a novel by yet another of my incredibly gifted old classmates, Kim Green entitled, hallucination. Its touching story about a woman’s life journey flows effortlessly off the pages, or in my case my Kindle screen.
In some ways, I could relate to main character, Morgan, she too attended an upper east side private girls school. Originally I thought that would be all I would share with this character when I was first introduced to her. But as got to know her more through this beautiful story I discovered we share a love of dancing, music, travel, children and writing. I don’t share her struggles however I, too have gone through my own failed marriage and deal with my own dysfunctional family.
I understand what’s it like to begin a life with someone – a life with so much hope for the future, just to watch it disintegrate despite your best efforts. One person can not save a marriage. A marriage is an intimate relationship which when one partner ceases to be involved in the caring, communicating and nurturing – it falls apart. This need for communicating is not reserved simply for preserving relationships of husbands and wives.
I have a brother who lives in New York City who I only see on the occasional holiday now. We used to very close as kids but our busy life paths took us very far apart and unfortunately have kept us that way – at least for now. We hardly talk on any sort of regular basis. Matter of fact, its been so long that to pick up the phone would be weird. Plus who ever knows when its a good time to talk. So a few months ago I decided to start sending the occasional text to see if I could break the ice and get the conversation flowing again. It’s kind of working I guess – there has been some exchange – a step in the right direction considering we didn’t have even that before. So I’ll take it as a positive.
The need for communicating between family members is as important in maintaining those relationships as it is with your friends. I have a friend who if I want to hear from her I have to initiate the call. This has gone on for years and years because I let it. But she has shunned the electronic world and my best efforts to get together, so we don’t talk so much anymore unfortunately. I don’t enjoy talking on the phone too much. I find it difficult to single-handedly multitask during a busy day. If the conversation is long my elbow gets stiff and aches the rest of the day. I still ache from my 45 minutes phone conversation I had with my sister six hours ago! If its not face-to face, my main form of communicating with people is via text or chat behind one of our word or dice games we play on our phones.
Some people were hesitant to get on board with email and now they hate texting or don’t know how to do it, or they don’t do social networking. To each their own but I couldn’t do it. My son is in college and he calls me weekly. His phone conversation skills are improving. We text each other intermittently and we also follow each other on Facebook and Instagram. I am part of his conversation with the “social world”.
I find having an ongoing dialogue important particularly with my children. This can get difficult as grow up, go to college and eventually leave home and start their own family. If this is their way of communicating, I must join in. Recently as we were preparing for Hurricane Sandy, I started a family group text which included my parents, siblings and a sister-in-law to make it easier to stay in touch in case anyone lost phones and power. Everyone in the family who lives Connecticut lost power whereas the New York contingency didn’t. My parents liked the intermittent exchanges of stray comments and photos they asked us to keep the conversation going after the power outages were over. They said they left more a part of our daily lives and less isolated. As a parent of a child who lives away at college I have a better understanding of this now.
In Kim’s book, Morgan’s father repeatedly pleads for his daughter’s attention demanding more frequent phone calls as her life path takes her across the country away from him and the home she grew up in. That’s our role in life as parents, to raise our children so they an stand on their own two feet and start their own families. It’s just as parents we’d like to hear from our all too busy children from time to time. So if that’s a quick text, then so be it. The conversation still continues at least, even if in short snippets.
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” Winnie the Pooh
It’s been almost 18 years since I was single and a part of the dating scene. But having dipped my toe back into the sea recently, I am reminded the more things change, the more they stay the same. When I was younger I didn’t date a whole lot per se. I had a lot of friends who were guys and in college for the most part was “one of the guys” as most of my friends I hung out with were guys. My more intimate experience with men ranges from 4 serious relationships (one of which was a 13 yr marriage with 2 children) mixed in with 5 shorter flings, so to speak. Not a whole lot for a 44 yr old. Since my divorce, without dating I’ve somehow managed to have sex at once a year, except this year I doubled that. Sadly a much better average than during the last 8 years of my marriage. Thank god for friends with benefits – a relationship which for me definitely has its place. Meeting new people is more of a challenge and takes a lot more energy. What’s changed – Today people have their choice of online dating, 10-minute dating etc…all very different than the methods of the 80’s and 90’s. What’s the same is how people act when they first meet and get to know each other initially which at times can be pretty stupid. What’s changed is the amount of baggage you bring to a relationship at 44 vs. 18-25. What’s the same is the exhilarating feeling it is to have someone show an interest in you despite the baggage. I struggle with the idea of wanting to find a more permanent companion and rationalize reasons to not look right now. I think about my teenage children who within the next 5 years will be off to college and then I will be completely alone. With that thought in mind, I take the time out to appreciate the moments I have with my kids and try to be more receptive to idea of meeting someone new. After all who wouldn’t want to find someone to be able to share their heart, their love, and their world. I have to remind myself to simply put one foot in front of the other as I re-enter the mystical sea which is said to have plenty of fish in. I remember the first time I saw the ocean, the waters were so rough and went as far as the eye could see. Growing up amongst the giant skyscapers of NYC with weekends in the country surrounded by NE’s canopy of trees, the sight of the endless horizon view the sea offered was amazing to me. I thought it was magical. The thought of going in frightening. Now as I stare out at the open waters once again before me, the same scared feelings arise from within. But I’m going to try to take a deep breath and try to take one cautious step at a time.