“She fell and no one caught her…”

Thanksgiving is here. I am grateful for many, many things. Every day I count my blessings…really. My life is pretty, dang good most days. Sure I have struggles and challenges, everyone does.  Widowed and non-widowed alike will have moments of acute gratitude and acute pain. It is what it is.  People have joy and sorrow in their lives every, single day….holiday or not.

I’m getting better at holidays.  Over eight years of practice now and I don’t feel completely taken down by them. This is my ninth Thanksgiving widowed.  It is my boys ninth Thanksgiving without their dad. When I write these words, they knock the wind out of me. Yesterday, I was so fortunate to see Dave’s work buddies.  I’m not sure if they know how much it means to me to get that call to come by and see them.  They were just gathered for a short time, but being in the room with them, well, it reminds me that he was real.  He was here. We had something. After all these years alone, sometimes I forget that I’m loveable.  I forget that I don’t have to bear all the responsibility alone. I forget it happened to me.

Along with those moments of respite, I remember things too.  I remember that for a while, I had someone who always had my back.  No matter what, Dave had my back. I had his. We knew this.  Our relationship wasn’t perfect…very far from perfect, but I never doubted that he would catch me if I fell.  He would catch me when the big things happened…when I lost a job, a friend, a dream…and when the little, daily things would trip me, his hand was always there to help me up again.  I did everything in my power to be that to him…always. Even in the midst of a fight, maybe even hating each other for a while for whatever reason, I knew he would always be there for me.  I could fall and be caught…no matter what.  Knowing this changed me.  I was braver.  I was more trusting.  I learned to love fiercely, because I wasn’t afraid of being dropped.

In the years since he died, I sought out people who might catch me.  I’ve been lucky because I have a pretty strong net of people who will catch me. The ones that wouldn’t or couldn’t catch me weeded themselves out pretty quickly after his death.  It takes a special soul to catch a widow…at least that’s how I see it.  As a widow, I feel even more invisible. I feel that not only I would not be caught, but who would even notice if I fell?  Who would see me? I feel invisible…would anyone even notice if I needed them to get my back?

I think this is one of those feelings that transcends time for me.  No matter how much I achieve, no matter how much I build in this new, unexpected life, I still worry about being seen and having someone there to catch me.  I know  that having someone like that is rare…I was lucky.

I think this fear of not being caught is a reflection of not receiving one of the things I value most in life.  I put it out there every day for other people.  It is who I am.  I build relationships.  I will love you fiercely.  I will have your back.  If you are family, friend, colleague, student, neighbor, well, really anyone who has become a part of my life, this is what I will do for you.  Some people get this.  Some people are ok with it…some are not. It is who I am. I am one of those people you can count on…nearly all the time.  I think this is why I miss having someone in my corner so badly.  It is one of the many, many reasons I miss Dave so badly…especially this week.  As I think about what would have been our 17th wedding anniversary that just passed, as I think about another holiday season, as I think about the future and how mine was ripped away eight and a half years ago, I miss him deeply.  I miss being caught.  I miss being seen.  I miss being loved fiercely and being able to love someone that way.

In the eighth plus year of this unexpected life, I know for certain that it will continue to teach me unexpected things.  I know that there will be new and unexpected joys.  I know that I will appreciate them even more than the average bear…I know that even though I worry about no one seeing me, no one catching me…someone will.  I know that this holiday season will pass and it will give me unexpected gifts.  I know that I will be stronger, more loving, and more me with every passing day…and for that I am grateful.

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Steady as she goes

Busy, busy, busy, that’s me.  Keeping myself busy has never been a problem.  Too much time to think…well, I can always fit in the time to over process anything.  My mind is probably four times busier than the busiest me.  The gift of busy though is that I don’t have a whole bunch of extra time to act on the things that go through my mind incessantly.  I am a reflective person, so I continue to take time to contemplate where I’ve been, what I’m doing and where I want to be…maybe too much.

Another gift of busy is that I don’t have too much time to contemplate the sorrow I still feel in my life.  I still have a hole in my heart and nothing fills it.  I still have an empty heart in many respects.  I am still lonely.  If I stay busy, I only have to think about this, to feel these things when the momentum slows.  During the week, the momentum never slows and I can fill myself with work, family and my obligations.  When the weekend comes, especially after the kids have gone to bed, the aloneness hits me in the face.  No one to talk with, no one to sit with, no one who wants to know how I am.  It still leaves me feeling hollow.  As much as I do for others, when Saturday night rolls around, I’m still sitting alone in my living room thinking too much.

