A friend got in touch with me today, concerned about my state of mind. It's funny, because I know I hurt and miss him and feel incredibly broken. But I feel like I am doing many many right things. I feel like I am doing very well, all things considered. I mean, really, money is incredibly tight, both cars just died and I had to get a new one, I needed to ask for help with holiday gifts for the kids, daycare money, AND groceries. But the answer was "yes", so now I am just waiting to have the money to make my first car payment. I sit on the couch, messing around with the computer and look at the ceramic snowmen ornaments on my tiny little tree: 2003 for our engagement, 2005 for our wedding, 2006 with a baby Aiden snowman, 2008 adding Cilly, and 2010 with all three small humans. I don't cry. Not always. I get tears in my eyes sometimes. Usually when I look, my eyes feel like they are hooked with heat to the small smiling faces with our names in the hearts below them. It is hard to look away.
I got the kids out in the snow twice yesterday and once today. We made "white trash" snacks, Snickerdoodles, and ginger cookies. I did some yoga stretches on the kitchen floor while making tea- my throat hurts. My bathroom is a mess, but I did two loads of laundry today, shoveled the walk, and made it to hospice to get the special memory tear drop ornament. I don't want people to worry about me; I want them to think about me, to love me, to get in touch with me, to reach out. So it was odd to me that she was concerned, but I was very glad she called.
I think, mostly, I am doing okay with the fact that John is gone. I have been preparing myself for that inevitability since the day the diagnosis was confirmed. What I am not doing so great with is the idea that this leaves me alone. I was never very smart about dating and guys and relationships. Some people now tell me they think I am beautiful. I still really struggle with that idea. And even when I do feel it may be true, it solves nothing because, as a good friend says, I am broader than that. I carry in my backpack, a verbally abused and misused teen, a grunge-tinged hippie, a romantic, an adventurer, a moderate literary geek, a poet, a flirt, a floozy, a thief, an idealist, a warrior...and about a dozen or two things in-between. Ani DiFranco sings a line "I can't be the only, whatever I am in the room...", but oh boy do I feel that way sometimes. Seriously.
And I get sincerely stuck between a couple truths that immobilize and confuse the hell out of me. First, I know from experience and everyone tells me (as if I don't already know) that in order to find love, you must stop looking for it. Okay, fine. But I know a few close friends who have found lovely relationships BY LOOKING ON DATING SITES. How do you do that, without trying? And then, I am constantly aware of and fighting the possibility of becoming my mother. And my grandmother. They both divorced, and NEVER DATED AGAIN. So, if I don't look and don't try, whose to say that I won't fall into forever with no one, because I am one of those that falls between the cracks?
What do I mean by that, you ask? Well, historically, the type of guy I attract with my looks does not get my brain, sense of humor, depth...and then there is all the lovely layers of crazy they get to wade through...no, not crazy, sorry "mentally hilarious"ness I think is the term I found online. So I don't know that I'm ready to date, but I want to kind of try a little...it's going to take me a while to get into the whole thing and I might as well get started.
Unless, of course, I shouldn't. Because that isn't how you find it. So never mind. But then, what if I don't try, and then 12 years have passed and my kids have grown up so damned far without a dad around and I am 52 and my parts have revirgined themselves?? Yeah, okay, that is a bunch of poppycock, but my mother used to talk about this to me when I was a kid. She was all excited about "being a virgin again"! Yes, just one of many inappropriate, twisted things my mother shared with me as I was growing up. Yippee!
So I can daydream, anyway...I don't care too much what he would look like. They guys I have really loved, John included, I was not initially physically attracted to. In fact, one of the big guns in my past I thought was quite unattractive at first. And I ended up in a place where I would have done ANYTHING for this man. So looks, eh, whatever. I'd like a guy in shape to some degree- who likes to hike and camp and be outside and do stuff. Someone smart, who reads. Someone who can tell me I am beautiful and mean it, deeply. Someone who makes me feel special, unique, pampered...someone annoying with how clean he wants the house- a little. Someone who wants to snuggle and knows how to flirt with me, make me feel sexy even when I look like crap. I'd like someone who loved the idea of traveling, even if we couldn't afford to do it. I'd like a guy who smiles when he sees my kids...who likes coffee and Indian food, veggies and fruits. Someone who knows life is messy and we are all deeply flawed and who isn't afraid to embrace his crazy and introduce it to mine, and maybe even let them duke it out now and then. And someone who understands that no matter how much I may grow to love them, John will always be the father of my children, my first deep true trustworthy love and I will always try to include him in ways- some big and some small- if for no other reason than my kids need to know him as best as I can make that happen.
So...Santa, whaddya think? Hahaha...yeah. Well...like I said, a girl can dream a little, right?