Where Oh Where Have I Gone

I was  missing something.  I missed the farm.  I missed a home.  I missed a family.  Most of all I missed me.  In the midst of living life, doing for the kids, for my job, for my ex husband, for the relatives and friends… somewhere I’d lost me.  My whole life changed when I left my marriage.  But leaving was what had saved me.  I had been disappearing.  Each day a little bit more of me became invisible.  No one could see me anymore, not even me.  My world had gotten so used to me just doing what I do, that I was taken for granted.  No one at home wondered who would do the dishes or vacuum the floor.  No one gave a second thought as to who would create the birthday parties and arrange summer daycare.  Or find the perfect vacation spot that would entertain everyone.  Or who would make the magic of Christmas happen.  I took me for granted too.  I got used to just doing all that I did. I had become invisible even to myself.  Life had been happening to me.  It was leading me and I just went along with where ever it took me.  What ever this life required of me, I did.  Sometimes it would occur to me to question, ‘what’s up with this?’  I’d even for a fleeting moment feel a bit of empowerment or be randomly encouraged by a clerk in a store.  But that inner strength or inner drive or inner self, it wasn’t strong enough to stand up and say “WAIT A MINUTE!”  It didn’t occur to me to require anything of the people in my life.  It didn’t cross my mind to ask for help or support.  It didn’t occur to me that my needs were important.  If they weren’t important to me, why then would anyone else notice?

They say that you don’t know what you have til you don’t have it anymore.  That was the most profound statement in my world.  For me it meant that until I was gone, I didn’t miss me.  I was living, but it wasn’t my life.  It was the life that sort of took me over by default.  Each day that passed required a variety of things from me.  And I’d stand up to the challenge and complete all that I could until I’d fall asleep at night.  My ex used to say that I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.  Thank goodness, cause it was gonna begin again in a few hours.

Goose’s dogs began barking and wagging their way out of the garage once again.  Goose junior and his boys must have arrived.  (Deep breath… ) The door flung open… “grandpaaaaa!”  Hugs and more hugs all over Goose.  These boys remind me of my 9-year-old that I now have only half time.  The other half of the time, I miss him.  Goose’s son and grandsons are looking me over.. ahhh, it’s the flat hair.  Goose junior looks me over form a distance and nods at me when Goose introduces me.  The boys however, have a zillion questions.  “Are you my grandpa’s girlfriend?”  “Do you kiss him?”  (followed by lots of giggles)  Goose blushes and I respond with “your grandpa took me out for dinner last night.”  His son looks at his dad and nods again as he realizes I’ve spent the night.  The boys run off chanting “grandpa’s got a girlfriend.. he kisses girrrls.”  Junior informs Goose that the boys haven’t eaten yet and he left.  Hmmm…  I began collecting my things and putting them in my car.  Goose asked, “you aren’t leaving before breakfast are you?”  “Breakfast!” chimed the boys.. “bacon and sausage and pancakes and hashed browns.”  Yup, they’re country kids with hearty appetites.  Goose heads for the fridge and starts to get things out.  We made breakfast together.  As I set the table, things felt so ‘normal’, I didn’t know if that was good or bad.

Sometimes we become so complacent in our lives that we don’t see the life lesson bringing us a reminder.  I didn’t see it.  Life was reminding me what I’d had… and what I no longer had.  All I could see as I looked to my past were the bad things.  How angry everyone was that I had left the marriage.  My adult kids would barely speak to me.  My 9-year-old was so confused.  My ex still angry and sad.  My ex in-laws who loved me only a few months ago, would no longer even look at me.  What I could see in front of me at the moment in Goose’s kitchen, were the good things of what was in my past.  The warmth of family, a shared meal, and laughter.


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