I have filled my life with many relationships.  I always have.  I have friends, coworkers, acquaintances who fill my life with laughter and camaraderie.   During the work day, I am blessed to be surrounded by students who make my life a joy.  Now that the boys are older, I have time to do some of the things I enjoy too.  I get to spend time coaching and taking care of myself too.  At home, my boys keep me alive and ticking. Not a shabby life by any means.

I don’t even mind planning ahead a bit now.  I can look at the future and not be overwhelmed.  Even looking forward is a huge feat for me.  I can remember when looking to the future meant that I would have a plan for dinner and even that brought pain.  Then slowly it meant I had plans for work.  Now, I may even have plans and goals that will lead me to more fulfilled place.  I have plans that even make my heart happy…sometimes.

Nearly at the eighth anniversary of his death now, I can see light in the tunnel.  I know there is not really an end to this tunnel and as long as I am moving forward, healing will continue to come to me.  My hope is that if I keep the forward movement steady, the healing may lead me to a place where I feel loved again.  I know I can keep living this life as I do…alone…but I don’t want to do that.  I want to have someone to share my life with.  For many years, I felt this was a cop-out to want to have someone in my life.  I thought I had to do this on my own.   I imagined my journey as a widow was to break me of this enabling need and prove to myself that I didn’t need someone in my life.

I look at those words and think “how absurd!”  As a person who spends her life building relationships with others…first in ministry and now as a teacher…how can I ever imagine that!  Relationships are paramount to me professionally and personally.  It is important to me to be a loving, compassionate, committed parent, friend, colleague…well, all of it.  Why wouldn’t it be important to me to be a loving, compassionate, committed partner, lover, and confidant with and for someone?

So as busy as I may be and as steady as I hold the line, I still will keep my heart open.  Not in the way a young girl looks for love, but in a way that I now know.  I now know that I can survive one of the greatest heartbreaks a person can imagine.  I know that life and love are fleeting.  I know that people come with baggage and that is what gives them depth.  I know that my heart can expand to embrace another in ways that I never would have imagined possible.  I know the gifts I have to offer and the challenges that I struggle with every day.  I know how not to lose myself to another.  If I stay steady on my path, if I keep my mind and heart open, I know I won’t face lonely forever.  I know that his death wasn’t the death of me…even though it felt like it so often for so long.  I know that as important as it is to just keep moving, keep busy…it is also important to stop, look around and assess…even when I’m lonely and feeling like solo may never end.

Steady as she goes.

Safe and sound?

Letting go has not been one of my strengths in recent years.  Allowing myself time and space to feel safe, relaxed and unbound isn’t really part of my current life.  It is a skill that I have struggled with all my life.  I am responsible.  It is my strength, so to speak.  I am the oldest daughter and have four younger siblings, from the beginning, I have been wired for responsible.  When I was younger, I was better at letting go, having fun and shedding my responsibilities.  Since I became a widow and a sole parent, I find letting go even more difficult.  It is not only difficult because everything is my job, but because I worry that if I do let go again, if I do trust again, if I find a safe place of respite, it will be ripped away leaving me alone, naked and exposed.  I’m not sure if I have it in me to rebuild again.  I’m not sure that I can surrender again knowing what I know now.

Feeling safe isn’t about if my home is secure or if I will be attacked on the street. I don’t worry about those things.  Feeling safe to me is that place where you go with another person where you are naked and exposed, but loved and cared for at the same time.  It is that place where I know that if I give in, surrender, I won’t be left hanging out there alone. It will be a place of respite.  It will be a place to collapse at the end of the day, good day or bad, where I am just me and someone cares about that.  Sometimes I do worry that I won’t be able to be safe in this way again, because I know in the depths of my being that these things will always end.  I really wonder if I will ever find a safe place again where I can truly lie, relaxed and unbound by my responsibilities, and receive care and compassion from someone.  I’ve had glimpses of this, but I really don’t know if I’ll ever be able to feel this type of safety again.

What I do know is I’m pretty tired of the “me” show.  This is the show where I do everything.  I take care of all the elements that keep my life running, keep my kids life running.  Now, I know many people, who do this even when they are in a relationship.  We do it because we are responsible, we do it because it is who we are, I know it is how I’m wired, but I remember a place where I could do most of this and still take off the “me” mask at the end of the day and there was someone there who would make those responsibilities feel miles away.  The “me” show is boring and always a repeat.  I don’t mind the work, I never have.  I do miss the collaboration.  I do miss hearing someone else’s story.  I miss the variety. I miss the intimacy.  I miss feeling safe, loved, and being able to provide those same things for someone.

