And the Beat Goes On...

It all comes down to what I know versus what I feel. My mind is fully aware that Mike is gone and will never come back. I have hard evidence sitting in the back seat of my car in a pewter urn. Intellectually I accept it but emotionally, well that’s another story. And today is one of those days when no matter what my brain says, my broken heart cannot stop feeling lost and my red, swollen eyes cannot stem the tears.

I spent most of my teens and twenties figuring out what I believed and how to apply it to my life. By the time I met Michael at 33, I was comfortable with myself. I knew who I was and what I wanted and I was good with it. What I hadn’t counted on were those aspects of myself that would surface from the adjustments I had to make to accommodate another person in my life. It was no longer just about me. It took being laid off and moving to California to push me into confronting the challenges and work towards overcoming them.

I was just getting a handle on that when two new delightful beings entered the picture, Thomas and Mary Jane. Suddenly it was all about something different, far more difficult but far more exciting and rewarding. I will have to say I was not doing a good job at finding my way. It took riding out a 7.1 earthquake and Mike totaling my car to push a return to Illinois where I felt I could better address the issues with both my marriage and my family. I remember a classic Mother’s Day in 1990, shortly after our return, when Mike was still in California and I was on my own with two toddlers, ages 2 and 3. On this day, they were strapped in their carseats debating back and forth whether I was a “good mommy” or a “bad mommy.” I don’t remember who won that round but ten years later the verdict came in good mommy over bad and ultimately good wife over bad. But was I a good person? The jury was still out on that one.

After 26 years of finding my comfort zone as a wife and mother, today I find myself at the same personal and spiritual juncture at which I have found myself before. Major adjustments must be made if I am to be able to function by myself as a single entity again. And do it while suffering under the heaviest, energy zapping sadness of my life. I question myself constantly – maybe I didn’t appreciate him enough while he was here, maybe I should have pushed harder to get him to get healthy sooner, maybe I didn’t love him enough. The answers don’t come and the long strange trip just gets stranger and stranger. And of course, the tears continue to flow freely for no specific reason, uncalled for and unwanted.

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