Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Things I Miss



Traveling Days. Better Days.

I lived with HOB for thirty years and loved him thirty years as well. Since he has chosen to leave our relationship, it’s naturally created quite a bit of havoc in my life. That takes up quite a bit of mental real estate, and I fully understand now that he is not coming back. He has made his decision very clear and I am coming to terms with that.

I am, however, a creature of habit and don’t take to changes very well. Right now, I am trying to sort out if the things I miss are because part of me still loves the old HOB I know is still in there, or if these feelings that come up from time to time are simply because things are different in my sense of routine now.



I know a lot of people live alone and like it. I admire them and who knows? Maybe someday I will be one of them. I am trying to focus on the good that awaits me in my new life. I’ll be more independent, and more spontaneous.





However, even as I am concentrating on that new life, I have been caught off guard by some feelings that sneak up on me and take me back to places I don’t want to go right now.




The other day I was in an airport, sitting and waiting for a flight. All of the sudden, I missed HOB and the times we sat together in so many airports. I missed the easy banter between us, the trips to the small shops to get treats. He would usually bring me back some nuts or some Junior Mints--something he knew I would like.




I liked traveling with HOB, sharing that sense of togetherness, that sense of adventure. We had fun on our trips, chewing gum, eating candy, and pointing out stupid things in the Sky Mall catalog. On the plane, I sat alone and missed my traveling companion.








I work late on Wednesday nights and have for years. I don’t get home until it is dark. In the past there have been lights on, computer screens glowing, TV’s playing, and when I came through the front door, HOB or one of the boys would come to greet me and ask about my day.




These days, I come home to an empty, dark, very quiet house. The cats want to be fed right away. (They don’t ask about my day.) The mail is still in the mailbox on the darkened porch. The house is just like I left it. I always have a tough time on those nights. I miss having a light left on just for me. I miss having another human heartbeat in the house. I miss coming home to people I love.





On Sunday, my friend convinced me to go to a “Laughter Yoga” class. It was something different and it was fun. There was one activity in the class where we were asked to hold hands with the person beside us.





The person to my left was a man about HOB’s age. I felt his hand in mine and it felt so much like HOB’s. I hate the admit this, but it was so comforting to me. I closed my eyes and tried not to cry.




It always made me happy when we were out walking and HOB held my hand, the way he would reach for it at the movies, the way he held onto it and let me squeeze it as hard as I needed to when I was in labor during the births of our sons.




I miss holding my husband’s hand.




I guess what I miss the most is just the dependability of having a spouse. I spent many years relying on the constant presence of HOB.




I knew who would come and rescue me if my car broke down.




I knew who to put as my emergency contact on every form.




I knew who I could call if I was lost, or scared, or confused or just lonely.





I know the intensity of these feelings will lessen as time goes on, as I get into new habits and form new ways of thinking. I am a creature of habit, and maybe part of it is just the sense of routine I miss. It's all I how we look at things isn't it? Sure I miss some of the things that come with a long-term relationship, but maybe soon I'll be writing a post about all the things I don't miss.




In the meantime, I look around now and see all the wonderful people who are offering their hands to me in support and love.




They are my traveling companions now. They will be with me all the way through this bumpy, arduous journey.



And when I might think my world is dark and there isn't anybody waiting up for me, I know my friends and family will make sure I am guided home, safe and warm.



Through their insistent beams of radiance and hope, I am slowly beginning to believe that the most important light--the one in my heart--may just shine brightly again some day.








49 comments:

Cricket said...

I sometimes leave our Hilary a soundtrack to accompany her posts. I'll leave you one today. You Can't Always Get What You Want.

But if you try, sometimes you get what you need, right? Crank it up.

With my love, prayers, and a virtual hand-squeeze.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Dear Betty,hold on to that light in your heart.I hear you and know your heart is heavy and it is a tough time. May peace reside.

Peggy K said...

Oh, Betty, I love how you can transform your feelings into words. I am in awe of that.
And even though this is a blog, I'm, I dunno honored maybe, that you share this journey with us. I know it's not easy. And I know it's a bit therapeutic. But you are also opening my eyes to things. You are giving us a gift along with your honest words. Thank you.

Mamma has spoken said...

I would suggest that you buy a timer to put your lights on and a warm pair of gloves. But in the end, it's not the same....

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh Betty, the way you write about HOB here, I'm grieving right along with you. The loss of that kind of relationship is something I have never experienced, and quite frankly don't think I ever could. It's too painful to watch you go through it. Thirty years is a long time for memories, but I know with time each day will become a little bit brighter.

And I agree with Mamma (above) get a timer for your lights.

Lin said...

I was going to write that they sell light timers for a reason but Mamma beat me to it.

I think this is good that you are recognizing what triggers your emotions--which is a good thing. Then you can prevent or overcome those moments BEFORE they bring you down. AKA--the lights on a timer so the house looks brighter when you come home.

And make those damn cats talk to you. Carry on full conversations like they CARE about your day. And ask about theirs. I'm sure at some point they are gonna answer you back. And who cares neither of you understand each other--it helps to have some interaction after a long day.