When I was younger, I was more open I guess.  My life experience hadn’t crept into my bones as deeply as it has now.  When Dave died, many pieces of who I was ceased to exist.  My youthful naivety was a casualty. When I was younger, I knew heartbreak, but not like I know it now.  Becoming a widow, especially at a young age, I fear has aged my soul deeply.  It takes this once carefree girl and fills her up with so many responsibilities.  The responsibilities that are mine alone often feel like a heavy cloak that I am unable to get out of or put aside.  It weighs me down.  It won’t come off, even when I try. Even when others try to carry it for me, it is still my cloak.  Even when I try to shed it for a moment, there is no one that really wants to stay and help me get it off permanently.

If I do get the cloak off, there I am again, naked and exposed, vulnerable.  There I am again opening myself up again to who knows what…

I tell myself that the “who knows what” will be worth it.  I tell myself that if I practice taking off the cloak, shedding my responsibilities briefly, feeling a moment of safety will lead me to a place where someday I will feel safe again.  I watch as people I know have had heartache as consuming as mine plunge into risk again. They plunge into love with their heart and soul.  I tell myself that even in those few moments when I have allowed myself to be vulnerable again, I have felt better and someday I will get there again.  I will find the safety, the relaxation, the soul who cares for me deeply.  I have to believe and hope that if my heart remains open, intimacy will find me again.

The ultimate truth is there is no guarantee of this.  The ultimate truth is that this might be my story. The responsibility to find a place where I am safe and sound is up to me…here comes the “me” show again.  The learning to let go and relax again is mine to own.  I have to get out of my head and create moments of peace for myself.  Finding a safe place and allowing myself to be vulnerable won’t happen if I don’t allow it.  Allowing someone to see me naked and exposed is a risk only I can take.  Hopefully, my story will find me in a place of balance.  Hopefully my story will be to transcend the pain and trust again.  Hopefully, my story will find me feeling safe and sound again.

Grateful, yet again…

This week, this little blog surpassed 15,000 all time hits.  Now I know out there in the blogosphere that this is a miniscule amount, but for this little vanilla girl from an average place with average dreams it is a big deal.  I started this writing to prove to myself that I could indeed do something I set my mind to and hopefully in some small way possibly help others who felt isolated, heartbroken, and alone.  I have felt so alone and most days felt useless on this journey of widowhood that this little blog was a way that I could give back while I continued to heal my own heart.  My grief was something that made me feel so far out on the outskirts of life that it was my way of dipping my toe back into the water of life.

When I started writing memoirs, I had just left a job that I thought would be part of my life for a long time.  I was disappointed in myself and in them, well, I was disappointed with life again..

Writing has always been a part of me.  I don’t journal, I write most things to be shared…narcissist I guess, but that’s how I’ve done it.  When I was a youth minister, I found a voice as one of the many struggling with ministry. It was during this time that I began my life as an “officially” published (and “officially” paid) writer. I told the stories of my ministry to other ministers through trade magazines. It was a little niche that found my story valuable.  My voice began to develop a different way, a ministry sort of way.

When Dave died, every grief program said to journal.  They all say how cathartic writing can be.  I knew that writing was cathartic, journaling though…I never really got.  I could never sit and journal for myself alone (narcissist in me again).  In the early years of grief, I would just vomit words onto paper, raw, emotional, and painful words.  Some have never seen the light of day. I would sit in the dark of night, while my babies slept and my mind tormented me, at my computer and write…oh ya and cry, cry alot.  Luckily for me an email from a former editor of mine came around soon after I had written something that could be shown in the light of day.  That piece that commented on the temporary-ness of life here on earth found its way into the first edition of his new magazine.  Shortly after I began blogging for the magazine and found the venue exhilarating, honest and loved that we could be authentic about our lives and our faith journey in the moment and it was published pretty much right then and there.  Shortly after, the same article he published found its way into the pages of a grief based magazine (with my help of course, not by magic).  I had found yet another part of my voice.  Although at the time I felt like I had somehow prostituted Dave’s death, the compulsion to write about it survived those feelings.

