Melancholy. Numb. Ambivalent. Nothing good in those words. On most days I can flip those words inside out and find a bright side or silver lining, but today it’s just not there. Last Tuesday my friend had a bad day. She woke up angry. She could not put her finger on it. She thought maybe she was letting too many people manager her time. She went to read her usual pick me ups. She tried to journal. Nothing worked. I told her she was having an “I’m so bitchy I can’t stand myself” kind of day.
I don’t remember the last kiss, hug, embrace, or touch. I wish I could remember just one. Because at his best he was the most sincere, and caring man. He loved me. I loved him. We had plans. Until we didn’t. One day we stopped planning. Life took its course. Throwing curveballs. Job losses. Foreclosure. Ends upon ends. Until our marriage halted.
I smiled. We all smiled. The other three agreed. In unison, oh yeh, he was my favorite, too. They went on and on, and I told the story of my regret, and how I just found pictures and a letter of and from him, and yes, I admitted I had thought of him, both recently, and often.
Just like in Improv, it’s not always easy to roll with the line, though. But it’s better than killing the scene. In life, when we accept what’s put in front of us, the outcome, at least in my experience is healthier. Acceptance sure works better than Pepcid, TUMS, and Zantac. It’s cheaper, too. Denial had me drinking alongside the alcoholic, ignoring the problems, and in a constant state of resentment. It sucks to be perpetually disappointed. Saying goodbye to denial is a great relief to the mind and liver, too.
Yesterday morning I spoke with my sister and shared my blues about being alone Christmas Day. Bridget will be with her father today, and I am not making Christmas dinner, which we’ve always shared with my parents. I was dreading being alone. In spite of my little pep talk, about subtracting “no” and “can’t” from my vocabulary, I was falling right into the trap I desperately wanted to avoid: Self-pity.
My favorite story which makes me believe in fate is from January 1942 at St. Bernard’s Hospital. Patricia Craven and Dorothy Burns shared a room in the maternity ward. Patricia gave birth to Pasty, and Dorothy gave birth to Marie. The mothers would meet again 27 years later when Patricia’s son, Jerry, married Marie.
Loss is manifested in an array of endings. I compared the end of my marriage in my 20s to death. In fact, I believed my reality was worse than death. Instead of asking God in the event of death, “Why did you take him from me,” I asked, “Why couldn’t he love me, and why wasn’t I enough?”
Much like Maya Angelou, I never met a day like today. The day had not begun when I walked to the garage. I entered a yard of darkness. The sky above was so clear and black with its stars so sharp and plentiful that it appeared to be randomly pierced by a dart that invited narrow streams of light to emerge, all of which were superseded by the size and splendor of the sensational half-moon, whose white light just bathed me as I walked out to the garage. I stood in awe of its beauty. I stood grateful for the moment and the presence of mind to welcome yesterday’s ending and today’s beginning.