This week the boys start back to school; the dumpster is getting delivered tomorrow so we can start really clearing out the house/garage; and I turn 50! Is it ironic or perhaps not, that just as I turn 50, I am moving and really facing the start of a new life? Just interesting that the two coincide so closely.
I read a post today by another middle-aged widow, the topic being that you cannot rush the grieving process. It is individualized and also dictated by so many other circumstances. I can totally agree with her observation. But at the same time, here are these milestones glaring in my face telling me that the world is moving on and it is time for me too to make those steps.
I continue to be filled with regret that I was unable to move to my second husband's home at the time we had originally planned. Both of my parents were in the hospital during that summer and at one point we thought both were going to die, although my father recovered. I had workmen in the house fixing it up, was trying to parent two active early-adolescent boys on my own and had my new husband on my back for not being able to get it all together fast enough.
With some perspective and time behind me now, I realize that I just could not add the emotional and physical stress and stain of moving out-of-state to my already over brimming plate. I tried to explain that to my husband and begged him for his patience and understanding as I grappled with clearing out my parent's home after my Mom's death. He couldn't get it and filed for the divorce that January. But here I am now, at a different place with so many of those emotional hurdles gone. If only he had hung in there with me and realized that eventually I'd reach the point I'm at. I could not rush, bypass or fast forward the process from two summers ago to now.
It is all such a balancing act - remaining true to who you are and strong in the face of others who want you to move the heck on according to their time table. For me it wasn't that I didn't want to start a new life then - I would have given anything to have taken the easier way out to a less stressful life. But I just couldn't tie up all the pieces. Some of it no doubt was my reluctance to start a new life in a totally new community away from everything I'd known with my husband. I do know that if my parents hadn't been so ill, my ability to make the move would have been so much easier. There was just too much burying me under from the past - all the childhood stuff and my husband's death on top of the serious health issues of my parents.
So here I am today, emotionally in a far better place to make the move from my home of 18 years, although the circumstances are so drastically worse. Go figure! The twists and turns of life. Although the world goes on, until you're at a place where you can jump in, it is just kind of a period of treading water or moving along with the flow of the current. And that is an okay place to be, although so many out there don't get this, including my ex-husband.
Today I am grateful:
1. For the friends who have stood beside me on this journey.
2. For the gorgeous late summer weather.
3. For the opportunity to have an apricot flavored ice cream cone from a place that has 24 odd flavors of soft serve ice cream.
4. For that brief period of back-to-school excitement before the grueling academic year sets in.
5. For the new slate the new school year seems to inspire.