I have been feeling pretty good lately, pretty normal…as relative as normal is. I have going through the days happily, enjoying my work, enjoying my kiddos and even added some extra things that I enjoy outside the responsibilities. Simply stated…life is good. One phrase I thought I’d never utter again.
So this week, my big boy had a milestone. He is starting a new phase of his life, a wonderful phase of his life. He asked a sweet, young lady out on a date. This is so wonderful. This is so fabulous! He mustered up the courage, asked, and she accepted. It is a big deal for him. Of course, he is totally nonchalant about it. He came to me and asked me about my schedule for the weekend, told me his plan, and was completely thoughtful about the whole thing. He shared the whole process with me…and for those of you who know how much I love the process…this was such a gift!
The day came. We all went our ways for the day. He asked. She said yes! When we got home after school, he told me about it. I am so thrilled for him. I am a tad nervous about it, but thrilled about it at the same time.
A few hours later, I was back in bedroom alone and WHOOMP! There it was…my grief swooped in, buckled my knees, and blurred my eyes. I stood looking out the window as all those widowy feelings consumed me. I was sad for him, because his dad is not here to guide him through this moment of his life. I was sad that his dad wasn’t here to hug him and tell him what good kid he is. I was sad that Dave didn’t get to see his boy turning into a man. I was sad for me. I was sad for me because that familiar feeling snuck in and whispered that no one else in the world cares for my boys like I do…and I don’t have him here to share this stuff with anymore. I miss the joking, the smiles, those parent moments…I just felt so alone again.
My eyes welled up with tears, but no crying came. My body felt the tension that my sadness can bring, but it did not overwhelm me. My heart ached, but it felt strong at the same time. As much as my grief can surprise me, I can withstand it now. It is like standing in the ocean and letting the large wave come over you and not losing your stance. It came. I felt it. It hurt, but I am not broken this time. I held my ground. I let all the thoughts fill my head and then let them exit my mind. I can let myself miss him like I did in those first moments when he took his last breath and still lead a happy life. The two have come to some type of odd balance…at least this time.
I reached out to several friends to share my part of my boy’s new dating exploration. They may not have known that it was one of my survival techniques when my heart is recovering, but maybe they do. They were open and let me share. Although it may not be the same as having his dad here to share it with, it was nice. Being able to have these friends out there that let me process my life, my experiences and see those experiences reflected back to me through our conversations makes a valuable difference for me. I have to be vulnerable and believe that they care enough to listen and also courageous enough to reach out to them. It has taken me years to build the courage to reach out to others. It has taken loving, patient friends who will let me contact them with the mundane…and then just listen and chat about it. They are kind and let me interrupt their lives with my routine endeavors…that many times seem like daily things, but are big transitions for me.
I love them for that!
So, my big boy will have his date. I will hold my breath until he gets home to tell me how it went. Nearly like normal…we will balance our missing Dave with how life is now…and hopefully move toward tomorrow with more love and fortitude in our hearts than we had today.