Fourteen years ago I pledged to love, honour and be faithful to another for the rest of my life. Fourteen years ago, my heart was so bursting with joy that I could scarcely breathe. He told me to look deeply into his eyes and find the strength. I did. I fell so deeply into his eyes, that everything else melted away. The fairytale was real and I was living my dream. It was a beautiful day with the ceremony in a lovely stone chapel with the reception held at the local castle. The sun was radiant, but not too hot for the end of summer. The sky a perfect, deep and clear blue. Seldom are we given perfect days, I was blessed with this being one of them. A year and a half ago I learned that fairytales are not true. That dreams do get shattered and you can be left holding nothing but the shattered pieces, wondering where to go and how to put your life back together. I had my heart ripped from my chest with a sucker punch to the gut, blindsided in the very worst way. Not only was the dream lost, but in time, I learned what he never knew and still doesn’t realise; he was never free to love me in the first place. My dream was a total illusion, nothing but vapor, smoke and screens. In a strange sort of way, we are all victims in this Shakespearian tragedy and somehow I need to keep going on. People keep telling me that I am strong. I couldn’t understand why I kept hearing that, not feeling strong but feeling battered and war torn. Finally I saw what others see as strength is merely the ability to make good decisions. The first lesson I learned through this is that we have no control in life except for the way in which we choose to react to whatever is put in front of us. That’s it. Nothing more. Making good, healthy choices is often perceived by others as strength, but in reality, it is just survival. Sure, there are a myriad of things I could have done that in the moment might have afforded me a little satisfaction and believe me, I have had some whopper of thoughts, but in the end, every time I thought about deviating from the high road, I was able to look out to the horizon and see it was only me that ultimately would be hurt in the end. I couldn’t afford to do that to myself, so good choices were made. Not every time, but enough that I can lay my head on my pillow at night and sleep knowing I’ve done my best. It has been a roller coaster ride with large and small drops and lifts. And it has been in no way easy, none of it. But I am still here and I’m still moving on. Where? I haven’t a clue, but I’m working on figuring that out. Today was one of those little tumble rides that I have learned to hang on to and ride out, waiting for the lift to come. I had a rough conversation with one of my four children and had to call his father just to get my bearings on straight and let him know what had happened. It hurt to do that, especially since it also made me acutely aware of what tomorrow is, but it was the right thing to do. After, I felt the tug on my heart continue to drain all the good feelings from me and the weight of the world resting upon my shoulders. My neighbour noticed and asked where my characteristic smile was. All I could muster was a grin and a shrug. I couldn’t find the sunshine, even though I knew it was just behind the clouds. I had forgotten how to put my smile on and didn’t feel like remembering. I felt very much alone. I felt I needed to chronicle my feelings and sent them out in a few tweets over the course of a trip to the grocery store.
You can’t always get what you want,
but if you try sometimes,
You just might find,
You get what you need.
Sometimes it’s just too hard to find the sunshine through the clouds.
Sometimes it is okay to give yourself permission to feel the pain. So much love, light and hope is spread here on Twitter. But sometimes…
…life does suck and sometimes you just get too tired to find the smile.
And then I was walking down the paper goods isle when I heard from the other side of the store, “Twice in one week!” It was a friend, someone I knew from when my 14 year old was in Cub Scouts and he was one of the other fathers and then the den leader before I took over the job. Someone that I didn’t see very often, but someone who has one of the kindest, warmest souls I have ever met. I had run into him at the beginning of the summer after not seeing him in a long time and told him about what had happened and where I was in my life. He, like so many others, couldn’t believe it since my husband and I always seemed to be a perfect match. Tonight, he stopped to ask me how I was “hanging on.” One look into the tears welling up in my eyes that I couldn’t hold back and he only had three words to say to me, but they were the perfect three words. “Don’t let go, ” he said, “That’s the only advise I can give you is just don’t let go.” I am a firm believer in the truth that we always get what we need. Many times, we just don’t recognise it, but I have become better a paying attention and listening and watching for it. Tonight, I got just what I needed. Three small, powerful words, “Don’t let go.” The following was what I tweeted as I walked away, wiping the tears that I somehow managed to mostly hold back.
And that too, is okay. To deny pain is not living the truth. Things do get better or so it is said. I think it’s more like it gets different
I am still learning. 🙂
And sometimes when you feel most alone and crushed, you are sent an angel who shows you how to smile again.