For a while after the accident I flinched every time traffic stopped quickly on the freeway. If it looked like the car behind me was going too fast I would suck air and flinch at the same time. Any hint of the possibility of another rear-end and I was a contorted, breath-holding, bundle of nerves. And maybe that is what happens when a person you trust hurts you and leaves you. Besides my dad dying which certainly wasn’t his fault I have never had to experience ever being left by someone I love. I’ve never been hurt so deeply or profoundly in my entire life.
We got on the freeway to go to my mom’s house and I was pumped. Me and the kids were going to make the most of it. I had my two bowls of the must-have Family Recipe Onion Dip with us and I turned on Christmas music even which was a huge step for me and we started singing. There was heavy traffic but that was expected. Bring it on I said. Literally. “Who cares about traffic, we’re gonna have a great day!” That’s when I looked over to the car beside me to see a very nice man making the motion that everyone understands even though none of us have a “roll up window” anymore. He leaned his head out his window and said, “You’ve got a flat tire.”
So as I read the words he wrote I admired him for the courage it took to write them. For giving it to me straight. And I feel even deeper in love with him for it. So much respect and admiration I can’t explain. And I thought how awesome it is that I’m getting the opportunity to put him first and that I get to prove my love for him instead of my need for him.
I forced myself out of the house because I spend way too much time there alone and yet it didn’t help. I felt even more alone walking the aisles. As I did I just got more numb. I had to so I wouldn’t cry. I tried to enjoy what I was looking at, enjoy the time on my own but I’ve had enough with being alone.
Popular culture uses fairy tales as a symbol for happy endings. The knight in shining armor saves and falls in love with fair maiden and they live happily ever after. But what is the true lesson from fairy tales?
The Skype phone rang and there he was saying hello. I broke down in tears. They just kept pouring out dripping off the end of my nose. I told him how much I missed him and how sorry I was about his job. He was kind and patient and sad too. I needed to let it all out and he was willing to listen. He felt responsible for my unhappiness and I felt responsible for his.
I can manage my day to day life. I pay my bills, take care of my kids, make plans, laugh and enjoy the people around me but I love him. I miss him. And I’m sad. That’s all. And I don’t know when I’m going to see him again.
I spent one night convinced he was on a plane. I was counting the hours since I last heard from him and figured if he got on a plane he would be arriving soon to surprise me. I was wrong. But I kept looking out the window every time I heard a sound outside. And every time when there was no one there, I told myself how wrong I was. But it didn’t keep me from looking out the window until I went to bed that night. I even imagined my sister in on it and figuring if he got in really late and she went to go pick him up that he would probably sleep at her house and surprise me in the morning. Wrong again.
I hung up at 7:00pm which was 3:00 AM his time. It was coincidentally the same time we said good night a year ago. He kind of played around like he was kissing me cheek to cheek like we had that first night and I said with a smile…”No…that’s not good enough this time. I want a real kiss and I’ll wait for it.”
Serendipity is the the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated. This time last year I was headed to the Emerald Isle for a girl’s adventure. It was the first time since witnessing the destruction of my 18 year marriage that I was embracing my singleness, my hope for the future, my age, and my ability to be happy and content despite my past.