I Find Myself

Ten years ago, I moved to Moncton; it was a town full of new beginnings and possibly a place to call home.  The concept of home has always been a challenging topic for me.  I have never really found a place I felt home, not in the traditionally sense anyway.  Most of my life, I wanted to be somewhere else.

Very shortly after moving here, I met a wonderful man, that would eventually become my husband. He introduced me to his world, in the most speculator ways. We climbed mountains, crawled around in caves, rode the New Brunswick trails on dirt bikes, and searched for the best seafood chowder in Atlantic Canada on motorcycles. We raised our blended family and built a tiny home for our retirement.  For the first time in my life, the urge to bolt became less intense.  Sadly however, he died last year.  That’s right, died! I prefer to use that word because it sounds as shocking to say, as it does to feel, and there is no ambiguity about the situation.  It was totally unexpected; on an beautiful fall day, my amazing husband went riding in the woods with friends and never came back.

Since then, I find myself  hearing things I can not believe.  Heart Attack!  How is it possible that someone who took such great care of himself dies of a heart attack, at 50.  I knew when we met, that as a Type 1 diabetic, life was more challenging for him. However, after 36 years of meeting the challenge daily with positivity and respect, I thought he had it …. I don’t know what I thought he had, no word exists.

I find myself questioning what is next.  Followed up by the guilt of NEXT.  It seems wrong to think about what, who or where next is. How disrespectful, how inappropriate and how fucking impossible that there be a next, without him.

I find myself swearing, swearing a lot – not something I have been known for in the past. To be honest, the English language has too many words necessary to express my feelings right now and I am too tired to search for the right ones, so “I’m fucking angry” is just easier.

I find myself crying in the most inappropriate places.  I have made the decision that my crying helps me grieve and if it makes you uncomfortable, then that’s about you, not me! When was the last time you saw someone try to hide their tears in your presence?  It is shameful that we feel it necessary to not be human in these moments, and to not honour the feelings that have protected us, our entire life.

I find myself talking to strangers; and telling them things I have no business burdening them with.  I ask them out for tea and corner them with all my questions, while crying and swearing. Some amazing people have walked the darkness with me this year.  The staff at the local subway have fed me and taken their breaks with me, as I cry in the back corner of their store. Strangers, who’s name I don’t know, have hugged me in public and offered to pray for me. Big burly, tough riders have shown their tender side, as tears trickle down their face in my presence. New friends have entered and chosen to stay, even though some days are challenging.

As new and old friendships change, I begin to realize that with each of these people I find myself. And so there it is – and here I am, opening my heart to possibilities and grateful for the journey as I move into 2019.

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Love You More, Babe

The Illusion of Time

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This beautiful clock was given to me, by a friend, almost 14 years ago.  At the time it was a symbolic offer of the time we had spent together and the unexpected life events, that as friends, we would need to laugh and cry through.  As far as clocks go, this one has never lived up to its intended design.  It has been through many batteries and yet it goes months, even years without working.  It, however, has never left my living room; it sits proudly on the television stand.

I have been asked why I keep it, if it is so unreliable.  As I downsize my life, again, some difficult choices have to be made, including parting with the dishes my grandmother gave me 25 years ago.  They are lovely but have only been used a dozen times. Their tiny silver trim sparks in the microwave and they are fragile in a non fragile home.  The broken clock, however, will come with me. It has become a meaningful material gift.

For almost 14 years it has randomly ticked, sometimes it lasts for a day, other times it lasts for weeks, but never does it tell the right time!  I don’t run to it, as it starts to tick, to make current it’s time. I just sit and marvel at how something, that was designed to do one thing, has completely taken on a new role.

Why the clock must stay.

Recently it began to tick again, it has been ticking for almost a week– one of its longer stints! As I notice it tick:

  1. I think of my friend, and I wonder if time is serving her well. We have lost touch over the years and moved on with our new lives. But from time to time I see a Facebook post and I am happy for her.
  2. I remember another special friend, who I lost too early and for a moment, I feel sad. Then I laugh as I remember the crazy names he thought of, as he was deciding what to name his unborn baby boy, that sadly he would never meet.
  3. I think about all the things I have learned from loving and losing people and it hits me that ‘my time clock’ could stop any minute, and not restart.

Time is the cornerstone of a civilized world, one of the most rigid of human creations.  Without it, how would we know we have succeeded?  How would we know we have failed? Time is the benchmark by which we judge our status in life.   The passage of it has given me wisdom, and has taken, a little piece of my innocence. We always wish for more of it, and while we do, we are not taking full advantage of the moment we are presently in.

We need time for our business, our religious celebrations, our pay day schedules and all those other important things. It tells us when we are getting old, and reflecting on it, is what makes us human.

My random ticking clock helps me reflect on time and its illusion. It is not time I need, it is now.  As Eckhart Tolle so wisely says “The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

As Derrick and I spend our now, doing silly things, I know they will impact my future but as my wise cousin says “Let future Lisa worry about that!”

Namaste, Lisa