Hugs, pally.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Holding your heart in a big hug today, Betty. Thanks for sharing it with us. ♥♥♥HUGS♥♥♥

Deuteronomy 31:6

Donna said...

Geeeez Ms Betty! I SO wish there was Something I could do to Help you!!! This breaks my Heart...
Here's Flowers and hugs to you Babydoll....
(((hugs)))

Flartus said...

It's not just the routines you're missing. I missed all those things when I lived alone, before I had anyone. I hated walking into a home where everything--everything!--was exactly where it sat when I walked out the door.

But you say you fully understand he's not coming back, and that's such a big step. Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I work late Wednesday nights too, and the only one to greet me when I come home is the dog. She doesn't ask how my day was either.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I think I feel the loss of loved ones most profoundly in the little things.

We're going to visit an elderly aunt soon: she's in her late 80's, and her body is betraying her now on a daily basis. She no longer trusts herself to walk without falling. She's been husbandless for 40 years, and childless all her life.

In her letter to me, my sister, who just spent several days with our aunt said, "I tried to touch her frequently, and give her a hug and a kiss each day, a couple of times a day."

Initially, I thought how sensitive my sister was to think of that.

But now, I'm pretty much feeling like slapping myself for NOT thinking of that for years and years. We ALL need touch. We ALL need hugs, and jokes, and someone to share our candy and our thoughts with. It's right that you would miss him the way you do. You've had your right arm sawn off, in a manner of speaking.

Betty, I've been thinking about your situation so much, and when I haven't been cursing men in general (which I should never do: there are plenty of good men in this world who don't leave their wives or cheat on their wives), I've still been grieving what it must be like to be starting over at your/our age.

Watch for a song I'm going to post on my blog in the near future that made me think of you. I've been saving it, but it's been on my mind for days, ever since I heard it for the first time last Saturday night.

Out on the prairie said...

Holding hands can be a treasure, I have done that with many and sure you can also.There will be a lot of other things but one works around them.I have a B Day today, do I make a cake? I will play hard, and if in the mood make that cake.

Leah J. Utas said...

It'll get better, Betty, just as you have said it will. Meantime, you can hold your own hand. It's not the same, and really isn't your point, but you can.

Hilary said...

You express your thoughts so beautifully, Betty. I'm so glad that you have family and friends who support you through this time. And I fully believe you'll be holding a hand romantically again. Cricket's soundtrack is perfect.

Old Kitty said...

Awww BB!! I'm reaching my hand over the ether to touch yours.

Hugs, hugs, hugs! Take care
x

Madi and Mom said...

Morning BB,
Mom is speechless and that rarely happens..so let me just say I'm purring for you everyday and mom sends hugs.
Madi and Mom

Zuzana said...

Oh dear Betty, you are describing the single life I lived for almost two decades on my own until this April, when I found paradise on earth.
I can so relate to everything that you miss, as I missed it too, even though I never had any of it before.
I think today in retrospect, when I was single, at times I enjoyed it as it was better to be alone than be in relationship that did not work - and I have had my shares of those.
It will be tough for you, I know all about that dark house, with no one waiting for you...
But I think this: enjoy your alone time. Get to know "you". I am sure much of you got lost along the way over all those years. You will always love your husband in a certain way. You have kids together and one day this love will turn into a friendship and you will forgive him.
And one day, even though it is not in the scope of your thinking at all right now - one day you will be loved again, by someone new. And you will love again too.
If life has taught me anything at all, it is that there is a master plan behind every event, even the very painful ones.
Hang in there, the best is yet to come.:))
xoxo

Eva Gallant said...

This just brings back so many memories of my divorce. hugs to you...things do get better!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty - it's great you're getting your angst and uncertainty of the new emptiness out into the world .. and with so many friends following you along your way the light at the end of the tunnel is there ..

and as Zuzana says there's always a master plan .. it's a funny old world ..

Be peaceful and get a time switch .. laugh at the yoga stretches .. and in general relax and don't worry (as much as is possible not to) .. these will be stories you'll be laughing about in a few years .. cheers Hilary

GreatGranny said...

Betty, those things you miss at the moment will fade and won't hurt so much. I know it seems unreachable now but you will find happiness again.

Nezzy said...

'Reachin' out to hold your had today sweetie. My heart goes out to you, I'm not a loner either and I just can't imagine.

My prayers are with you that your heart mends quickly and your heart shines birghtly 'cause that's what's important.

God bless ya and have a peaceful day! :o)

Sush said...

Oh my dear...hugs and love beaming your way. I guess it is the cliche...time heals all wounds. Just sometimes it seems to take so very long. Thinking of you and wishing you a gentle peace in your heart and soul...
Hugs~

Velvet Over Steel said...

As tears steam down my face and I am giving you a big virtual hug!!! What heart-felt opening to your hear and soul.. you are stronger than you probably realize. I for one Hate being alone.. and even though I don't regret my divorce from someone abusive... I still want to have some of what you described. Someone to put as my emergency contact, walk with, hold my hand. So I think I understand a little of what you're feeling. So very sorry for what you're going through. Also glad you have family and friends getting you through and out of the house at needed times.

