I’m not sure how it happened, because I never expected that it ever would. I never thought I would have the ability or opportunity to care for someone other than Dave. It really didn’t seem realistic to me. Most days, my life keeps me buried under everything, trying to keep my head above water, but somehow, somewhere along the way, a sweet fella walked into my life. He is kind and loving. He was aware my story and still dared to get to know me a little more.
It was something I never expected. I never expected anyone to be attracted to me again. I know that sounds silly, but there’s this strange thing I feel about being a widow, a sole parent, I really don’t feel like a sexual being that much. I don’t feel attractive most days. I don’t put myself out there and most days, I still feel like someone’s wife many days. Over eight years, most days I put that piece of me away. I was mom. I was a widow. My husband died. I really believed that part of my life, my love life, was over.
Recently I found out his affection has turned. We have had a lovely run at a long distance fling, but now it is over. So, here I sit heartbroken. Although I knew what we had wasn’t practical, it was wonderful to have it and to have him in my corner for a bit, to have his attention and caring. I am always just a little too hopeful, I guess. I know he cares for me but I think my hopefulness left out some of the reality that distance is too much most times and relationships can be tricky…
So, today I have a broken heart. Now I know that I have had a shattered and broken heart for a long time now, but this is different. It feels different than being widowed…of course. I was so glad to be done with sad all the time when it finally left years and years after Dave died. It is never completely gone and my grief still bubbles up,but not like it used to do. Here’s the thing though, Dave left me unwillingly. Now I have someone who has left willingly and it’s a different sort of thing. I’m back feeling like a young girl wondering what I did wrong. What I didn’t have? Why did things change? It’s so weird. I want to be grown up and let it go, but my heart is not there yet.
I think the most unexpected thing about all of this is how grateful I am even though I’m sad. I know this is a skill that I have built because I am a widow. Before I was a widow, I would have been angry…at me, at him, at the world. Now, I am so glad to have had the time with him. I am so glad that I was aware of the gift I had during our moments together. I savored every moment with him. My broken heart is bubbling over with sincere gratitude for him, for our moments, for the opportunity to have all those lovely things that a new relationship brings in the beginning. I am grateful to know that I can do it. I am grateful to know that I have survived and my heart is willing to open up when the opportunity arrives. These were all unknowns to me before him.
So, I’ll try to remember those things I used to do to mend a broken heart like mine is broken today…I’ll call my girlfriends, listen to music, have a few drinks and try not to beat myself up too much. He may not have chosen me, but I am grateful for our time together and because of his affection, someday, I will try again.