Tonight I toasted my youngest son's confirmation with me, myself, and I. The ceremony was really beautiful, we enjoyed a lively lunch with our family to celebrate, and at the end of the day I felt peaceful and content. So, I popped the cork on a bottle of champagne, and toasted to a joy filled day.
As I poured my solo glass of bubbly, I laughed at myself for opening the bottle just for me. I also struggled with a slight sense of melancholy since I was once again reviewing the highlights of the day alone.
One of the things I missed the most after becoming unwillingly single was having someone with whom to share the "look." You know the one...it says "Did you just see that?" or "I am so proud of her." or "This is the most fabulous concert ever!" or even, "That kid is in so much trouble!" There are so many messages that effortlessly pass between two people committed to sharing the ups and downs of life together. Every once in awhile I see a look pass between strangers that identifies them as partners, and my heart aches a little with the tenderness of the moment.
I have to admit that figuring out if I missed having a life partner, or if I specifically missed having Phil as my life partner was not easy to do. The idea that both could be true didn't occur to me. For years I knew that my heart longed for daily companionship, but I couldn't figure out how to acknowledge that need without the disloyalty alarm sounding. For awhile I ignored my desire to find another partner. For an even longer time I pretended that being alone would be fine. But after awhile lifting my glass to the heavens became so lonely that I stopped toasting.
My greatest fear in entering a new relationship was that others would assume that I am now fixed. Phil's death, and the aftermath that followed, seemed diminished somehow if I wasn't actively in pain. What I have discovered is that loving one man doesn't replace the love I have for the other, that being alone for the rest of my life because my husband died doesn't work for me, and that what other people think was never under my control anyway. So for the record, I am not fixed. But I do look forward to toasting life's wonderful moments with the new man in my life, and I am pretty sure that there will be a time when we both tip our glasses to the heavens.