Going home

Standard
Going home

And yes by the end of the trip everything seemed so much more familiar. I began to think of the buildings around my hotel as my neighborhood when I saw them from the tram window. The flow of traffic and people seemed much less crazy, although-still crazy. Breakfast of smoked fish and salad appeared normal, although I didn’t venture to try it. I knew where to walk for dinner, or cold medicine, or chocolate, or to see a movie.
I’ve spent endless hours inside my own brain for the last 7 days. I’ve thought of Chris and how much he would have loved the city, how long it would have taken him to get through the museums and how nice it would have been to sit at a cafe table and share a cappuccino with him.
I consider how exhausting the last five years (maybe the last ten) have been. I consider what a victory it was to get through 2012, to have held my family together. I did the hardest things I have ever done that year. I buried my husband. I told my daughters their father had killed himself. I celebrated holidays and searched to define the new normal. I woke up, made coffee, bought donuts, showered even when I simply wanted to sleep. I felt the enviable love and support of my community. I learned to manage my family’s finances, unclog drains and toilets. I sold our family’s home. I moved into a new home. I started to rediscover a version of me that I buried many years ago. I dreamed of the future. I healed.
As the anniversary of year two approached I received an unexpected check and decided quickly to travel. Something about putting so many literal miles between myself and the past felt right. It felt like the next logical step in healing, moving forward, seeing who I am. All that time alone would certainly force me to take a look at myself, to feel my feelings, listen to my inner voice.
So I listened.
I thought about myself as a mother.
I thought about myself as a single woman in her 40s.
I thought about myself as a survivor.
And I felt joy. Real joy and satisfaction over and over again. These years, however many, have all been opportunities. I don’t mean this to be as cliche as it may sound. It’s true. I have the gift of three beautiful, complicated, brilliant and resilient daughters. They know what it means to walk through fire and come out on the other side. And all of these circumstances, especially the most painful events, have been the catalyst for transformation. To be who I am, where I am.
And it finally feels really good.
Maybe I didn’t need to go all the way to Amsterdam to allow the weighty wet blanket of grief to be pulled away. Maybe, like Dorothy, what I was looking for was always in my own back yard. My best guess is that it was time. Time to feel a little less bad, less guilty and broken and resentful. Time to realize I’d healed some. Time to realize my girls and I, we are doing ok. In fact we are doing damn good.
Sometimes you have to take a few steps back and look out over the horizon to be able to see what is right in front of your face.

Advertisements

One response »

  1. Ami, You are tremendously resilient. You ARE a survivor. I’m sure there are days when you don’t feel strong. All you want is someone to hold YOU, as you hold the girls and quiet their fears and anger and grief. But you persevere. You “fake it ’til you make it,” like AA says. Chris would be so proud of you! He loved you deeply. And I do too!!!! Loving hugs, Nan  To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. Thich Nhat Hanh

    >________________________________ > From: Accidental Sister Wife >To: nan.woodard@yahoo.com >Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:17 PM >Subject: [New post] Going home > > > > WordPress.com >atrowell2013 posted: “And yes by the end of the trip everything seemed so much more familiar. I began to think of the buildings around my hotel as my neighborhood when I saw them from the tram window. The flow of traffic and people seemed much less crazy, although-still crazy.” >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s