Maggie kept the beat in our relationship when it came to social engagements. She injected me into a lively social world that held me captive to weekends packed with activities, most of which were not optional. Now, without her overwhelming influence, I find myself woefully disengaged with what I think most people would consider normal life.
We had no children so I don’t benefit from the continued social pressure that comes with little ones. The lack of children also often filters me from events in which I’d otherwise be included. Well-meaning friends intentionally don’t invite me to birthday parties and other kid-thick events “to protect my sanity,” so they say.
Except for the brave and determined, friends who only knew Chris as half of Maggie and Chris have had difficultly making the transition. Most fell aside quickly after Maggie’s Angel Day. My guess is that they were battle-weary from the 850-day fight. However, for me that was just the climactic end of one major battle in the still on-going war.
So here I am with my solitary habits but now with fewer friends. Fewer friends mean fewer easy opportunities to be social. Gravity has temporarily dragged me into a lonely world.
Thankfully, if there’s one thing that seems to be constant, it’s change. Life is transition. All of this will change and it will likely change again. The New Reality will become the Old New Reality. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
The picture that I chose for this post was taken on one of our many happy vacations. A framed version hangs by the front door of my downtown condo and right below it sits a patient walking stick I cut from a tree that grew at the house where we lived together happily for almost ten years. Every day when I leave the condo I glance at that picture. Almost every weekend, I take that walking stick on a mini adventure. Both remind me that my journey isn’t done; I’m just in transition.
I consider myself a world traveler. As of this writing, I’ve visited 11 countries (with three more coming up next month.) Every one of my journeys has involved at least one secluded and often scary path. Each time I’ve been delighted at what I found at the destination. Life is a grand adventure. I also consider myself one of the lucky ones because just like you I’m forever blessed to never again walk a path alone, even when I’m the only one leaving footprints.