A champion

When Eat, Pray, Love released years back, I read it.  I enjoyed it and I even read Liz Gilbert’s sequel to it and enjoyed it too.  When the movie came out, I wanted to see it.  I never caught it in the theater, but remember watching it at home.  I remember not really liking it too much. Oh well.

Last night, in a pre-holiday stress bout with insomnia, I caught some of the movie on tv.  As I enter my eighth holiday season alone, the stress fills me up and manifests in a severe lack of restful sleep.  I’m familiar with the pattern and try to do my best.  I’m exhausted during the day, fall asleep a bit early and then wake around midnight or so and can’t get back to sleep….ugh.

So, anyway, I watched the movie last night.  No harm, no foul I thought, it’s not a school night.  As I watched the lovely Julia Roberts and the even lovelier Javier Bardem, I heard a quote that I don’t remember reading in the book or hearing the first time I watched the movie.  While visiting a spiritual teacher, the teacher’s wife continues to prod Liz about not having a man.  She has brought her friend, Felipe, with her and the wife mentions that he is a good man.  While leaving, Liz and Felipe have the following brief exchange:

Liz Gilbert: I’m sick of people telling me that I need a man.
Felipe: You don’t need a man, Liz. You need a champion.

For some reason, this struck me last night.  Now mind you…I am exhausted!  The boys have been crazy, work has been busy, my ongoing to do list is, well, ongoing, and on top of this…I’m not sleeping well.  A champion. I have been rolling the words around in my sleepy brain all day.  I’ve decided that a champion sounds like what I need.  After all these years alone, I want my champion.  I know, it’s a big, Hollywood type of idea, but wouldn’t that be nice?  I would have someone at the end of the day who knew I did my best, gave my all and would love that about me.  To have someone in my corner again would be fantastic.  I think that is the hardest thing about this whole widow thing…no back up.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my support system, but they all have their lives.  I want my champion in my corner with me at the end of the day.  I want to be champion for someone else too.

So, as I start the climb toward the holidays, I am going to be my own champion until someone might be brave enough to stand beside me again.  I’m going to remember that I have survived much and continue to strive for happiness and joy again every day.  I have given myself the room to heal, but now must give myself the credit for making it this far.  I know that I’m not where I want to be yet, but I will get there.  If not this holiday season, maybe next…I won’t give up believing, hoping and striving to get there.  Maybe even someday, there will be someone beside me again to hold me and be my champion.


11 thoughts on “A champion

  1. Oh, how your words resonate with me once again.

  2. Susan Ringoen says:

    Guess what I’m doing?…up in the night…and, reading your blog. You’ve been an encouragement to me. I am now going on my 3rd holiday season without my husband. …up in the night…worrying…but now encouraged by your words…I like this idea of the champion – and I love your encouragement to be our own champion and to recognize what we have done…Thank you for sharing your story. You put so beautifully into words what I wish I could.

  3. megan says:

    Totally totally. It’s not needing a man, or a relationship, it’s the needing and wanting someone on my side, at my side, in my corner. Similarly, it’s a strange bit – to feel like being loved and in love again would bring back parts of myself I really miss, and to also not want that to come off like I think I can’t be me without a relationship. Bleh. I think there are some things that only that kind of love can tend.

    An aside – hated that book. Well, didn’t hate until the whole man thing, and then hated. You didn’t miss that line in the book b/c it wasn’t in there – she went from pact-with-self about being on her own to deal with her issues to “to heck with issues, he’s hot.” Weirdly, the hollywood version gave her more self-whatever than she claimed in her own book.

    • cmt says:

      Megan-thank you as always for your solidarity and insight. I so miss having someone on my side too. I had a brief moment again and I think having it again made me miss it even more…yet here I am again without a champion…I miss the things that I rediscovered and putting them aside again is painful. I miss that girl…but it was so nice to feel her again for a bit. *

  4. carolyn says:

    I was troubled by the book’s emphasis too – on how it’s fine to work on yourself until The Right Guy comes along and then whammo different story. But the old-fashioned word champion, as you describe it, is indeed what we widowed are missing, just the idea of Someone who’s got your back. I don’t need a helper, I don’t need someone to solve my problems, but just having that one who is always there, no question, is what I miss the most. So exhausting.
    I watched a tv show (Parks & Rec) last night where one of the characters was auctioning off boxes of discarded stuff left from each man in her life: not his stuff but the stuff she got from him or bought while she was with him that she no longer needed. Because all that time she wasn’t being herself. And in the end she decided to just date herself for a while, please herself, do what she liked best instead of what these random men brought to her life. Take herself to movies she wanted to see and so on.
    Not that this is your issue, C, it’s not. But I guess my point is we can be our own champion sometimes, take good care of ourselves. We have to.

  5. Ferraro says:

    Wow, I feel the same and could not have expressed it better. After losing my champion, my hero my knight it is not having this person who loved you so much and made you feel so safe when his arms wrapped around you, it makes me doubt another could fill his shoes. The memories & the loneliness takes over at night so no wonder we cant sleep. Keep writing, it helps all of us survivors who are traveling this awful road without our loves and who pray we dont have to continue this life alone without feeling safe again!

    • cmt says:

      thank you Ferraro. Your words are humbling. I am glad that you found my words and they bring you even the littlest bit of peace, that gives me great joy. through our solidarity, we survive our loss.

  6. Amy says:

    Thank you, Chris for giving words to my feelings.
    I visited with Larry’s cousins this week, which brings him close, but also makes me feel his loss more.
    I lost my Champion. But I can be for me, as I write this I realized that I have little champions who do help me in various capacities. I am grateful for all the help in my life.
    Blessings and thanks for you also.

    • cmt says:

      So true Amy, we have little champions all around. I must keep a much more watchful eye for those. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

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