Chapter Two… Now For Something Completely Different

I’m not so sure I’m good at change. I can, however, adapt to things when I am put in a situation that requires me to be flexible, but I can only do that when I am receiving the same commitment which I am giving. I guess the word for that would be compromise. Not the same as change.Change is uncomfortable. I don’t like change. Change makes me want to do two things. One is run, the other is go back to my past, where things were safe and predictable.

Lately, I’ve been exploring the idea of trying to get back home again. At almost 53, (March 19th) this has been a recurring thought for me, as of late. What does it mean, to go home again? Isn’t that a lift from Thomas Hardy? In this scenario, I have finally figured out it means getting to my authentic self. As of late, I’ve been finding out the things that used to bring me pleasure, no longer do so. It’s a scary thought, this inability to self sooth. We all have to learn how to comfort ourselves, like a toddler who you are praying will make the adjustment to sleeping in his/her own bed. I know no kid goes to college missing the parent bed, and somewhere down the road that transition takes place. How do we, as adults make those life segues for ourselves?

Currently, I am a widow and mother of two teen-aged children. However, I am now involved with a great guy. No,  you didn’t see that one coming, neither did I, don’t think he did, either. My problem lies in the dilemma of not knowing how to date someone while being a mother. Who knows how to be in a situation like this? I certainly don’t. Maybe I should read up on this? This is how I have learned to deal with new information in the past.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my family found it hysterical that I read all kinds of books on how to be a parent. Who does that? Well, I do, and as a matter of record, Scott, my husband, did as well. Yes, maybe not everyone’s choice, but it gave me the initial confidence, like doing the prerequisite reading for a difficult required class. so, in that sense, it was a good base.

This time, I am juggling my two children, (19 and 15), my transition from marriage to widowhood to a new relationship. The other factor, and it is a big factor, is the man I’m seeing has been married, and has his own issues and children. Now, I know this is a unique situation to people coming from a divorced/separated relationship. I’m not sure where this will lead, but being exclusive to Mr. A right now  feels like the right choice for me. Have I told you he is a wonderful, sweet man? He would have to be, to get my attention, at this point in my personal growth curve.

And there it is again, that same theme. Am I up to juggling my two children,now late teens and almost young adult? My daughter seems to think she has a vote in this. Hell, I feel like I don’t have a vote in this! Love is love. I never thought, in a million years, I would meet someone who could hold my attention and admiration again. I was like, “Love? … Ok did that, check it off the life list.” Then it happened. Not like, “Oh, Chocolate ice cream, I forgot how much I like chocolate ice cream!” It was more like, “Whoa! French Vanilla with Honey?! No way! Didn’t know it existed!” (I laugh at my own analogies, pretty good analogy, since Mr.A makes his own homemade ice cream)

In some ways, it would be so easy to go home again. Move back to New Hampshire and join the ranks of my family. I’m the only family member that lives away. My kids would have Aunts and Uncles, cousins and Grandparents. I have given that some thought. With a daughter deeply entrenched in a private high school, I couldn’t do that to her.So that ship has sailed.

The good news is now I am older and wiser. Death will do that to a person. It also makes you realize how far you have actually come. And that’s the scary part. That is why I still need my friends and family. Very much like the toddler who runs away from his mother, but after taking eight or ten steps independently, turns to make sure his Mom is still there. Remember my friends, I am making this up as go along. I will still turn around, checking to see if you are still there. I hope you will be.

Sandy… LinkedIn wants to know: “Do you know Scott Winters?”

I received an invitation this morning. My recently deceased husband, Scott invited me to become linked to him on LinkedIn. He even invited me to leave a personal message for him. “Staying in touch with valuable contacts can help you in your career. Quickly connect to this person you may know.”

It came in my morning email. Asking me, “Do You Know Scott Winters?”  There is this little thing that happens inside of me, every time I see his name in print, or hear his name said out loud  It is the same feeling I had when I met him for the very first time. My heart skipped a beat, like leaping for joy, really. I am so grateful that after (wait…doing the math on a piece of paper)  twenty-eight years of loving someone, that they can still make your heart be so joyful.

As I listen to the church bells at St. Augustine’s ring 10 am, it reminds me of one of the reasons why we bought this home. It was our fourth home, one we purchased after renting for a year in Providence. I couldn’t wait to get back into my own space with a back yard. Scott’s backyard, really. How he loved to sit outside and listen to those bells. me, I’m not so much of a sitter downer. More of a get stuff done person.

So Scott’s invitation to send him a personal message was too good to pass up. It got me to thinking about what would I say to him, if I had the chance to speak to him one more time:

“How’s the weather in heaven?” (It could be a bit awkward in the beginning, so just casual banter to start.)

“Who do you have lunch with?”

“Where did you put the _____?” (there a million of those questions)

“Do you miss us?”

“Did God tell you why you had to leave?”

“When will we all be together again?” (ok, no real rush on that one!)

“Do you see how hard I’m trying to keep it all running?”

“Am I doing a good job?”

and the most important of all…

“I’m so glad I had the chance to love you.”

Yes, Linked In. I do know Scott Winters. And thanks for letting me tell him how much I love him, one more time.

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