The Men in My Life

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us 3It’s been a little while since I’ve written so I thought I would tell you about the men in my life.  Comfy?  Ok.  Me too, cuddled up in my afghan and with a steaming cup of tea.

When my husband and I separated, I was around age 60 and one of the things I thought about was would I ever find love again? I felt old, used up, unattractive, and just lost without my partner.  Of course, since then I’ve realized he wasn’t really the partner I thought he was, and while we had many good and loving moments, raised a son together, and have gone through a lot as a couple, growing old together wouldn’t have been how I envisioned it because we weren’t best friends.

So fast forward to now. No men in my life expect two-my son and my grandson.  My son and I don’t see a lot of each other.  We’re both busy with our own thing but as I’ve written before, he was my rock throughout the separation and divorce and sharing the house with him gives us each our own space and just enough together time that we don’t drive each other crazy.  It’s nice to have someone to talk to, someone to bounce ideas off of, and his presence makes the house “alive.”

And then there’s my grandson. He’s a beautiful boy, bright, active, a handful at times, but a good boy.  He’s 3 ½ and his teacher says that he knows all the sounds of letters and could be reading soon.  (Can you say proud grandma?)  We read all the time but his favorite thing is for me to make up stories.  He climbs up on the couch next to MeMa’s seat, cuddles up, and tells me what the story should be about.  When I first started doing this, I would try to get him to chime in but he wouldn’t.  But now he’s director and script writer and if I say the wrong thing I hear “MeMa, I’m very angry.  You aren’t listening.”  Most of the stories feature whatever toys he’s interested in such as his bison but now he’s interested in Super heroes as well.  This boy loves stories and can sit through a dozen if I have enough brain power to think of that many!  I love him beyond my imaginings.  Having a grandchild is such a different experience than being a parent.  And he and I have a special bond.  I try to keep my common sense in the forefront but all it takes is “MeMa, I’m so excited to see you.  I missed you”, and I melt.

me n adio

So these two are my “men.” And I’m very happy with the trade.  I never realized how much “work” my husband was.  It’s so nice to not have to cook if I don’t want to, do laundry whenever I feel like it, grocery shop only once in a while…my time is my own.  I can eat in bed, stay up all night, or go to bed at 8.  If I snore, no problem.  If I want the fan on, no problem, blankets off, blankets on, etc.  You get the idea. (I’m sleeping better too)  I did so many things for him, out of love and a desire to be a good wife, that I stifled “me”.  So along with sleeping better, going wherever I want, whenever I want to, my mind is freer and I feel more creative.

Please understand that I put myself in that type of wife “box” but of course, he liked it and didn’t protest. And because of that, I started becoming resentful and allowed myself to be taken for granted, something that I was only able to realize after the separation.  It actually brought me to quite a few realizations that had I done that soul searching sooner, I might have asked him to leave years ago or maybe things would have improved.  Who knows?.  He doesn’t get a pass but I did everything based on my vision of a wife.  Child care-all me.  Housework-all me.  Work full time, me.  When the hell did I sleep?  He worked long hours too but there was never any notice of how tired I might be and no helping hand offered.  Home was my job and I did my best to keep up.  He should have married Donna Reed!  OK.  Rant done.  But my point is that I’m so much happier without all of that burden.

So do I want to marry again? Right now, I think “no”.  For a few reasons.  First, after 30 years of marriage-done-wrong, I’m not sure how to do it right.  Second, I’m loving the freedom.  Third, there’s a tiny corner of my heart that still mourns and so far, that’s not going away or lessening, making no room for someone new. It’s not that I miss him, just that maybe he was “the one and only”.  I’ve always heard that some people only love one person.  Is that me?  Not sure.  I invested every fiber of my being in that marriage and maybe there’s nothing left.  I’m happily expanding my girlfriend time, eating out, going places.  I would like to add travel to that picture but so far work intrudes on that plan, but maybe in the near future.  If my health was better I’d go by myself and may do some exploring alone anyway.  You know, those senior bus trips!  But I guess time will tell.

It’s been nice sharing this time with you but I need to be out and about, running errands, meeting friends for coffee, and just enjoying freedom.  We’ll talk again soon.

Shelley

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