Back to Square One
No one plans to become a widow at 46, now 47 years old. No, when you make it almost 21 years with the same person, despite all the terrible days and days you almost wish you never met them, you just assume you'll be with them until you die. In my case, I was with him until HE died. So he got he what he wanted. I was with him for the rest of his life.
So where does that leave me? I am almost at the six-month mark. On June 6, it will be six months. It doesn't seem like that much time has gone by, but at the same time, it feels like he's been gone forever. My life has changed so drastically in so many ways, but he stays with me. The feelings of love, the memories (both good and bad), the routines, the lifetime we shared together. It's all still there.
But now it's behind me.
The day he died, I came to a fork in the road that wasn't there before. I stayed for awhile, watching to see what happened next. I held on to the path behind me, trying as hard as I could to recapture the life I had that I can never have again. When I finally realized there was no way to get it back, I had to make a choice: Go backward and live in the past; remain stagnant; or forge a new path in a different direction, always having the option to revisit the past and remember.
At first, I walked slowly, almost on autopilot, because I really had no idea how to do it. For me, it wasn't something I had ever done before - lived life for myself. Until I was 18, it was parents guiding my life. At 18, I had a child, got married, had another child, became a single mom, then remarried, got three more kids, and then he died.
I think I've gotten the hang of it, though. Not only have I started walking faster, but I'm running. I'm blazing this new life for myself and re-inventing the person I once was, or maybe always have been.
Last night, while sitting out on my porch, I looked around at my beautiful home and property and felt so peaceful and happy. I was happy to be sitting there, on my porch, alone at dusk, listening to the sounds of spring, knowing that the reason I was there was because I fell in love with a man who brought me here, to Missouri, where I am meant to be. It is where I am happy, where my soul feels right.
At that moment, I felt so much love, so much happiness, that I actually cried tears of joy. Right away, I made sure to let Kayla and Sabrina (daughters from another mother) know that we need to make sure that no matter what, this property stays in the family, that we will not ever sell it, and that even if it is not used by family, that we vow to never sell it. They agreed that this was the right thing to do. We also decided to start a family history book to go along with the home so that anyone who follows behind us will know all who lived and loved here. Everyone!
The biggest thing that happened during my moment of joy yesterday was this: I accidentally referred to myself as "single." I was talking to a friend and told her, "You are the only other single person I know."
Once I realized what I had done, I stopped and thought about it. It isn't so much hearing it, but knowing what it means. Everyone says, "You know when it is your time." Does this mean it is my time? I think it does. I feel like I want to meet people and go out on dates and enjoy my life again.
Back to Square One. However, this person who is here is not the same one that was there before. I have a lifetime of knowledge, a plethora of wisdom, and more confidence than I've ever had. I know I have a long way to go to reach the goals I have for myself, but the point is, I am ready to live again. Really LIVE.
I have been exercising, losing weight, just passed my yellow belt test for karate, hiked 5 miles on a trail that only 2 or 3 months ago I could never make it a half a mile without losing my breath. I have a book in the works. I have summer plans to hang out with friends and family and grandkids. I have a reading list and a list of things I want to learn. I have home improvement projects that I want to tackle. All of this is how I am blazing my new trail.
Whatever that means to my future, I guess I'll find out as I go.