Starting over is really nothing new to me. L and I did it numerous time over the span of our life together. I did it several times before I even met him. So, no, new beginnings are pretty much what I do. Of course for the last many years I have had someone starting over with me. L and I worked through the details and the questions of what we would keep and what we would let go as we began each phase of our life together. Early on in our marriage much of the starting over revolved around jobs and business ideas that one or the other of us wanted to pursue. Way early in our marriage the starting over was the very tough years when we tried and failed to have children of our own, tried and failed to adopt, and came at last to the really hard decision that even one child was not to be part of our life together. He spent a lot of years working overtime to try and convince me that this was not the end of the world as I knew it…or wanted it to be.
More recently our starting over’s revolved around changes in L’s health. Seven years ago he first suggested we winter in Florida. Come to think of it maybe these weren’t so much starting over as letting go–going to and from Florida became our only major travel replacing trips to other places…NYC, AZ, Europe, Canada. I still did some traveling for my work or to care for family members in VA but basically we had become snowbirds. During this time L continued to exercise and bike and fish but those things also gradually went away. He continued to cook three nights a week but then we started eating out more and almost without my noticing his cooking days also came to an end.
When he came home from the hospital last December a whole new form of starting over began–it too involved poignant letting go’s–realizing the likelihood that we were celebrating our last Christmas and New Year’s together. Realizing that his sleeping sitting up in his recliner foretold an end to our sharing the same bed–to our ever again being curled together spoon-fashion. The list is a long one and yet we did what we needed to do and found our way to a place where every day was a gift.
And now he is gone and I am starting over yet again–this time alone. I am out of practice with doing this on my own. I talk to L all the time but the problem is that he doesn’t answer. He always was a good listener but I need more than listening…I need him.