I am sitting upstairs in the bedroom... the morning light streaming through the window. Only today, I'm not upstairs in my own room, but at Mike's place. He's downstairs getting the morning started while I get my post done. I got in last night, and it's the first morning here. The first time I have ever been here. I'm a little overwhelmed, I'll admit.
It is immediately surreal to walk in the house as we came in. I halfway expected his wife Megan to be here. And in a way, she is. In every paint color on the walls and every picture and little embroidered wall hanging. In every small and sweet touch throughout their cozy home, she is here. And her love is here. I'd be lying if I didn't say I felt like I wasn't supposed to be here. Like in a strange way I wished it all back to how it used to be... for her to still be here with her daughter and her husband. For me to still be back in Texas with Drew. For a moment in time, I think it all felt so horribly wrong...
And then Shelby, his daughter, tells me excitedly to come up and see her room. We go up the stairs and she jokes that I should be faster at going up stairs (she knows I do Crossfit). I feel automatically old and laugh, telling her I would be if I wasn't so tired. Her room is pink and of course... filled with stars. Stars on the ceiling, stars on the walls, the little glowing ones. And planets hanging from the ceiling, and a little solar system nightlight that projects onto the walls. Her walls are two shades of pink, which I like and tell her so. And she shares how that was her mom's idea... that she couldn't decide which pink she wanted and so Megan did this really great two-tone thing. Her room is cool, like half girly and half not, so much like my own room as a kid. My own room, which my mother also helped decorate for a short time until she was no longer here.
When she brought me back downstairs, she showed me the china cabinet with all her mom's figurines. And we played with the dogs while Mike made plates of dinner delicious pork roast with saurkraut. The house is filled with stars, every wall and around every corner. And this is not lost on me by any means... I was brought here very specifically. Drew's (Andrew's) initials and mine spelled STAR. And many of my business pages online are named after a memory of ours – Seven Shooting Stars. Mike's wife, had seven star tattoos. Quite literally, the stars brought us together. Hell, I even saw a shooting star JUST as the plane was landing in Ohio last night. I've never seen that before. It was the blessind I needed. And I know, as I look around the house at all the many stars, I was brought here for a reason.
It is the most surreal experience. And this morning as I am soaking it in, I'm beginning to understand why. It is more than just walking into the house of a widowed man and feeling the presence of his wife all around. It is, in a way, like walking back in time into my own life, in some parallel universe. It is like seeing my nine year old self after losing my mom to breast cancer... only in this life, my dad chooses to date again instead of remaining single as he did. In this life, the little girl has a chance to see how love can keep on going, in a way that honors those we love who are gone. She gets to know how it feels to have another woman here in their house and for it to feel good and exciting and happy and safe. She gets to know a grown woman who has lost her own mother young. All things I never knew. I don't even have words for how surreal it feels to suddenly be on the other end of things both the widowed experience and the motherless one. How can you not feel like you were brought here by some other force? By two souls scheming together from the other side no doubt.
There's more... it's going to be a hell of a day. I meet his parents later this afternoon, which I'm really excited for. And in a few hours, we will be driving to this rental house I am looking to get. A house. In a place I have only seen in the dark so far. What? This is seriously rushed and crazy impulsive for me. Eight months ago I didn't even know this man, and now I am about to uproot my entire life to be near him and try this thing. That isn't me. I don't do things like that. I am not romantic in that sense, but practical. I am a calculated decision maker. I take my time even approaching the idea of major life changes. But I also listen to my gut and trust it heavily. And so even if logic says this is not something I would normally do, I can't ignore my intuition... telling me that it is time for change.
I have been feeling the push again... the same push I felt when Drew died and I left Dallas. It's the feeling that Drew wants me to go. Like he is telling me – even though I don't feel ready and it seems fast – that it's time. And somehow I can trust that. I can trust that even though I have no clue if this will all work out, I must go and see. There's a knowingness in my soul about it. I'd by lying if I didn't say it's still excrutiating though at times... that I am not still having many moments of tears and ache in my heart for how much I miss Drew. But that knowingness is there, and coming right from him... that I need to find out about this unknown. That no matter how hard and scary and emotional the idea of moving far away is, I can feel, deep down, it is time to push again. It's time to brush up against uncertainty and fear and chaos once more. It's time to be unsettled and unsure and time to adapt to a new world again – but this time, without death as the agonizing springboard. This time, instead, it is life.