Jesus, I love it when I am saved from myself.
Talk about grace.
Aretha and I singing “Baby I Love You” at the top of our lungs while I cook my son and his buddy breakfast. Etta James joined in with “Sunday Kind of Love” soon thereafter and man, we should have done that duet years ago. Had Deney Terrio seen me back in the day, I am sure I would have been a Solid Gold dancer on Dance Fever. (Perhaps the carbs I had for breakfast have gone to my head. It’s nice here in my little world.)
Muffins turned out just right. So did the scrambled eggs. Fresh-squeezed OJ reminded me of my recent California trip where friends and I picked oranges off the trees in their yard and made the juice fresh. What a great trip that was. My large, ravenous black Lab ate with relish and actually settled for a nap. The sound of her contented breathing and sighing is a soothing reminder of the rhythm of life.
After my recent blog post about online dating, I have been reminded of so many good things by so many good people.
First of all, that there are smart, attractive men out there who make me laugh. Who want to make me laugh. Who care about their kids, clean up nicely and are doing what I’m doing—living life—hoping that some day they can fit someone back into their lives. Whether these men are for me or not, I do not care right now. I’m just happy to know that for each ego-driven slightly crazy guy that reaches out, there are those that accept their age, their kids, their ex-wife’s failings (as well as their own) and are just living life. That’s somehow a comfort whether I meet them or not.
Old friends and new reached out privately to tell me their divorce, dating and remarriage stories via text and messages. I laughed, cried and whooped when I read those. I received an abundance of “I love you, I love you, I love you—always have and always will”. An abundance of life preservers thrown from every direction. A reminder of who I am, that I am loved, that there is happiness and joy in my current life in abundance. That I am blessed to have all of these unique souls in my circle.
I was surprised by a couple of my old flames, who reached out to take a risk. They reminded me of what they loved about me, what has stuck with them to this day, their regrets. I have such respect for these men, who are made all the more beautifully masculine because they can bare their souls, now, in a way maybe they could not have then. It meant so much to hear from them and know they follow my blog. It reminded me I really do love men. Always have. Men with emotional courage are the sexiest thing on earth.
A Sassy Redhead made me cry in the Panera line as I read her comment on my last blog: “Wow…I was just reading about me. Same story. Did match on and off for NINE years. Maybe about 2-3 months each year. Lots of first dates. A few second dates. No third dates.
I knew what I wanted and had resorted to the fact that he was out there, but most likely married or had small kids at home or an ex-wife he let rule his world. Then one week before my monthly subscription was up…I got an email. His second email to me was a request for dinner. And begrudgingly, I went on my last first date. (Because I was tired. I was fine being single and I was tired of the dating stuff.)
That first date lasted 5 hours. The conversation never stopped. No awkward silences. I knew when he stood from the table, he was the one. I blushed. I giggled like a grade school girl. I could hear my heart beating with every word that left my mouth.
We married 8 months later. At the end of March, we’re having our second anniversary. And I promise you, I love him more today than I did the day I married him. I look forward to our hours of conversation about nothing and I sometimes get sappy with tears when someone says, ‘So, how’s married life?’
Please don’t stop searching. Please don’t give up. Pray a lot. Don’t settle. He’s out there. I promise you he is. And he’s going to find you. Let him find you. Let him search you out and let him court you and let him give you butterflies. He’s searching for you right now. And when love comes, it comes out of left field. When you least expect it. And you won’t recognize it, but it’ll recognize you. Then it’ll be as clear as a beautiful sunrise. I promise.”
The kind souls, as I call them—Mark Bialczak, My Path With Stars Bestrewn, A Glass Half Full, Broadside Blog, Strawberries in the Desert, Gabriela Yareliz, and Healing Your Heart each had their own words of advice. Roy McCarthy, another steadily kind soul, tweeted a link to my distressed post, in his usual generous style. My Facebook friends suggested everything from Cary Grant movies to hanging out at bookstores. I’m still laughing at the number of yentas I have in my posse.
Here’s the beauty of it . . .
. . . The tuition bill sits, waiting to be paid. I want to lose another 15 pounds. My eldest persists in talking about a military or federal agent career, neither of which thrills a mother who worries about his safety. There will still be jackasses at work, in traffic, wherever. I still have a love/hate relationship with my ex—love for how he is with our kids, hate for what he did to our family with no apology. So yeah, there’s that. I’m not quite a bodhisattva yet.
My closet, filing cabinet and kitchen cabinets overfloweth. I still don’t know if Mr. Bates was responsible for the death of the heinous rapist in Downton Abbey, which really annoys me. And my son’s middle school math has surpassed any of the numerical theories I was able to keep in my memory stores.
It is not perfect. Any of it.
And yet it is. Perfect in its imperfection. When I can accept what is, feel loved and leave what is to come for another day, a wiser mind, amazing things happen.
Wishing you—all of you—this same joy and peace.
Perhaps a little dance party with your coffee is in order on your Monday morning. Or a duet with The Queen of Soul in the shower, where we all sound our best.
That’s the best kind of crazy. The kind that needs no rescue.