“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in….”
A high school classmate, someone I haven’t talked to in decades, except for a moment’s greeting at the most recent reunion, emails me, out of the blue, and invites me to lunch.
Sure, why not? But why? Just curious – what made you think of me?
Just reaching out, she says – trying to connect and reconnect, after a divorce.
So I go to lunch with this classmate and another, also divorced, and hear their stories of the loss of their marriages.
And I tell the story of the loss of my husband, and what I was trying to push myself to do now – mainly, find a job, as much like my old job as possible. Close to home, where I can wear those beloved work boots, keep my head down, my mouth largely shut (except for necessary presentations to groups of volunteers) and otherwise do as I’m told, while staying on my feet all day, moving heavy things around and losing weight.
Where am I going to find something like that ever again?
And then the classmate who called me mentioned a place that she had volunteered, which I wouldn’t have known about or thought of if she hadn’t mentioned it.
After lunch I go home and check out the website of said organization, and right there, in the employment opportunities, is THE JOB.
The exact job. Warehouse work, on my feet, presentations to volunteers, the whole shebang.
I apply, writing a nice, not a snarky, cover letter.
Interviews came fast, followed by an offer.
An offer of a job with a regular schedule, good benefits, 10 minutes from home.
“Be careful what you wish for, ’cause you just might get it.” (I can’t believe I’m quoting a Daughtry song!) The job does, however, involve driving, and moving things with, a forklift. So that’s a line in my personal sand that I’m going to have to cross, have already started to cross, like it or not.
How did this happen, and happen so fast?
Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find?
What if that’s actually true?
Well, Okay! In that case, I’d like to ask for a big, strong, kind, gentle man, between 5’10” and 6’4″, black hair, green or blue eyes, deep, calm voice, handy, 15 to 20 years younger than I am, and — hmm, now how shall I put this — “energetic?” “vigorous?” “frisky?’ OK, maybe “frisky” is a little too, erm, explicit. But you catch my drift.
That would make me feel fully alive again.
Spring seems to have come at last – today is a sunny day and the crocuses are blooming, the jonquils have opened and the tulips are coming up. When the sun came out one day a few weeks ago, I found myself opening the drapes, and realizing I hadn’t done that in over a year. Most of the time, we’ve been sitting in a dark house, not letting the light in, muffled, dimmed, in the shadows.
Right when I felt myself sinking into another round of deep grief, which seemed to be happening to our child as well, a year and a half after losing Mike, right when I felt at my weakest, lowest point, right when all I wanted to do was curl up in a little fetal ball and disappear – I unconsciously, almost absent- mindedly, let the light in.
Before losing Mike, I was never one to “hide my light under a bushel,” as the saying goes – far from it. My problem has been much more blaring my light so brightly that it never gives anyone else the chance to let theirs shine.
Part of learning from loss to live with love and laughter is to learn to live with humility – to realize that I’m not really in charge, that if I could just shut it for a minute and be quiet, where I am right now, I might actually hear whispers of God, and feel divine influence, even in the most mundane aspects of my life.
I think God assigns that sort of thing to angels who know your minutiae – who know what you need even if you don’t, quite. So Mike’s involved, here somewhere, I’m pretty sure. (But let’s step up the pace on finding that black haired, green eyed, big, strong, kind gentle man with the deep calm voice, OK, loves?)
I’m not sure why I was whirled right into this job so fast. It sure didn’t feel like I had a helluva lot to do with making it happen – felt more like it happened to me and I was being led by the nose into it. OK, I’ll follow that lead, and see where it takes me.
It already has taken me places I’m afraid to go (e.g. , the driver’s seat of a forklift – but I’m picking it up fast) and reminded me of things I didn’t do so well in the past (see, “making children cry,”) but I’m trying, really trying, to take those things as second chances, learning opportunities, offers to live with humility and kindness, and to get over some of my fears and anxieties, which take up way too much of my headspace. I’m trying (with mixed success, but it’s only been two weeks) to dial it back enough, and to keep my big yap closed for long enough, to hear those whispers of the divine, and to see all those other lights, shining bright, right in front of me.
I’ll keep you posted. Especially about that big, strong, kind, gentle man request. We’ll see how that goes, tee hee.
Until then, I remain, your humble, obedient, loyal, etc.,