Memoirs from Widow Island started as a joke in one of my support groups.  I had been talking about how isolated I found myself as a newly widowed and mother of young children.  I often said that if I survived it all I would write book – Memoirs from Widow Island.  It would be a book about getting off the island.  Instead, in the midst of disappointment with what I then thought was a career fail, I decided to launch the blog.  I had seen a few grief based blogs and thought it might be a path for me.  It started with a few modest posts and for the first year I was happy to get a hit or two from family or friends.  I never imagined that it would be getting five to seven hundred hits a month…

A little dream, fueled by hope to serve others has been a spring board into a world that is filled with heartbreak and healing.  It has linked me to lovely people whose wisdom and ability to share their stories with vulnerable voices have made me a better person.  Their stories that I found as they found me have built a network of caring and love that I never knew.

Walking through the pain of grief and putting my words, my feelings, my hopes, my fear on the page has opened doors into a world of growth and inspiration. I have been inspired by them and have had the privilege of being inspiring to a few others.  It has been such a huge privilege and I am grateful for this everyday.

Lately I have been considering my journey and wondering if my time with Memoirs is finished and I’ve been struggling with the words.  I wonder if my voice has a new direction to develop.  If the past is any precursor, this is true…the only thing I can count on is change. Today, though, I’m not off the island quite yet.  Today, I can see the boat at the dock waiting to take me off the island.  Today, I know I am closer to leaving the island, but there is still some work to do.

Thanks for your hits.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for writing. Thanks for inspiring me.  Thanks for filling my humble heart with gratitude again, because if there is one thing I’ve learned on this journey…it is through the sharing of our journeys that someday I will get off the island!

Baby steps

Sometimes in my life, I wake up and find myself in a place, a life really, that I don’t recognize.  I look around and what I see is so different than my life was a few years ago. Some days when this happens I am shocked.  Other days when I look at my world I can say…well, what did I expect?  Things had to change.  It’s a strange place some days when grief reminds me how different I am now than I was seven years ago and how much my grief played a role in the evolving me.  I know I would have evolved with or without grief, but would I have become this woman?

When Dave died, I would set small goals for myself every day.  I took baby steps toward survival.  I would make my bed.  I would take a shower.  I might even venture out into the world to the grocery store.  All of these things were so painful.  I was consumed by grief.  All I could think about was that he was gone.  He was gone and I somehow was still here.  He was gone and somehow I would have to see our boys into manhood…alone.  It was completely overwhelming, completely consuming, completely exhausting…just thinking about these things.  I was happy most days to just be able to get out of bed, get Sammy to and from school, feed and care for both of the kids, and then make it back to bed again.  Every day felt like an eternity.  When I look back and see that nearly three thousand days have passed…well, I can’t believe it.

As the days passed, I tried to make bigger goals.  Maybe a goal would be conquering a “first” without him.  Something like flying a kite with the kids, walking the dogs around the block, cooking one of his/our favorite dishes would be the accomplishment for the day.  I really think it was this daily stuff, this ordinary routine that was most painful.  Watching a movie we enjoyed together…excruciating.  Going to one of our favorite restaurants…nearly killed me.  These ordinary things, these baby steps through my life that died with him gave me strength each day as I looked back on them.  Each day, I could say to myself that I had done something, I had made the bed…hell, I had gotten out of bed!  I did this for years…yes, years.

Several years ago it became necessary for me to set some bigger goals.  After I was diagnosed with LAM disease in 2006 – a year after he died – my insurance rates sky rocked.  Although I was still in good health, the insurance companies considered me “terminal”…a very untrue and broad statement.  My income had to increase – I had to find a way to take care of my new medical issues that wouldn’t bankrupt me.  I needed work that would allow me to be present to my kiddos and still feed them and provide a home for them.

So, I went back to work.  I tried full time administration – it nearly killed me. It nearly killed the boys too.  We wouldn’t get home until evening and then there was still homework, dinner, housework, and all those other little things to do.  I had no time for my kids.  I was completely stressed out and felt guilty every day because I couldn’t be the superwoman I expected myself to be.

I set new goals.  I remembered old goals.  I wanted to heal our hearts.  I wanted to be present to my kids.  I wanted to be healthy so I could care for them for a long, long time. I hoped that one day, happy would creep back in to my sorrowful life.

I left my full time job.  I found jobs here and there.  I made just enough money…some days, when it wasn’t enough, I swallowed my pride and lived on the kindness of others.  I started this blog.  I tried to do things that were life giving…hoping that my life would be given back to me.  I decided to go back to school.   I decided that I needed to be more marketable and needed to be marketable for the next twenty years…my baby was not even in kindergarten yet.

