What do you see when you look at this picture? I see love, fun, teamwork, happiness. A couple of years ago this picture, as happy as it is, would have made me sad. I would have seen sadness, loss, something missing. Unexpectedly, I am finally able to see what is there instead of always focusing on what or who is not. It's huge. It also happened without me noticing the subtle difference.
I didn't want it to happen, or at least parts of me didn't. Big parts of me were resistant. I didn't want to anticipate the future. I knew one thing for certain about the future - Daniel wasn't going to be there. What else did I need to know but that? If that was the lure of the future...I could resist for a very long time. I wasn't resistant to the present though, G is here...that's a big draw. I was fine with the present, I could take it one day at a time. The future on the other hand...the future was a black endless place with no certainty and no promise of happily ever after. Talk about having your illusions killed...when you watch your husband die at 35, life takes on a different color. The light is gone and blackness takes it place.
Until it doesn't. I think Janine wrote about life being shades of gray as she came out of the inky blackness of grief. I think the gray was my envelope for a few years until the colors started to seep back in. A few hues each month until suddenly a faded palette was there. Not vibrant, but softly colorful nonetheless. I noticed. It was good.
I think with my move back to Austin in 2009 the last pieces really started to fall into place. I was home. I felt it in my bones and it felt right. For the first time in a few years, I felt really good - healthy in mind and body. I'd like to say I felt like the old me, but the old me doesn't exist anymore. I felt in touch with the new me in a way I'd never felt before. Life was colorful again and the future looked maybe not bright, but at least possible.
It's been about a year and a half since then, and the trend has continued. Maybe it isn't so much the 5 years since Daniel died, maybe it's also the 40 year mark. I know who I am and I know what I want in a way I never have before. I've heard people say that you finally understand yourself in your 40s. Maybe it's true. Whatever the reason, 5 years or 40, I like it. It feels really good.