autumn days

Saturday, April 29, 2017


In my new life as the single mother of three young children, everything is simultaneously new and unknown.  It is as if I am reborn into a different reality that I get to create.  Along with this newness is the beginning of spring after a very long winter and the approach of my fortieth birthday.  When others feel anxiety and nervousness, I intentionally call these flutters in my gut butterflies.  I intentionally try to find the delight and play in new experiences, even as awful as removing my partner's name from utility bills.  I have worn my wedding ring nearly every day for the last 11 years, aside from the days when I was super angry with my partner.  Those were tiny bumps held by a big love.  I was completely committed and faithful and devoted as a wife and mother.  I still am, though the rules of the game have changed.

I have now been a widow for five months.  In leaning upon those in our support groups, I cherish deep connections with those who really understand my experiences.  I lean in and hug these friends, needing that physical touch with safe adults.  Last week I was able to take an hour walk with a friend.  We walked on the sunny side of the street into the sunset.  When his arm was sore from the way I held it, he asked if I minded holding hands.  I told him that was uncomfortable for me, but I'd like to try it.  Hand holding is very intimate for me.  Like kissing.  I was wearing my late partner's wedding ring and my own ring on that sacred ring finger.  The very act of holding hands with a man produced the butterfly effect in my gut.  Along with that familiar flutter came a deep grounding from the balance of feminine and masculine energies.  This was an incredibly nice, grounding feeling.

The next morning, my finger was sore from the bulky tight rings.  I struggled to get the rings off to rest my hand.  My fingers tend to be cold now, as I am not eating all that my body needs, a painful thing to admit.  My wedding ring then would not go back onto my finger.  So here I type with butterflies in my gut and no ring on my finger.  In tears.  With children at my sides searching for their layers of nourishment and comfort.  There are so many emotions on this part of the journey.  This lovely man and I aren't really ready for a new romantic relationship, though we take comfort in each other's company.  In holding hands and talking.  We have full, busy lives as single parents that center on raising our children and putting one foot in front of the other.  We have created beautiful lives we love, aside from the devastation of being without our most beloved partners.  We collect hearts and relationships and look for the light in our world.  What an interesting place to find myself.  Everything is new and uncomfortable and somehow there is so much beauty in the melancholy.  I am so thankful for these experiences that torture and expand me, that comfort and connect me.  I am so thankful for this pickle I am now in and the butterflies that accompany it.

Searching for hearts

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