Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 58

One day, a bug left the pond One afternoon I woke in my car at a ferry terminal. I’d and found itself on a lily pad. passed out on the opposite side of the lake from my It fell asleep. When it woke, the summer place, uncertain where I’d been or why. I finally warm sunshine had dried its realized it was time to get my life back under control. body. Instinctively, it spread the wings it had grown while asleep and began flying away. The bug had become a beautiful dragon- fly with four resplendent wings. Judi would not like what I’ve been doing... what I’m be- coming, I thought. She deserves better than this. My two promises to Judi bubbled back to the surface. Then it remembered the prom- I began cycling and exercising, and eating well, and I ise. It swooped back toward the found a part-time job. Three years later, the gut-wrench- surface of the pond and headed ing pain remained but I was learning to manage it better. downward. The dragonfly hit the The time had come to emerge from emotional exile and to surface and could go no farther. keep my second promise to Judi. It was not able to return. Finally, it came to realize that the others Our youngest daughter Carrie suggested online dating. would just need to have faith that Good gracious, I thought. I’ve not dated for 40 years! I it was going to be all right. don’t know how anymore. But why not? “Be prepared,” counseled a friend who’d lost his wife a few years earlier. “After the gatherings, everyone will return to their lives, as they must. There will be a huge void.” He was right. I yielded to soul-crushing grief, depression, alcohol abuse and self-pity. Time blurred. Life lacked purpose. Where love and the joy of sharing a life together once reigned supreme, now each day brought only inescapable, suffo- cating pain. Days went by without my leaving home. Some mornings I woke after passing out on the living room couch. At the lake, morning coffee often was half vodka. The days passed in an alcoholic quest to self-medicate against the pain. There was no incentive to eat, or even to get cleaned up and to dress for the day. My equilibrium had vanished. I considered ending my life, exploring options that would be the least messy for others. Mercifully, our children and our grandchildren gave me purpose. Without them I might have proceeded, just to stop the awful crushing pain. Sharolie and I met online. We agreed to have lunch.  She recommended a place. Arriving there, my eyes fell upon a breathtakingly gorgeous woman. She looked up at me with brown eyes full of light, warmth, and energy. Deep within were hints of vulnerability. Irresistible! At that moment, magic returned to my life. We hadn’t even introduced our [\]x&Y[[܈\Y\[HH[ˈ\\X[XX[]H] H\H[HZ[\[[ˈHYYH[\[[X[KX[[[[\ٝ[[[˂][Y\Y[ܙZ[Y H[YY[\\Y[\\ΈZ[^ܚ[]\KX\[[][X[[KۈHX[YH\X[H[\\XKB\Y\YHܚY\ˈH\X]YH[HYB\ۈZ[[[[ۙ\ܚY\˂HX[^H]X[H[HHۛ[H][܈X[BYX\]]X\ˈH[&][Y]H^H[ܙYXHXš[[[ݙHۛ[K[[[ݙH܈HXۙ[YB[^HYKۙH^H]HZK\YHXYY\]H[B\[Hx&YY[X\KH[[ۙ˂N