I struggled to come up with an appropriate title for this post. I know what I’m going to start rambling about, and quite frankly, it’s not an upbeat topic. But I don’t want you to think that I’m writing this from a negative or a particularly sad point of view. I am not. And maybe that, in and of itself makes this a strange post. I write this post with a calm understanding that I wouldn’t have expected from myself.
A family member who I love and look up to has a health problem. They are old. They’ve lived a rich, full, amazing life. This family member has had health issues on and off for a few years, it is what happens when you get old. In the last couple of years, we’ve had a few little scares here and there. And whether or not a particular scare comes to fruition and we then have to experience another loss has yet to be seen, but the more scares that we face, the more I am reminded that there are just some things you cannot escape from. As our parents and grandparents age, this is something we all have to deal with. I think what makes it worse is that one will often seem to spur another. It’s a strange cycle really.
Another friend is currently laid up in the hospital on serious bed rest. She’s having twins and one of the twins isn’t doing very well. I was asked for some advice on how to navigate the NICU and a variety of other things that are scary to discuss. No one wants to think of such negative things when they are pregnant. I hate that I’m the person people can come to for advice on that kind of thing. I’m happy to give it, and I shower them with as much positivity and love and understanding as I possibly can when that does come up, but I still hate that. I worry for them. I worry for their little ones. I don’t wish those kinds of life tests on anyone.
This weekend, I attended a wedding of a friend. Well, my friend is really her mom, but the daughter is my friend too seeing as I watched her grow through those awful teenage years. It was nice to see them. Nice to see what the daughter is growing to be. I wish them the most happiness I can. It was a lovely ceremony outside in a park overlooking the waters of Puget sound. Turned into a truly beautiful day really. They really lucked out in the weather department. I didn’t expect for it to hit me the way it did. I don’t get sappy at weddings, I’ve just never been that type. But this one hit me. I watched as they read their vows. Then brought their children in and included them into the ceremony as well. It was heart-melting to watch them laugh and cry during the ceremony. I’ve never been the type of girl to dream about a wedding. I guess I’m too much of a tomboy for that kind of thing. But I’ll admit… there was a brief moment, where I pictured myself in a ceremony just like it. Wow, that’s scary to even write. But it’s the truth. This is my honest-only safe zone, I’m going to uphold that. There I sat… watching the ceremony with a couple of tears streaming over my face and it’s taken me until today to figure out what was bothering me. You see, I’ve done that before. I’ve stood up, in front of family and friends and have made very similar promises.
And at first I thought – ok I’m upset because I failed. But I didn’t fail. If I break down my actions, if I look at how I acted, how I worked, how I communicated….
I. DID. NOT. FAIL.
What an empowering thing to write. My first marriage – I didn’t rush into it. I was with the man for 6 years before we tied the knot. I gave it my all, and then realized I had to protect my daughter more. My second… I rushed into, but I gave it everything I had. Truly I did. And we lasted a long time. 11 years together. He chose his addictions over everything else, including my children’s safety. Sorry buddy. Game over. Funny, he wants to introduce me to his new girlfriend. I told him that would be fine, I’d like to meet the woman who’s hanging out with my kids. He shared that I was the world’s best damn wife. I found that so weird and awkward to hear. But … it affirms to me that I did not fail.
You see – marriage to me is a promise. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I truly do believe that marriage is supposed to be a forever thing. I look at my grandparents, or my mom and step dad. Those are two clear examples to me of successful, loving, relationships between two people who even after many, many years together, are still crazy in love. They communicate and respect each other. They encourage each other to reach higher. But what’s really important though is that they each are their own person. Their own passions and drive, and yes, they’re integrated together, intertwined so to speak, but could function independently if need be. I think that is so important too.
I’ve managed to do quite well for myself. I work very hard. My career is in a great place, I have great kids, I take care of my responsibilities and manage to have fun and embrace my hobbies. I shower the people I love and care about with love and affection as much as they’ll let me. 🙂 I’m in a good place in my life spiritually.
And what hit me, was the fact that I still want it. Marriage. To belong to someone completely, and for them to belong to me. To have a loving, respectful, communication-filled marriage based on equal footing. Such an odd realization. Will it happen? Who knows. Maybe 5 years from now, I’ll look back on this post and laugh. Maybe I’ll be married, maybe I’ll be happily single.
I just have to remember. It will come. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen. That is the course of life. It ebbs and flows, much like the tides.
Love and good health to you all. Goodnight.