The Ring

As he slid the metallic, hollow circle over my knuckle, I was surprised how comfortable it felt on a finger which had been naked for so long.  Thin band of white gold with a solitaire in the center.  Had time passed so quickly since David died, or was I just really ready to take this step?  Four years is an eternity to sleep alone after being together for what felt like a lifetime…but maybe seventeen years is just a drop in the bucket of lifetimes…?

“How does it feel?”

I looked up from watching the light catch the facets of the diamond and into his eyes, realizing I was probably lost in thought again.  I really didn’t mean to be so distracted.  He was so gentle, so caring.  So different from David in stature and mannerisms, but so similar in personality.  Perhaps that was the attraction.  That, and the children seemed amenable to him.

After David’s death, I invested the insurance money, bought a house, and worked on web designing and social media marketing to make ends meet.  I resisted the desire to date, the desire for touch, the desire for noise in the quiet of my bedroom without the snoring sound David once made while lost in dreams.

Sometimes, in that same quiet of night, I would scream silently into a pillow…David’s pillow.

On the year anniversary of his death, I threw it out with the trash.  Not that I didn’t want to remember him…but I always said that a year was long enough to mourn.

My body felt it, too.  I would watch sappy rom-coms to feel connected to love, to life, to relationships.  But I wanted touch.  I wanted my bed to be warm during the cold Wisconsin winters.  I wanted someone to take my hand as we walked into a store together.

And, he had done those things…except for the bed.  My bed is still cold.  We agreed, because of the children, to wait.  I wanted them to continue their moral education, and no matter how much I longed for him, we set boundaries.  And I knew I would never forgive myself if I crossed them.

“Babe?”

I had done it again…wandered in and out of thoughts, of memories.  I wondered, if I am creating a new reality with him, here, now, why can’t I get my mind out of the past?  The feelings flooded more freely lately, like a deluge of emotion I never saw swimming in a sea of obligatory, perfunctory actions.

But this was right.  I knew it.

And as I looked up at him again, I said, “Right.  It feels right.”

Forgive and…forget?

I’ve been pondering the gift of forgiveness lately…and one morning lately, I wondered if “true” forgiveness involves actually forgetting the wrongdoing (or whatever action called for forgiveness).  Can you forgive and still hurt inside your heart?…or inside your head?  Can you remember the pain and still consider yourself to have forgiven those around you?  Do you try to remember and hang on to what hurt you, like tying a ribbon around your finger?

I don’t have answers yet, but I certainly welcome your thoughts.

As always, sending hugs your way.

Feelings…

I was a bit startled when I typed the title into the little box above where I am writing now that I had this flashback to the movie Big, where Tom Hanks (as the “big,” grown-up character of himself has to sing, “Feelings” for his mother in order to prove to her that her son is indeed okay).  Aren’t minds peculiar sometimes?

Through last week’s trauma experience (I use that term a little loosely–as in the experience was not life-threatening but indeed traumatic for me and our son and our family), I have remembered how I have dealt with trauma in the past:  I go into this place of numbness.  I shut down my feelings.  I think I’ve been practicing this behavior for many years.  And, I think the root of the feeling is fear.

Well–I would like to report a breakthrough.  Are you ready?  I’m not sure I am…but here I share anyway!

I allowed myself to feel.  I allowed myself to share with others my fear.  And I allowed myself to share my experience with others.

On Wednesday, (surgery day), I sat in the waiting room with a buzzer (similar to the one you may receive while waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant) for a moment without phone or book or watching the television on the wall.  I just sat still and processed the last few days, prayed a bit, and felt.  I took deep breaths.

And I started to cry.  My eyes welled up (though I didn’t let tears fall…I’m not that uninhibited…yet), and I felt the fear and the hope and the trust that all would work out for the best.

And, I’m happy to say that so far, it has.

Hugs!

Why is it so hard to hit “Publish” today?

(First, I have to say that the spacing of writing poetry on WordPress is too spaced for my taste; I prefer my lines more compact.  I have no other complaints with the format of the blog, though (other than I sometimes have trouble embedding media).  Maybe someone out there knows a solution to my spacing and media formatting issues they could share? 🙂  Second, I am stalling because I haven’t shared poetry publicly for years. Literally. I barely even write it anymore unless an image or mood strikes.  (I did try my hand at a little spoken word poetry after listening to Sarah Kay’s TED Talk, but that’s for another day.)  Anyway, here is a little piece I wrote the other morning about 2 a.m.)

Darkness to Light

 

Sometimes our toes mingle

At the appropriately named foot

Of the bed we’ve shared for almost a decade

They brush together,

Like timid fingers on a first date

Intertwining over cuticles, around layers of polish, and rough spots which were once smooth.

I love this choreography we perform each night between sheets which push down our feet, when toes sometimes join to fight the oppressive force of the mighty panel of white fabric (tucked in a hospital corner, of course).

When light streams through the window, the dance of eventide ends, and

Toes once bound by proximity are released to their own ends of socks, clogs, flip-flops, boots, running shoes.  (Most of the time I prefer mine bare.)

Still, when the darkness returns, they find each other again, like lovers after a long separation

Where they again intertwine as if on the first night oh-so-long-ago….

 

Someone once asked, “When your lover dies, what will you miss most?”

Myriad answers filled the air: his smile, her hair, his hands everywhere.

I shrugged to speak my answer, but I find it every night when he is gone.

I would miss his toes intertwining with mine, dancing this dance between panels of white.

Who will help me greet the morning if he is no longer here?

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

So, I read this morning about the break-up of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez…and his comments which basically said that he had no idea what was going on in his life.  Now, I generally find much better things to do with my time than to follow the ins and outs of celebrity relationships (which, quite frankly, I think should be minimized in the media if publicized at all), but I am often puzzled by what makes relationships work and not; I am also fascinated at how a relationship between two people can have such far-reaching effects–even through generations–and how the day-to-day choices that pull a couple together or pull them farther apart are really just that, choices.

I know within my own marriage relationship, I make a choice each day whether I’m in it with all my heart.  Some days, when I do put all my heart into loving and helping my husband and our children, I feel like the pay-off of growth and happiness and joy within our home is so worth the work, effort, and sacrifice.  Other days–those self-absorbed, me-minded days–you know the ones I’m talking about–I find the discord in our home to be a broad sea that I’m floating in, having left my oar ashore.  I know I need to do something to get back to that sea of tranquility that brings me those peaceful, happy moments–but what?!?!?!?!

Actually, many answers occur to me–forgiveness (being at the forefront), trying to find something my husband did for which I am grateful, or remembering why I fell in love with him (or why I married him, etc.) helps.  I have also found that when I put his needs above my own, and when he does the same for me, that we are able to connect in ways that we don’t otherwise.  He helps me; I help him.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But in the quest for “finding ourselves,” sometimes we lose this ever-important piece of our life’s puzzle.

So, not just in marriage or motherhood or fatherhood or dating–but in all relationships, if we as individuals would work to put a little more love in our hearts and worry more about others than we worry about ourselves, the world could be a much better place.