In the process of responding to a writer’s challenge, Blogophilia’s What’s behind the door, I opened a door. I knew I would, so what it brought about was not surprising. What was surprising was how I reacted.
It has been almost four years since my husband died. (Four years March 7th, 2021) It has been almost eight months since I lost my job. Covid still has us social distancing and limiting much of what we are able to do. Its no wonder emotions can and do run high.
But I opened the door. In the time I have been a widow, the closest thing I have had to a date was to meet someone for coffee. Other than that, nothing. I blame myself. Part of me wants to date, and part of me doesn’t. Between the two voices are ongoing arguments, long winded reasons from either point and stretches of silence when nothing gets settled. My son shakes his head and tells me I’ll never meet anyone being so reclusive and hiding away at home. I don’t argue with him, its pointless.
The side of me that wants to date, dreams of long conversations, hikes along woodland trails, coffee shared on the porch or even fishing from the bank of a lake. Then there is the dream of a long drive at night, the radio is playing, the windows are open and laughter flows freely as we head for where ever we end up.
The other side, is the one who sees all the news about violence. Its the side that reminds me I have this really off beat sense of humor that many don’t understand or makes them annoyed. Which brings on the fear of an annoyed date becoming violent. The voice reminds me that it has been over forty years since I have gone on an honest to goodness real date, I wouldn’t know how to act. This voice is much louder which is one of the reasons for my reclusive actions.
Today though, when I opened that door, just to peek inside for inspiration for the challenge, emotions flowed out with the memories. Remembering the feeling of peace, of oneness, of being safe and home, while wrapped in the arms of my husband. The feelings that as long as he was holding me, nothing bad could happen. The memories of listening to his breathing in the night, right before fighting for cover. Those car trips where I would sing along with the radio, in my own personal key, and he would only shake his head and not say a word. Hearing the words, I love you, echoing within my heart and memory.
But open doors, don’t stay open. They swing closed taking everything back inside, hiding it away. Standing there, staring at the door, feeling the loss all over again, hurts. It feels as if the wounds not fully healed are ripped open again, the feelings of sadness, despair, loneliness, spilling out onto the ground. The longing for what has been lost, strong again. That momentary light of remembrance, the happiness in the memories, ripped away. The light, now hidden behind that door. The loss once again, real.
In times past when I would face these emotions, the pain would be deep and intense. The feelings so strong it seemed impossible to fight them. I would struggle against the darkness and emotional suffering. I missed him then, I miss him now. I miss the feelings of loving and being loved. The never ending quiet a torment, leaving me feeling abandoned and alone.
I sat here, this time determined not to give in to the darkness that was pulling at me. I was stronger than it this time. Heading outside I walked around the house to what has been dubbed my thinking circle. A part of the yard cleared earlier this year not long after losing my job.
As I walked, I pondered. I have learned that when I attempt to ignore my emotions, it only makes them stronger. As I walked, I free thought. What ever entered my mind, I allowed that thought, memory, emotion its time, then moved on. As I walked, the sounds of my feet on the fallen leaves became rhythmic, the wind in the trees an accompaniment. I could hear the neighbors, I could hear the traffic on the main road. Still I walked and I traveled the memories.
As I came around the upper curve in the path, the sky caught my attention. The colors of the sunset drawing me, deep and rich they pulled me away from the negative feelings and drew me to the incredible beauty before me. I had to hurry.
Moving away from my circle and around the house I nearly ran for my camera. Outside I began to take photos, I knew there was no way a photo would do it justice, but I had to try. I wanted to capture the sun going down in a blaze of glory. I took several photos over the course of the sun setting. Each a little more vivid, each with its on special feel.
When at last the color was gone, leaving a slight brightness to the distant sky, I stepped back inside. As I made to upload the photos into the computer, I realized, the sadness, the loneliness was gone. The negative feelings had disappeared with the setting sun. I had been shown in a glorious blaze of color, I was not alone. There is still beauty in this life and the world. I only need to look up and outside my own pain.