The Next Chapter

chapter_smlMy freshman year in college I took a class called Sociology 5.  One of the books on our reading list was Lord of the Flies.  I distinctly remember laying on my dorm room bed afraid to turn the page to find out what happened in the next chapter.  It was exciting and scary at the same time.  Other books have not had that effect.  It took me almost a year to read Wuthering Heights.  I did not like Heathcliff at all.  He seemed so immature and obsessive.  My marriage had just ended and I spent so much time not reacting to my feelings that seeing Heathcliff act like a petulant imbecile really frustrated me.  I popped my ambien pill, opened the book faithfully every evening and within 3 to 4 pages was asleep.  And then there are books like Unbroken.  The story of Louis Zamperini.  I couldn’t believe what new terrors and adventures each chapter of his life brought.  First Olympic hero, then part of a bomber crew in WWII, then stranded man floating on a life boat at sea.  Then POW.  His life has been fascinating.  Since I knew he was still alive it helped turning to the next chapter.  I was hopeful.  I knew as bad as some of it was, it HAD to get better eventually.

I guess that has always been my attitude about my life.  I sometimes thought I was at my lowest point, but the good news was, if I was right,  I only had one direction to go.  Up.

There are only a few pages left to my current chapter in life.  Three months and my daughter graduates.  Six months and she’ll be moving into dorms.  And me?

Let me tell you what I HOPE happens and why I am hoping so much!

Yesterday Harry and I took my daughter to the campus where she will most likely attend and live in the dorms next year.  It is my alma mater and it brought back so many memories.  I work in the same city which is over 50 miles away from my current home so I am considering moving there to be with her for her sophomore year, or even sooner giving her a close place to crash on the weekends.  It is also the same town where Harry has wanted to live for some time – dreaming of a high-rise apartment literally on the beach.  We toured the apartment yesterday and I’m mad at myself for not taking a picture of the views.  We looked at a unit on the 15th floor.  One side of the apartment had floor to ceiling views of the beach and the other side had the most amazing view of practically the entire Southland.  It took my breath away.

I’ve secretly and not so secretly dreamed of having a small place where the view makes up for the size.  I never ever imagined anything as beautiful as THIS view.  Less to take care of and clean and much more to do outside.  I could literally run ON the beach everyday.  Yes, its expensive but if Harry and I get married we should be able to afford it between the two of us.  I’m so excited thinking about it I can hardly think of anything else.  I don’t think I’ve let onto him how excited I truly am.  I’m trying to be cool…but internally I’m freaking excited.

We actually toured a living space we would share and that would only happen if we got married.  So naturally I started thinking about that again.

Harry has been going to church with me every week for a long time now.  He reminds me to pray before meals and even though I’m sure he hasn’t committed fully – he has definitely been moved toward accepting certain things which is a step closer than we were.  However.  I have this dream every time he’s holding my hand in church of me walking down that aisle toward him and my pastor who I respect a lot and getting married before God and a very limited audience.  Just simple and small but in church.  I know the pastor would never agree to marry us if Harry were not a believer.  So I probably shouldn’t think about it too much.  But sometimes I can’t help it.  It is ideal for me.  THIS time I want to walk toward my husband to be with ONLY our new life and him in my heart.  It’s a small room with beautiful wood beam ceilings.  I imagine lots of candles, very intimate ceremony.  Could it be that I’m starting to really believe again that a happy ending is possible?  I feel it in my bones.

And then my mind jumps to our honeymoon.  What better way to start than going to one of his favorite places on earth, New York City and then to a place neither one of us have ever been ….Niagara Falls and a little town in Canada called Niagara on the Lake.  Neither of us have ever visited the Great Lakes region before.  It seems so old-fashioned and romantic and yet interesting.  Instead of laying on a beach doing nothing the whole time. Why not?  Someone needs to reign me in…

I don’t know what will happen for real.  I’m just dreaming at this point.  But what is amazing is that I’m dreaming again.  I’m counting the pages until the next chapter begins and I’m really starting to get excited.  Every now and then the stomach thing happens and I’m afraid to look at what happens next.  Like when I was reading Lord of the Flies.  But as scared as I am to take each step forward I’m just as excited…no I’m MORE excited.

The knot in my stomach isn’t there as often.  And even when we argue so much good comes out of it.  We’ve shared such intimate and special moments together.  I’m learning.  He’s learning.  We are still communicating.  I pray, pray, pray we are now on the right track and are going to stay there.

If we keep taking steps moving forward to meshing our lives for real like we did this weekend, that peaceful feeling will  become more constant.

One day, I hope very soon, I will turn that page and stop wondering what will happen in my next chapter.  On that day, I will start living it.  I wonder if anything will be as I have dreamt it?

It’s ok if it’s not.  I really just hope Harry is in it.  That’s all I care about.

One response to “The Next Chapter

  1. Wow girl I love it!! I think it is wonderful that you can dream again!! And I know how much he loves New York City. Cant wait for your next chapter to begin. Just take it one day at a time!

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