.... Posts I've Ever Written.
Something has changed.
And I wasn't even aware of it until 2 days ago.
Which is kind of freaking me out, because this change was huge.
So huge that it stunned me when I realized it. Literally.
And then I wondered how I felt about it.
I felt horrible and yet a little relieved at the same time.
And I kept this change to myself, thinking I could never admit this.
Not to anyone.
But then I read Dan's post and I commented to him that I am committed to being honest with all of you.
Yet .... even as I type this .... I wonder if I'll have the courage to hit "Publish Post".
Because although you are all some of the safest people I know .... and we almost always
connect with one another in a way that we don't with those on the "outside", I question
whether anyone will "get" this? And I wonder if you'll think what I first thought .... that I
am a horrible person for feeling this new way.
So .... I'm taking a deep breath and just jumping in. Because really ..... I can NOT be the only person widowed person .... who has experienced this.
Most of you know that I began a relationship with someone 2 years after Jim died. The first man that I met in my "after". We dated for a little over a year and then broke up a couple of months ago. It was very difficult to do, but we both knew it just wasn't working, even though we loved each other. And so we ended the "relationship", but not the friendship.
And we've both moved forward, though I haven't met anyone since .... and I don't think that he has, either.
Anyway, things have been going along well ..... until this past week. I have found myself thinking about him, wondering how he's doing .... wondering if we could make it work if we tried again, having learned a few things. Not making plans or anything really ..... just wondering. You know, wondering about the "what ifs". Knowing that I'm the only one who's doing the wondering, so of course it won't work. And that's OK.
But then a couple of days ago, on Easter, I started feeling blue. We'd had a good morning ... gone to church, had lunch and then my oldest son headed back to college. My middle daughter had left early that morning. And the blue started growing darker. I hate it when they leave. Then I started crying as I wandered though the house. I thought it must be that I was missing Jim, especially on a holiday. But then ..... out of the very dark blue ..... it hit me:
It wasn't Jim who I was missing. It was the other man.
I could not believe that thought was in my brain. I can't believe that I'm typing it out.... .... here .... for everyone to read.
So yes, I was .... and still am .... stunned by that change in me.
I mean, I know .... with every fiber of my being ..... that I still miss Jim. That I'll always miss him. And will always love him.
But to feel a change in the missing of him ..... feels horrible .... and yet positive at the same time.
How could someone who's lost the love of her life .... her first love, the only love she knew for almost 27 years ..... miss another person, a different person whom she loved for such a short time ..... more than she misses her husband? What does that say about her love for him? That it's fading? That she's forgetting him? That she must not have loved him enough? That she's a horrible person widow?
No, that is not what it says.
Not at all.
After the first moments of shock and panic wore off, and in the time since then, and yes.... even as I've been typing these words .... I've realized that it says this about my love: Jim and I loved each other so much that we felt more secure with ourselves. We knew that we were worthy of being loved. We knew that we deserved to be loved .... and to be loved well.
All because we loved each other.
We loved each other very, very well.
Because he loved me the way he did, the way I needed to be loved .... I am able to love again.
And I will love again. Hopefully. And I will be loved the way I need to be loved. Hopefully.
And that turns something that I first thought was horrible .... into something that is positive .... and very good.
And all because .... of Jim.