So this week, I will finish the master’s program I started about two years ago.  This was not a small goal.  This was a goal that I thought I may not be able to complete.  I would give it my time, my energy, and my focus with the hope that I could make it through. Well, here I sit…goal achieved!

Not only did I do this, but on the way, I found myself back in work that I love and is life giving.  Every day I spend in a middle school classroom – yes I said middle school – I feel alive and blessed.  I am grateful for every moment…yes, every moment!  These days, I wake up and I feel lucky again.  How did I get here?  I wonder about this every, single day.  Seven years ago, I couldn’t bear to get out of bed…tomorrow I will joyfully get up very early and go to a place filled with life, energy and learning…the only way I can believe it – I remember the baby steps.  Bit by bit, small goal by small goal, making the bed each day, taking a shower, writing, going to school…see…it builds…baby steps.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss my husband.  There is not a day that goes by that I my heart doesn’t long for my kiddos to have their dad…but somehow, I found my way back.  Somehow, those little goals led me to a place unexpected.  Those little goals helped me to grow into the woman I have always been meant to be.  Who knew I would be able to survive?  I certainly didn’t…

But, guess what – I did!

Just this side of overwhelmed

I’m not sure what it is, but as the week draws to a close, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t get a third of the things on my to-do list completed or if it’s the changes that are right around the corner again.  I don’t why I ever think I’ll get more accomplished when my kiddos are on break, but every time, I try to fool myself into thinking my to-do list will be finished and I’ll have loads of time to relax. Usually it’s about half of each…with my to-do list bordering on a catch up list.

I’m grateful for down time.   I didn’t have to get up at 5am every morning.  I did get my car issues handled, and I did get to do some fun stuff with the boys.  I enjoyed a baseball game, a movie and sleeping later.  I got some chores around the house done, but those silly boys live here too and they continue to make more chores.  I’m a day ahead on laundry – which is great, but a day behind in homework and lesson plans.

I’m also finishing up my student teaching soon.  I only have two more seminar classes until my master’s is finished (YAY!) and only four more weeks of student teaching.  It seems to have flown by so quickly.  So, in a month, I am again unemployed.  I am again starting in a new direction. I am hopeful and trepidatious…who decides to change everything again at my age??  What was I thinking??  I’m not sure, but I think this is one part that has me overwhelmed.

I know I have a plan.  I know that things will most likely work out.  I do. Right now though, sitting here at the computer…I feel overwhelmed.  I feel summer coming around the corner and I’m not ready. I feel “new” starting again and I’m not sure if I’m ready.  I love teaching, I love parenting, I’m happy with many things that have been happening…but overwhelmed still sneaks in…how will I handle it all and not implode? I’m not sure if this is just a middle age crisis or my grief floating to the top again.  Have I been shoveling it too far down to survive and begin thriving that the grief has to burst out again, or is this just normal life stuff? I really can’t tell the difference anymore.

It’s getting closer to April and I can hear the count going on in my head. Seven years. Seven years. Seven years…

Overwhelming.

I begin to pull out my measuring stick and see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve left behind…good, bad, indifferent…I still measure.  Why?  I know that setting goals and reflection are good, but why is it I spend more time worrying than celebrating the successes. Some days it feels like if I take a moment to celebrate, I’ll only be that much further behind.

Overwhelming.

I think that falling behind is really what is at the core of these feelings too.  No matter how hard I work, no matter how much I do each day, no matter what…there is always so much more to do.  There are always things I won’t be able to finish…there are always those moments when I let my kiddos down because I had to get something else done and there was no one else here to be with them while I did. No matter what I did along the way, there will always be that measure of what I wasn’t able to do for them…because it was only me. It wasn’t the life I wanted for my kids. It wasn’t the life I wanted for me.  I’m doing the best I can, but still I feel overwhelmed.

So, I’ll re-frame.  I’ll bite it off in smaller pieces until my heartbeat slows down a bit.  I’ll remember that I’m human, I’m one person, and that I really do give it my all most days.  I’ll let myself feel overwhelmed today, get up tomorrow, start again and try to forgive myself for the things I wasn’t able to cross off the list.  Tomorrow is another day, another chance, and another moment to celebrate how far we’ve come and who we are becoming.  Some day…I will rest! I will.  Some day…I will look back and know I did my best even if I felt overwhelmed along the way.

