Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. Something I used to do on a regular basis during the summer. I didn’t realize how long it had been until there I was floating in the sun.
I love summer. Well, I used to love summer. In my past life, there was nothing more relaxing to me than sitting in the sun enjoying company of friends or a book, sipping an ice cold beer. It really had been a staple activity in my life as long back as I can remember having a choice of what to do with my time. Floating on a raft in the middle of the pool, looking up at the blue, cloudless sky with the hot, Arizona sun beating down on me…ah love it!
Well, yesterday, my brother (God bless him) took my boys over to grandma’s for a few hours. First, I mowed the lawn out back. Then, went inside to cool off and felt the silence in my house. The idea crossed through my head that I could go out to the pool, ALONE! For any single parents of preschoolers…you know, you are rarely alone! Anyway, I almost felt guilty having the thought and looking at the mound of dirty dishes on my sink, but, I succumbed to my idea. I suited up. I went out. The water was so nice, especially after push mowing my lawn for 40 minutes or so at 5pm in the sun. So, I got my raft. I floated.
As I lie there, the images came into my head. It was almost like being transported back in time. For a few moments, I was transported back to my old life! I closed my eyes and I could feel a peace in my soul. It was a peace that I haven’t felt in so long. I remembered how much I love summer. I remember how much I loved to relax like this. Also, I remembered why. I remembered a life where pretty much everything was how I loved it. I remembered long weekends of yard work and lounging by the pool surrounded by neighbors and friends. I remembered. Along with my peace came that twinge of heartache. Along with the peace came the realization that I had avoided something I loved so much because it was so linked the joy and wonderful times I spent with my husband. I was so blessed. I met someone that really just liked a lot of the stuff I liked. We enjoyed each other’s company. We enjoyed the summer together. It really was wonderful.
So, for years now, I have unconsciously denied myself this true pleasure in my life. I have consciously avoided one of my “happy places” because of the pain that would surely accompany it. Yesterday, I let my guard down and found a peace that I have missed so dearly. Yesterday, I regained a piece of who I was before…and as hard as this is, it is also joyful. It is one more step, one more action of regaining myself, regaining a heart that is whole and peaceful, regaining the strength to be me again…not just the me, the widow, the caregiver, the single parent that were forced upon me, but regaining me…the person before all that, a woman that I have missed so much.