I find it incredibly interesting to contemplate how much my life has changed over the past 6 years, starting with Patt's cancer diagnosis, the hell(but beauty) of fighting the illness, but living as positively as we could, making wonderful memories as well as agonizing ones, and then "The Afterward." In this time post-Patt, I've become a new person, re-born as Ashley wrote in a journal entry about her dad's death. Forgive me if I've already posted her words, but they are so important!
"Love collapses time, folds the past into the present and the future. I learned this when I knew my dad was about to die. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and how much I would miss him. "Love." "Miss." Two four letter words that we exchange frequently, thoughtlessly, reflexively, as though they were candies being tossed out to a group of children. But what they express is inexpressible. I told him "I love you." I told him, "I'm going to miss you." I didn't tell him, because I did not yet know, "Without you my world will collapse. My life will cease to be what it was. I will be reborn, I will live a new life, I will learn to love that life even though you are not in it. My heart will heal. The pieces will get put back together. New loves, new losses, new excitements will suture it back together. But always there will be a scar from that piece that you took with you when you died." -Ashley Fent
I never imagined that I could ever be comfortable living alone, yet I mostly am. (lonely sometimes, and bored, but reasonably content) I didn't think that I would experience joy again, yet I have, both in small moments (beautiful weather, a good book, kitty loves, etc.) and in larger ones like having my girls home, or even dating, stressful though it is. In fact, my weekend included coffee with a friend, then a dinner date at an Indian restaurant and a walk in the lovely fall dusk. Although things aren't perfect and I tend to think, very realistically, that relationships won't last, I choose to fight for happiness in the moment, and hope for more in the future that will bring me joy. This sounds like a corny Chinese fortune cookie, but I really do embrace this philosophy:)