When I look back on the best memories of my life, they were all without him. Outings with friends. Trips. Vacations. Walks on the beach. Laughing with my children uninhibited by someone's criticism. I've waited for the better life together, the time when he calms enough to enjoy life with me, laugh with me, love with me. I moved across the country in the hopes that he would be happy, but the cold hard fact is that he never will be. We'll never have the jacuzzi on the rooftop, romantic vacations, frolicking together with our grandchildren. All the dreams are dying. But I'm trying to remember that every moment together was one in which I had to manage him, make sure he wasn't uncomfortable, unhappy, unsettled. It was always too much work. I made my life without him. I am trying to remember why this needs to happen. I've been married alone. Not much is changing for me except the tremendous relief of not having to always make sure he is okay. I need to concentrate for a change on making sure I'm okay. What I want more than anything right now is to have a mom - someone to show up and help make sure my kids have food, the floors are swept and life is manageable for me. I want someone who I can put my ugliest crying face on in front of, who will wrap me in their arms with no pretense and let me cry my eyes out.
It is all frightening - like being on the edge of a cliff and having others tell you that they know there are arms that will catch you. But YOU know that the free fall you do on your way down, starting with that first step off the edge must be done alone. I keep hearing the words of Elisabeth Eliot, who used to start her radio show with “…..you are loved with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
I can go on. I will step off this cliff. I have been on my own for so long anyway. I just need to continue to remember.