Saturday, September 19, 2015

Celebrating Progress & Finding My Marbles

Dear John,
 
It rained hard all night, so the trip to Nappanee was re-routed to Middlebury for their Fall Festival. There was less mud and general sogginess in Middlebury. And it was fun. Richard took me to a huge antique store on the north end of town, in the building where the old creamery used to be. And, being me, I bought a jar of marbles.
 
(I'm still buying marbles. Ever since Mama threw out my marble collection when I was away at college, I've been trying to remove the psychological scars by replacing them. Either that, or I just lost my marbles and am attempting to remedy the situation.)
 
Anyway, the festival was unspectacular but generally enjoyable. A better time was had at Varns and Hoover. It is its same old self but more so. The housewares section has expanded quite a bit. I was looking for a small whisk but didn't find it. And I discovered a lovely little restaurant in the back of the mercantile building. Their chai is excellent. You'd like it. Not the chai, because you don't like chai, but the restaurant. You know what I mean.
 
In the midst of all this festiveness, I had a realization of making progress healing from your deplorable failure to take me with you. There was music at the festival, and they played "Gone, Gone, Gone," and I stopped dead in my tracks. I still remember the first time I heard it. It was a few months after your death and I was on the way home from work. It was both cathartic and invigorating, and very painful, and I loved it.
 
Today I heard it and realized how far I've come since that day. I'm not moving on in the sense of dating and looking for a romantic relationship - I have no desire or intention to do that. But I have adapted to this new life you left me with. I've grown in competence and independence. But what surprises me is that I've learned to be happy. There is still a hole in my life and there always will be. But there is also a fullness. I love my job, I have friends and family who love me, I'm responsible for the house and yard, and I take care of animals who also love me. I have a single friend my own age to run around with. It's a bit inconvenient that he's male, but there's nothing to be done about that. I have a social life, and that is good.
 
So, to sum up: I'm not moving on, I'll always love you even though you're gone. But I've learned to be happy and have a full life. And I know that makes you happier than it does me. As you watch over me now, I can tell how glad you are that I'm adapting and doing well. At least, I am most of the time, but crashes are to be expected. They don't come as often or last as long. Thank you for wanting so badly, when you realized you were leaving, for me to be happy without you. This doesn't mean I'm not annoyed with you for forgetting to take me with you. But wanting me to be happy while I'm here is second best. So thank you for that, for your prayers, for looking after me, and for waiting for me.
 
Love you with all my heart,
Joan.

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