02 July 2006

After the rain has fallen...

"After the thunder's spoken,
After the lightning bolt's been hurled.
After the dream is broken, there'll
Still be love in the world." ~ Sting

Obviously, I am still in a "Sting state of mind..." - and that's, OK. :-)

It's been a long, emotional, challenging week but the good news is, we all survived! Of course, one could dwell on the negatives surrounding the big recent change, but why do that? I don't care much for negatives, so I choose not to go there.

The good things that happened between June 25 - July 3rd:

~ I received immeasurable love and support and good wishes from my family, my friends and even some people I have never met.

~ My family and even my animals surrounded me and made me feel safe, gave me courage and checked on me so much that I need never question if they love me. They made that abundantly clear.

~ My son and his girlfriend, Stephanie, prepared dinner for me! And then demanded I come and eat it and it was really good.

~ My daughter sent me funny text messages and called often. She also surprised me by announcing she was coming to visit in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to see her.

~ I was offered two new interesting writing assignments which should keep my mind occupied and out of places it doesn't need to go.

~ With Justin and Stephanie's help, we cleaned the aviary, culled the flock and it looks pretty awesome. I'm down to six birds, and so the upkeep will be much easier.

~ I cleaned my patio and my backyard now appears more like the private retreat its always resembled rather than the cluttered mess it became. We can open our blinds in the living room and see a beautiful sight and all of my father's great landscape work and a sparkling blue pool.

~ I finally dove in my pool for the first time this season. The water was great and it finally feels like summer. I only did about 100 flips. I thought I should pace myself, first time this season and all.

~ My friends have called and popped in for visits and it's been wonderful to sit in the backyard and drink a lot of iced tea and just talk.

~ I planted more flowers. I still love daisies most of all, but I'm expanding my horticultural horizons.

~ I fell asleep this past week before midnight - every single night.

~ I have received love and support from people I never thought would step in and offer me a hand.

~ Vanessa gave me a lift home the other night and now has no excuse not to come back for a long visit! Vanessa definitely keeps me in line. She may be tiny, but this is not a woman you would ever want to cross and I mean that in the best possible way.

Sometimes when I am about to do something really stupid or my mind becomes muddled, I swear I can see this one particular look (and perfect white teeth) she flashes in my general direction when I just know she's thinking, "What am I going to do with you?". Vanessa is no nonsense, practical, organized and such a great story teller! If I could only get her interested in computers and gadgets, she would be darn near perfect. When I speak of anything slightly hinting of electronics, is the only time I see her become confused and she behaves as if I am speaking in a foreign tongue. If you stay away from electronics, she is at the top of her game and a force to be reckoned with. I can see why Katie chose her as a "Second Mom" or, who knows, maybe I'm the "Second Mom" and Vanessa's "Chief Cook and Hairdresser"!

~ My friends at work have decided I need a pool soiree and they have decided it will be "pot-luck". They prefer that I only provide the tea and the pool - two things I can manage without making anyone sick.

~ I sat outside and looked at the stars for the first time in ages. I even made a few wishes.

~ I'm eating very healthy and enjoying it.

~ I'm revisiting things I used to enjoy, and discovering that I still do.

~ So many times this week when I was bordering on a "low", teary moment, something, or someone, materialized out of the blue to lighten my mood and reconfirm my resolve - so often that I don't believe for one-second that any of it has been coincidence.

~ Vanessa made me REALLY blond in an effort to insure that I don't think too much. But before the peroxide touched my hair...

~ I successfully worked a five-star Sudoku!!!!!!

~ I have spent more time outside and less time in my office.

~ I've been diving into books recently purchased, and there is nothing like becoming lost within a Nathaniel Philbrick story. I'm reading his latest offering, "Mayflower". It's fascinating.

~ I've hung new photos in my office.

~ Thanks to Vanessa and Joe, I may have found a slightly used VW Bug.

~ At the end of a difficult week, as crazy as it may sound, I feel unexpected peace and a sense of purpose - two things I hadn't felt in much too long.

Of course, its been a difficult week. It had to be - a marriage breaking up is no easy ride. There have been a few moments that I have felt lost, scared, disoriented, and just plain confused. I know that's expected and I also know that, with time, it will pass. But I also feel a strength I didn't even know I had and I don't think I've done anything completely crazy this past week. There are reminders all over the place and it is sad. I will be coming up on what I had hoped would be a happy first anniversary and that loss stings. I know it is important to feel that pain and to walk through it and I am doing just that, because you have to walk through it to get to the other side. There are no detours or side roads toward personal growth and wisdom.

I have no interest in pretending this marriage didn't happen because that's just silly. I went into it with great expectations and all of the hopes and dreams that people have when they get married. I had them, too. My gosh I waited ten years to give it a try and ok, so it didn't work out like I would have hoped, I know it was a sincere effort. It is also essential for me to remember that the past year wasn't without its share of joy and happiness and by no means could I ever say it was horribly bad. It wasn't. There are no repugnant tales of misbehavior and no third parties were involved on either side. I can't even muster any ill will or negative feelings toward the man I married last year. He has many wonderful traits and I can only wish him well and I know this is no walk in the park for him either. Dan is handling things just like the kind, mature gentleman he is. No ugly, uncivilized scenes - and he is behaving with an admirable sense of decorum and kindness.

It's not just a personal loss for me - both of my kids were very fond of Dan and love him, and I know that he loves them as well. I hurt for Katie and Justin, my parents, Dan, his family and I hurt for me. There is no need for character assassination or painting a bad picture of someone I loved enough to marry and will, on some level, always love. I have no mud to sling and I don't intend to make any because I think too much of him and what he meant to our family. I hope for only good things for him and I mean that with all sincerity.

I know that with time and the perspective it offers, we will both find our way and I'm betting we'll be more than fine. I know it really is going to be ok.

On a happier matrimonial note, my parents will be celebrating SIXTY YEARS of wedded BLISS and I do mean bliss because I swear, my Mom and Dad had to be a match made in heaven. In the 46 years I've been around, I have never met two people more suited to each other than my parents. I am in awe of that accomplishment and I am so proud to be their daughter.

As for marriage, I still have nothing but the highest respect for the institution and I hope someday that maybe I'll get it right. I haven't given up on it and I'm much too optimistic to rule out the possibility that I just might find myself in the right situation...someday. Hey, it took James Taylor three times and he seems to be pretty happy now. Maybe I'll get there, too.

As for now, I plan on taking each day as it comes, squeezing as much joy as I can out of every experience and learning as much as I can from the things I get wrong. Even with all of the ups and downs that come with living life, it's still the best ticket in town.

Life is still pretty wonderful.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Thank you for your example and for loving me through everything.