…… that sure didn’t seem like one.
At the time.
Until it did.
Loneliness is something that a lot of people worry about. And something a lot of widowed people experience.
With the approaching arrival of our first granddaughter, Jim has been on my mind. A lot.
I mean, he’s almost always on my mind, but these days it’s more often. I find myself missing being able to talk to him about this birth and the one in March of our grandson. The missing of him and the missing of being able to share this with him is palpable.
As most of you know, I dated twice after Jim died. Seriously.
Neither worked out (duh). In fact, the second relationship was a disaster and he was the worst person I’ve ever met (though he sure hid that well in the beginning).
But he did leave me with something. Something that I knew, without a doubt, I’d have with me for the rest of my life.
At first I was beyond pissed over this. Then sad. Very sad.
But today? Not so much.
Today I consider it kind of like a gift.
What was it?
The knowledge that I would most likely never date again and that I would never re-marry.
I know, I know. That doesn’t seem like a gift.
But it feels like it now.
Most of the time.
It feels freeing …… to not be dating and to not feel like I’m missing anything.
It feels freeing to not want to date.
It’s difficult to explain this. Because most people want to be in a relationship.
Most people spend a lot of time and energy looking for “their person”.
And I don’t think that’s wrong. Everyone needs to do what’s best for them.
Being single …… being alone …… isn’t for everyone.
Just as being in a relationship …… being married …… isn’t for everyone.
I think this probably seems strange to people because the people who know me, who knew us, know that we had a good marriage.
A very good marriage.
And it would seem that I’d want that again.
I did at first.
And then I didn’t.
Because the one thing that those relationships taught me is this:
It’s much better to be single than to be with the wrong person.
Whether that person is good, or not, doesn’t matter …… if he’s wrong for you.
I guess that’s another part of the “gift”.
I can be happy being single because there are way worse things.
And it taught me that being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely.
It also cemented the knowledge that what I had with Jim is something that many people will never experience.
And that knowledge makes me happy.
(That I had it, not that most people won’t. That makes me sad.)
I think it’s also what makes me not feel lonely while being alone.
The memories, the love, the knowledge …… make me feel content.
And that is a gift, indeed.
So while I do miss him, sometimes more than I can stand …… I know that his love is still with me.
I know that I had something really great.
And I know that’s rare.
I guess a gift is in the eye of the beholder.