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Respite

16 Responses

  1. pecsbowen says:

    Have you seen the dictator?

  2. John says:

    A little over year ago (mid-Dec of 2011), I came home from work one evening to find that my at the time live-in gf had out of the blue packed up some essentials for herself and her three children and taken off back to NY. Everything had seemed good between us, and we were all supposed to leave the next day for CA to spend Christmas with my family. She had not yet met my family (dad, sis, bro-in-law, nephew and niece). But apparently as departure day to CA had approached, she had gotten some very frosty feet–a drive cross country, all of us in the same rental van for tha many days, a quick visit to the Grand canyon, and then meeting my family out in CA–all big “commitment” type things. She had gotten cold feet (I had no clue; and I would not consider myself one who is clueless often), and ran. She wasn’t ready at the time to commit that much. She was still on the fence. So without warning I came home to an empty house about 10 days before Christmas.

    After mulling over my options for a couple of days (and not hearing a peep from her), I decided to make the drive out to CA anyways on my own and see the Grand Canyon (love that place!). Long story short; I did a lot of things over the course of the next 3 weeks attempting to find some respite from a freshly filleted and gutted heart. I took a lot of bike rides along the beach in Santa Monica, visited several bookstores, ate more than my fair share of In-N-Out and Carl’s Jr, spent a lot of quality time with my family–especially with my little niece (my goddaughter) and nephew (teaching him to throw football). I also saw the Grand Canyon, and on the way home visited Yosemite, Vegas, Zion, and Antelope Canyon and found some solace in my photography. I also found respite watching Mission Impossible 4 (amazingly well done; exceeded any expectations I had) on what seemed to be a 4 or 5 story high IMAX screen (what a view when Cruise stepped out of that skyscraper!), and also saw the 6 minute excerpt of The Dark Knight Rises. And I met a couple of women along the way as well and had a bit of companionship. Respite. Respite I would have traded nearly anything not to have to go through. And respite that I was fortunate to have just enough means to take (I couldn’t have afforded any more respite; that respite was costly, even though I stayed with family for almost all of it. So I realize how fortunate I am and was to be able to afford that level of respite).

    Now, 15 months later, I’m married (to the same woman). We’re very happy, I feel very blessed, and I’m very appreciative–caring this much for someone, and losing her in the abovementioned way (and not just once, but on two other occasions in the same basic way) tends to drive home the message to be appreciative and not take a relationship or person for granted (as if all my years of armchair Buddhism and spiritual meandering hadn’t already prepped me very well in some way for this–for how capricious life and happiness are). And now we’re about to have a baby in a few weeks–my first, her fourth. Life is good now. Very very good. We’re nowhere near well-off; we’re just scraping by; but we have love, each other, a family, stability, health (so far as we know; and no one can ever really know how long that will last). Life is much better than 15 moths ago for all of us.

    Is this a happy-ending? Or just another respite? Only time will tell.

    But these were my thoughts in response to reading your post, Stilllearning2b. Reading your post reminded me of the good weather that I enjoyed 15 months ago while riding my bike along the beach on Snata Monica and Venice: many 70 degree days with bright blue skies. It was much better than the double negative of having to endure Midwestern winter weather on top of a brutal loss.

    Kindest regards, SL2B,

    John

  3. Great post. Sometimes we need a reminder that no matter what we’re going through life is still going on beyond our front door, that sometimes we need to get out there and participate just to feel alive.

  4. gemmautting says:

    Lisa – wonderful wisdom, as usually, beautifully written. I loved that John shared his astonishing tale here too – so much left unsaid! As a lonely, sad 8 year old at a pretty barbaric Catholic boarding school, I created a refuge (physical place for respite?) in a wood just off our play ground. I went there almost every day. No matter the weather : wind, rain, snow or fresh buds, bluebells and lush grass – this wood provided an earthy comfort amidst the surrounding human disconnection. And made all the difference.

  5. blogventer says:

    Loved this post. “Chasing the sun” will stay with me forever. I love that phrasing of the words. (Especially given my (real) name!) Thank you for this. 🙂

  6. nsymns says:

    I’m just reading this now years later, and felt I had to say I loved the way you wrote this. You are “Solar powered”, and needed to recharge, LOVE THAT!
    The movie, Borat! Couldn’t get much more hilarious than that. So glad you did that. I could feel your laughter reading it.
    And JOHN’S story! Wowww!!! Such a fabulous one to tell. I got goosebumps reading they got married. So glad he shared it here. I hope they’re every bit as wonderfully happy, if not even more with time! Really did my heart good to read both of your times of respite!!!

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