I continue to think of you and pray for you FAST healing, Betty!!!
Big Hug,
Coreen XOXO

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I really get it, Betty. I'm tearing up now too. It's the little things that are so hard to do without.

I miss holding hands most of all. [So I hold my own hand. It's not the same but it's more trustworthy.]

Love to you,
xoRobyn

Joyful said...

You are travelling well through this journey Betty. And you are not alone. Hugs xx

ellen abbott said...

two steps forward and one step back is still progress.

Talli Roland said...

Hang in there, Betty. We're all here and wishing you well.

Ms. A said...

Betty, another thing that makes this so hard, is the fact that the boys aren't living at home, either. You can always put the lights on a timer, but I know it isn't the same as having someone there. Just remember how much we all love you and are pulling for you and that... WE'LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON FOR YOU!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If I could slip into your house and leave the light on for you, I would!

EmptyNester said...

I love the way you write Betty. Even about this difficult time. The light of your heart is still there, shining. And it will get brighter.

Annie said...

Keep going darlin'. You WILL make it through to the other side. It will be alright.

Unknown Mami said...

I wish I could take your hand and give it a squeeze right now.

You are a beautiful person, it comes through in your writing.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I had a terrible time going in bookstores. I liked knowing someone I cared deeply about was just around the corner to share things with.

I had a friend who kept her radio on the oldies station so whenever she came home she felt happy and not so alone. Keep a light on. It may seem wasteful, but in these circumstances it definitely is not. Do whatever feels right to You, whatever is necessary for you to create some light.

Daisy said...

When you do things a certain way for 30 years, you're bound to miss them when things change. Hugs to you, Betty. There will always be a light on for you here.

Laura Eno said...

I vote for a light timer too. It's one small step toward your independence...and tell the cat about your day anyway. Mine pretend that they care. :)

karen said...

That light WILL shine again. It takes time, so in the meantime, rely on the light of friends and family. You'll be surprised at the people who will come out of the woodwork to be on your side. And it will warm your heart.

Green Monkey said...

BIG smile! :)))))


one, tiny step at a time.... pause, rewind, play... repeat

Marlene said...

All I've got for you today is this:

BIG HUG.

jenny_o said...

It's amazing to me how you are able to analyze all of this so well and so compassionately ... I agree with the timer or just leaving the light on for your return. And a radio, simply for the sound of a human voice. Thinking of you, BB.

Ann said...

I can remember when I was newly separated and facing divorce. I would have all the same thoughts you are having but they made me angry. Angry because he took that all away from me when he left. Now after all these years and even though I've remarried I still occasionally think about the x, something will remind me of our life together. Now, though I can think those things and smile because it was.
I think on Wednesday mornings you should turn a light on before you leave for work so that you don't have to go home to a dark house. Maybe leave yourself a cheery little note by the door to greet you when you walk in. Heck why not buy yourself flowers that will be sitting there waiting for you when you get home. You deserve them :)

Bouncin' Barb said...

HOB gave up a pretty darn good thing didn't he? So that makes him pretty stupid if you ask me. Time to get angry. It helps get over the hurt. You deserve much better than that after all those years you invested. Leave a radio on so it's playing when you walk in the door and focus on YOU, so the next guy in your life knows a great thing when he see it!!! That's my 2 cents BB. Hugs to you sweet lady.

CM said...

Oh so heartfelt and heartbreaking. [[hugs}} I've known loss, but nothing like what you are going through. All I can say is keep writing, it's therapeutic and a way to keep support from others. Take care, dear.

Pat Tillett said...

I really felt this one Betty. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I know it totally SUCKS big time. I feel for you my friend...

Linda said...

You do have a gift for putting into words what so many have experienced either through the death or abandonment of a loved one. You touch people with your writing. May God guide and comfort you through this time of loss.

KleinsteMotte said...

Oh my you have really got a tough and rough time on your platter but I read this and get a sense of strength that you are able tp pull from all that you can. Courage is yours. May that pain dwindle as you draw on all that can come your way. Hugs hugs hugs

Nicolasa @ {My}Perspective said...

You will shine bright again. Some day. I promise!

Baby Sister said...

This almost made me cry. Your light will shine again, Betty. Of that I have no doubt. You're a strong, amazing woman. *hugs*

Ally said...

Don't be upset with me Betty, but I lost it at the man holding your hand in yoga class. My eyes are too teared up to continue reading. I'm just so very sad. I'm also very angry. I know you are a good person, a smart person, a giving person, an easy-to-please, fun-loving person. You don't deserve this. It's just so not fair that you are going through this. So many good women go through this and it's just so upsetting to me. My heart is aching right now. I just want to hug you, like one of those big bear type hugs where you don't let go for a while. :(

CherylK said...

I'm so sorry. Been there. xxoo

The Empress said...

I have a feeling your HOB has a very secret life right now.

And, in the end, you'll see why he did what he had to do.

And it can be shocking...my sister's husband left abruptly. Years and years later, she find out why.

He had a double life...and it just became too difficult for him.