My gosh…I have wanted to write forever now, but didn’t know what I wanted to say.
As I lie in my bed tonight, the cool, rainy night air caressing my face through the open window, I suddenly knew…I knew how to say what I have been feeling. “Lost” didn’t sound right, but then I thought “Limbo”…yeah, “…transitional, a midway state or place”.
You see, I love that I have a new home. I love that I am safe and fed. I take nothing for granted…it is all a blessing. But, as Christmas approaches, as I still struggle to find a job…a steady income…I find myself adrift. Part of me looks back and realizes that for the past fifteen years…I had someone in my life. Even through the loneliest times in my marriage…there was still someone “there”. I know that being alone and lonely is far less painful than being lonely with someone…but, it is still hard to adjust. This will be the first Christmas without him…without my dogs, and…though I don’t want my old life back…it’s a strange feeling.
Knowing that I don’t want what is now behind me, and thankful that the pain is finally lessening…I look ahead, and it is all so open, so empty…it’s awesome and scary at the same time. Does that make sense? Hell, I don’t care…that is the only way I know to say it.
I am mostly happy now…and as I said, so grateful for the way things are going, but I wonder…what will it feel like Christmas morning? My previous family, (him and the dogs), is just a memory. My daughters and grandchildren are 1200 miles away, my son, 3000 miles away, my new friends will all be spending the holidays with their families. My parents, grandparents…all gone. I watch all the Christmas shows alone this year. I see all the commercials and hate that I am still too poor to buy gifts, and knowing I won’t receive any either. Not really a big deal…I’m not wanting for anything, but it’s the feeling of it all that I long for …I want “normal” I want celebration. I want a family to be with and presents to give…laughter and hugs, a big Holiday dinner…Damn, I knew I would cry if I wrote this down…if I let it out. Oh well, it is what it is.
I got a Christmas tree that someone here was throwing out…the fiber optics only work on part of it, but I like watching the light. I haven’t decorated it, except for one decoration that my granddaughter made. A neighbor gave me some decorations for it, but I’m afraid if I start to put them on…I will remember every single decoration that I left at the house…the ones I forgot in the back room, the ones I had no place for… that I couldn’t take with me when I became homeless.
The blue glass ball that I put my name on when I was eight years old, the little wooden popsicle stick sled my oldest girl made for me when she was just four, the carousel horse that my youngest gave me in 1993, when she was just nine. All the ornaments that he and I collected during our years together…a new one each year. I’ll try not to think of the video we made of our rescue dog’s first Christmas…How do I forget? Where do I put all of this now?
My birthday was on the 13th of this month too. Another day I had to face alone…There is a lot of learning to do here. Learning to be alone. I know it is all getting better, and that every day is a new start. The future is wide open and empty before me…I’m excited about it, and yes, scared too.
Okay…that’s it. That’s what I had to say, what I had to get put down on the page so I can move on. Sharing, writing, crying, storing away….this is how I will heal, a little at a time.
Starting over can be wonderful…burying the past hurts.
I just had another thought…Maybe it is really just not knowing who I am now. For the first time in my life, I am not caring for someone else. I am no one’s wife, mother, rescuer, daughter…at least not in my daily life. I am learning how to be just “me”…Who am I without all the labels?