Only a moment…
These are measures of time with significance in the second half of my adult life. Certainly, the birth of my children and grandchildren are beyond measure in their impact on my life, but when I contemplate recent events, these measures of time are landmarks of sorts.
Sixteen months ago, I made the decision to end a broken marriage, and make a fresh start in my life. In an instant, I left behind uncertainty, self-doubt, and sadness. In their place, I filled my heart and actions with hope, confidence, and faith. I didn’t shed a single tear, instead choosing to wake up each morning and find the joy of the moment. True, some days I found myself exaggerating the mundane to give it a positive spin, as life would seem to just take an obscene amount of effort to maintain. But the more I made this the first thing I did every morning, the easier it became. It really didn’t take too long before the new point of view became the norm, and the change in attitude seemed to follow an upward tick in circumstances. Posts to Facebook would reflect the affirmation that indeed, in spite of major life changes, “…every little thing, gonna be alright…” (https://youtu.be/mACqcZZwG0k Bob Marley). Ah, Bob Marley…it’s tough to stay in a foul mood when you listen to this song. I dare you to listen to it and refrain from half-closing your eyes and nodding your head to the beat. Go ahead. Try it. I’ll still be here when you get back.
Welcome back! Let’s continue the story…during the months following my separation, I made the choice to just let dating happen if it happened, but I wasn’t going to pursue it. Coffee dates were the perfect “re-entry” into the world so to speak: casual, no pressure, and relatively easy to bail out if it was uncomfortable. I had one with a friend who needed to stay a friend; a few that seemed to make the coffee bitter, and a couple that warranted repeated trips for caffeine. How great is coffee (or tea or hot chocolate)? It seems to soothe, relax, and just encourage conversation between friends. You can have serious discussions or knee-slapping, pants-wetting fits of laughter, and it’s all perfectly appropriate. You can enjoy a cup in solitude, and no one will question your mental health or sobriety.
So when I accepted an invite to coffee on May 23, 2014 with a former high school alum, I had no expectations about it being any more than a chance to touch base with someone from 30 years in my past. Shoot, we were only really acquaintances then, but I did remember him as being a nice guy…a year behind me, tall, played football and basketball, dark curly hair, and always seemed to be smiling or up to something a tad bit mischievous, but never malicious. Five hours later, coffee had turned into dinner and walking laps around the parking lot because we couldn’t stop talking. Holding hands happened naturally, as did our first kiss. We were just standing in silence after that tender moment, me snuggled with my back against his chest, staring across the parking lot at the western wear store on the other side. He took me completely by surprise when he announced, “I’m going to wear cowboy boots to our wedding. Thought you should know.” I didn’t panic. I didn’t bolt and run. I just smiled.
Eleven months later, we’re counting down the days now to the marriage of his oldest daughter. It is such a special time for him and his ex-wife. Giving away his first daughter to a great man will be a bittersweet moment in time, I know, but her fiancé is wonderful. I know they will be very happy together! We’ve shared some incredible times while learning a lot about trust, faith, and forgiveness together. I’ve had some health scares that have been easier to navigate with him always comforting and positive by my side; we’ve had some trying financial hiccups and so many, many sweet moments of just “being”. We’re getting to really know each other’s friends, children and families, and consider ourselves beyond blessed with how well each has been welcomed by the others. We recently moved into a new home in a totally new setting for us both, but the city seems to suit us both so well, constantly changing, always entertaining. Being the “elders” in a building full of twenty and thirty somethings has been energizing, even if the three flights of stairs are exhausting at times!
The final point in time…only a moment.
When you’re content, happy, and in love with someone, time passes effortlessly and quietly. Each day feels like an elusively passing instant you wish to be eternal. To me, this is how we are meant to be.