More life lessons to learn…

All week, I’ve been thinking that one of the major life lessons I have come to this planet to learn is patience.  I don’t think I’m doing a great job of it many days and fear I may have to repeat this lesson again!  Patience is one of those things that I strive for every day.  I used to pray for patience as a parent, but decided that maybe that wasn’t the best choice because I would be presented more instances to use it…and believe me my boys can present enough instances on their very own!  Every day, I work on patience and refining it, but this week, as I reflected on some of the things going on in my life I have come to the conclusion that I need a lot more work.

As I work on my student teaching, I am patient.  I think it is one of those areas of patience that I have always had a firm grip.  I can be really patient with other people’s kiddos.  I have time to listen to a student work through an idea.  Even the little things that might annoy me or take my patience away in other situations don’t bother me while I’m with a group of students.  I am a more patient person when I teach.

When I worked in the kitchen, I had many opportunities to be patient.  Many processes take time and patience.  There was roasting the bones to make stock…takes forever.  There is making consume…really takes forever and impatience will ruin it.  The process that really taught me patience was baking bread.  At one of the restaurants I worked, I was responsible for baking all the bread that was necessary for lunch and dinner each day.  This meant that I was up around 4 am and began baking shortly after.  I would stumble into an empty kitchen and work alone for two to three hours.  All the bread was made from scratch daily.  Lunch rolls, bread for the tables, scones, cinnamon rolls…you name it, I baked it.  The bread making process takes patience from beginning to end.  The measuring, the yeast, adding ingredients, the rising, the rolling and forming, rising again, and the actual baking…really the simplest part…but even while in the oven, bread needs attention, patience.  I loved this work.  During the time I was baking, I was in my late twenties and I wasn’t very patient.  I had not baked early in my cooking career…it made me nervous…too much math.  It was about five years into my cooking experience that I became a baker.  It was one of the greatest jobs I ever had.  It was a life lesson, it reformed my ability to be patient and transformed me.

Fast forward ten years or so and my life fell apart.  My life that was looking so much like the life I had hoped for imploded.  My husband was diagnosed with a terminal cancer and he died.  The happy home I had patiently built, crumbled to rubble in a mere six months.  I was suddenly left without the relationship I had worked so hard to build. My best friend was ripped away from me.  My primary person was gone.  The person who was there for me always, who had my back, really the only person I was really able to settle into feeling safe with and stay there with left.  I really didn’t know how I would survive…

Cue patience…grieving takes all the patience I have.  It takes patience with myself…which I rarely have…and patience with others and with the process itself.  In the early days after he died, all I wanted was it to be over.  I wanted the pain to stop and the sadness to leave.  A wise grief counselor told me that sad was here for a while, but would leave eventually.  I trusted her.  I was patient.  I let sad stay.  Sad left in stages with me…that heavy sadness lightened after several years, well, maybe four or five years.  That sadness that stayed in my heart and was just there, deep inside, hidden away, is moving out bit by bit.  New experiences, time, and my own ability to let it go helps sadness move out of my heart more and more each day.  I have been patient.  This time, with my grief, I have truly been patient.

Recently, I have the opportunity to experience something new.  I have this person in my life that cares for me.  I know I’ve said this before…but I really never believed that this would be possible.  I thought if I lived my life, took care of my kids, worked hard, and kept my head down, that my life would be ok.  In the years since Dave died, I hoped that maybe some day, I would be lucky again and find someone patient enough to deal with me, but at the same time didn’t think it was a reality. So there’s this person around now who does care.  Here’s the thing though…I don’t want to put the cart before the horse…I want to wait and see how this will play out…another time to be patient…with him, with myself, with the process itself.  There has been an intimate connection emotionally with him that I didn’t expect.  I never thought…well, I never thought I would be capable of it again…let alone that someone might feel something back.  Feeling these things makes me impatient, makes me nervous, makes me think too much and anticipate too much.

So here I sit with more experiences to strengthen my patience.  It has been such a gift to experience this relationship unfolding in my life.  I will be patient.  Just like baking the bread, each step requires patience to help the next step evolve. Again, perhaps patience is my life lesson on this planet. I will live in this moment and not put too much pressure on the next moment to hurry and arrive…and who knows…maybe I’ll land in a place I never expected.  No matter how the relationship plays out, I am again transformed, by him, his caring heart, and by my ability to risk my heart again.

Patience…