Last night I took a big step and bought a plane ticket back to California for early October. I’ve spent the last few weeks here in my former home with my ex-husband Larry and our son Luke. Like drowning people clinging to a raft we have hung on to each other, just trying to grok the reality that our girl is gone. And it has helped.
And now it is time to move on.
I can’t tell you the terror that brings for me. Well, OK, terror is a highly dramatic word … perhaps dread is more accurate or even just plain fear. Because San Francisco was our town, me and Teal. That she was just across the Mission made the urban harshness so much more livable. That I could call her up and take her to dinner made my aloneness in my new life in California so much easier. She was my link, my anchor, my family.
Ah, but now I have learned something so important in this shaky time. It turns out that despite a settled divorce and the creation of separate lives, my former husband Larry is still family to me. After 23 years together how could we not be? And we are finding our way as friends now, especially now, in a new and tender way. And we do still love each other as I suspect we always will, though we are no longer meant to be together. The clarity and sweetness of this is a great gift.
As for our beautiful son, Luke, I am more proud of him than ever. And even though he lives in the East and we will not see each other often, I know he still needs his mom just as much as I need him. We will find our way through this, I know. I’ve promised him that now I have one child, I will be “Uber-Mom” … which we laugh about. At least, I will try to the extent that phone and Skype allow.
And it even turns out I have friends – amazing friends – all around me in California. Somehow, embarrassingly, I thought I didn’t. Earlier this year after a bad break up, I buried myself in shame and regret. Occasionally I’d lift me head out of the big dog hole I’d buried myself in, and cadge a few laughs here and there. But then I’d scuttle back, satisfied that I was ALONE. Door nailed shut. Barricaded.
But beautiful souls will not let shame and regret turn them away. And let me tell you, these people have beautiful souls, every last one of them. Particularly sweet has been getting to know some of Teal’s dear friends I’d never met. These people are so wonderful it makes me even more proud of her.
And so, even with no particular place to live at the moment, even with all the uncertainty of one business ending and another beginning, even with no relationship at present, I am going home. Because at the moment, home is not a place – it is the embrace of dear friends.
Even more importantly, I am befriending myself. It is as if Spirit determined how low I would have to go to finally sink to my knees in surrender … to say, “OK, God. I’m yours. I no longer plan to ‘think’ my way through this life in any way, shape, or means.”
So this is now true: I will follow your directive with all my heart; detached from all that I once knew as important, devoid of ‘stuff’, living out of two suitcases and a briefcase while you prepare me for bigger things. I won’t question it. I won’t resist it, and most of all I won’t worry.
So I linger on my knees in this month since Teal died, knowing that I am delivered to my God. Knowing there is only reaching out for support at this point as I share my truth. Knowing that for once in my feisty, bossy, independent life I can ask for help and get it. And knowing that I do, indeed, deserve it.
As do we all.