Loneliness can make us stupid. Even though my mind knew that there was no way I was ever going to find someone who loved me like Mike did, who treasured me the way he treasured me, who cared for me, (how do I make this line even come to an end?) etc. (I guess that’s how)
But my heart has felt so broken. The stillness in my room in the evenings is suffocating at times. One thing that helped was I started getting out of the house – a lot! I would take a couple of the kids to Southlake to walk around the shops, sit at Starbucks, etc. Mike feels close to me there. That’s where we had more dates than I could ever count. It was where we danced in the streets together before all the shops were filled with merchandise, before people would come and hang out. It was where on our second date I walked around the fountain, kicking water at him, laughing…so much laughing. And we would run. You know that feeling of lightness that makes you feel so ecstatic you want to leap, and run, and turn cartwheels, … oh…and skip! We would skip together, holding hands. How I miss that lightness!
So in my loneliness, I created a couple of online dating profiles. Ugh! Just ugh! I would read profiles of men who seemed to have it all together, and I would think, nope, not good enough. Too soon. I know. But I wanted something to do! I’m tired of working. It’s heavy. I want light!
When I had gone on my retreat I read a totally fluffy just for fun chick lit book. I mean – totally fluffy! Fluffy Twaddle!
Prepare for the digression:
I’m super mad at the person who put it in my mind that fluffy books were a waste of time. I mean, yea, if all you read is fluffy stuff, but a once in awhile so light and fluffy, there is almost no thinking necessary, books should be REQUIRED! It’s like a decadent piece of chocolate that requires nothing of you, yet gives you so much satisfaction.
In the past few years, I almost only read self-improvement, marketing, and business development books. I enjoy them thoroughly. But my life has changed recently. And with the heaviness of it all, I need light and airy marshmallowy fluff. The feeling you get from being in love.
The other day one of my kids came in wearing a black and white blouse. I commented that it was my style. She spied my yellow jacket and put it on. She added my reading glasses to the bridge of her nose, followed by my black and white polka dot head-band. She looked in the mirror and said, “HA! I look like you!” Then she said, “No wait.” She twirled and said, “There! Now I look like you!”
I wondered how long it had been since I had twirled. That was the biggest thing Mike loved about me; that I loved to twirl. I loved that this child of mine sees it in me even if it’s been months.
One of my all time favorite movie scenes is in the movie, You’ve Got Mail when Meg Ryan is remembering her mom. And her mom loved to twirl. I WANT TO TWIRL! Not only do I want to twirl, but I want to FEEL like twirling. I want to be in love again! Fortunately I figured out fairly quickly that I don’t really want a boyfriend or to date anyone. I’m actually kind of liking the freedom I have right now to just go take kids to the movie, or Starbucks, or just drive and sing at the top of my lungs.
A few days ago I was waiting for one of the kids to get off work so I went into my favorite place, Barnes and Noble. I don’t know what drew me to the biography section. I thought I wanted light and airy! A book caught my eye, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I couldn’t wait to turn in at night and read more pages. It was a book unlike any I had ever read. The author is gay, his mother a liberal who loves Obama, and I’m enchanted. I fall in love with them. And I fall in love with the books they are reading. God does something in my heart. I love that he is ever changing us if we just stop and hear him whisper. The book heals me in places I didn’t know needed to be healed. Then. It was over. I couldn’t bear for it to end. So it still sits at the top of my pile of non-fiction books waiting to infuse my brain with brilliance before I go to bed.
My book pile is high. I don’t really need to venture into another bookstore for a long time. But, I love them. So I go. And I might be addicted … to the smell …. and it just feels so … smart there. Yesterday John and I went to a delightful coming of age movie called The Way Way Back. I loved it! But we had about forty-five minutes to kill. Hello Barnes and Noble! I didn’t really NEED to buy another book. But I did need to look at them. The book I had just finished opened my eyes to reading something different than my typical. So I went to the new fiction. Fiction? Really? Fiction? And not even Christian Fiction – secular Fiction? I wandered. I took pictures of covers that made me feel light, and miss Mike at the same time.
I picked up The Life List. A first time novel by Lori Nelson Spielman. The teasers tell me it’s about a woman whose mother has died. Too heavy I thought. I just finished a book about a mother who dies. Two in a row might just do me in. I put it down. But I was drawn to it. Much like that really hot guy you keep seeing at a store. Finally, I purchase the book. I begin reading it while I wait. I read as I walk to my car. I read as soon as I sit down in my room. I read for hours and hours. I read until nearly three in the morning, even though I must be up at 7:30. I have fallen in love – again. I read the book until the final page, without doing anything else.
I close the book, stand up, and twirl.