October 12, 2016

imperfections

Throughout our thirteen years of marriage, I used to get annoyed at the imperfections in my husband.

As time went on, I seemed to notice more and more of them.

Now, as I lie alone in bed at 4 am, all I can remember are my own imperfections.

The times when I was impatient. Unfair. Misplaced my anger.

All too late, I’ve been reminded of one of life’s quiet truths - you can’t change other people, nor are you responsible for their behaviors and actions. At the end of the day, all you can change is yourself. Your actions. Your responses. Your character.

Self, stop trying to change other people. Let’s work on you. On kindness. On patience. On grace - shall we?

Sigh…

Starting over in life isn’t an easy task. Neither is it a particularly gentle process.

We’ve been thrust into a world I was not prepared enter. This world is messy and rocky and often times I’ve felt like I’m failing at every single thing I try to do.

Life isn’t fair. I vividly remember my dad telling me that with a shrug when I was growing up. I never realized how painfully true those words are until the moment I had to say goodbye to my husband.

Life isn’t fair.

It isn’t easy. Or predictable. Or laid out in a neat little package.

Life is something else, something unexpected and complicated.

And here we are, starting plumb over.

It kind of feels like we just watched a really great movie, and then it ended. And you don’t know what’s going to happen next, but you hope they make a sequel.

I wish there was a script we could follow. I need a line prompt right about now…

I feel caught in a world where, even though I’m “doing well,” I’m an absolute mess. On the outside I smile and say, “we’re doing fine, thank you for asking.” I appear to have showered, and my children are relatively clean.

But on the inside, I don’t want to talk to people. Even my closest friends wouldn’t hear from me if they didn’t call me. I can see how easily it would be to close up inside myself and never open up again.

I loved him, and he died.

These other people I love, what if they die too? I don’t think my heart could handle it. It’s too risky. Better to let a little distance in to buffer the potential pain…

What a painful life we live.

If I didn’t have the hope in a life to come, a life without pain and death and tears, I don’t know how I’d make it through this life.

But just because something is painful doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

Knowing what I know now, I’d marry that boy all over again.

Only this time, I’d be a little more gentle when I felt injustice had been done. I’d be more patient. I’d be more adventurous and do more of the things he wanted to do.

I’d kiss him more. I’d communicate better. I wouldn’t have any regrets.

Instead of getting to have my love story with my husband over again, I have a whole life to live without him. Maybe slowly, I can be more adventurous. And communicate better. And live without regrets.

As for the kissing…

It’s a hard thing to imagine anyone else’s lips right now. And I’m good with that.

Back to the starting over bit - we live in a RV-turned-tiny-house. The idea was to go wherever the wind took us. But as it turns out, there was just a gentle breeze and we didn’t go very far. For the first time since 2016 began, we’re starting to feel a little settled. A little stability. Weekend trips have been fun, but it’s nice to just be settled a bit.

Our grand plans of grand trips - it just feels a little hard and a little lonely right now. So we’re just going to hang out here till the wind picks up.

The children are growing. The pup is growing. The kittens have turned into cats. Life just has this funny way of going on, even if you don’t want it to.

As life goes on, hope goes on. Love goes on…

I never wrote thank-you cards. If you were wondering if yours got lost, it didn’t. It’s still in the box. I addressed them and sobbed over them. It feels like it’s the last thing to do. The final item on the list. Once I write thank-you cards, it’s over.

Please be patient if I hang onto them for a little while longer. I haven’t forgotten your generosity. Your kind words did not go unread. Your thoughtful gesture was not unnoticed.

Grief is just a funny thing. It doesn’t make the most sense or is always logical.

Please know, dear friends, that I am grateful for you. For the words and notes and kindness. My aloofness is a protective layer.

I think that someday I’ll shed that layer and emerge from the pit I’ve landed in. Until then, we would love your prayers. If you want to go on an RV adventure with us, we’d love your company. And if you don’t mind that I might not remember when the last time we showered was, we’d love your hugs.

3 comments:

TN Quiltbug said...

Praying for you this morning. . . Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your heart!

patti said...

Ohhhh, Know you're loved---showered or not!!! Peeps would understand if you never sent those cards out---hold them close to you until---and then, do whatever. Now is time to do what YOU need for your own heart and soul, not for others. Well, except for those darlin' kiddos of yours and your huge puppy. Sheeeeesh. Take what ya need from life 'n love, and God fills in all the rest. Just for you, because He loves 'n understands you so...

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