I was sitting on the bench in my living room, looking at the fireflies through the window, trying to make the best of my Husband being so far away. I was trying to be hopeful– flipping through the pages of a mediterranean cookbook in candlelight, planning a welcome home meal to celebrate his return. Trying really hard to fight the urge to cry because I’m not with him creating these new memories and experiencing all of these new experiences by his side. I am battling ailments as well. Small little reminders that life will be a constant battle. I clinch my fist trying not to raise it and curse the heavens for turning this world, this life, this body against me.
But then I hear a crash behind me. It’s my bookshelf lightening its load from its over-filled shelves of collected stories that have our stories attached to them. My phone pings across the room and it displays messages that confirm a love so great. Our old bedroom door screeches at the hinges, echoing through the long halls as the cat nuzzles her way inside. This afternoon’s mail sits in the foyer with letters from far away friends. There’s a bowl on the dining room table filled with dirt covered tomatoes freshly picked this morning.
I gave into the pressure behind my eyes and let the tears fall. Why do I feel the constant need to compare myself to everyone else? If the life they have received, all of the vacations, possessions and good karma are the things that they deserve, are my gifts– no matter how “small” they are– any less precious than theirs?
The gift of life is precious. This life that I have been given was made especially for me. I wipe my tears, stuff the book back into a nonexistent slot and message Joshua that I love and miss him. He tells me the same and I know that I am alright.
I am alright.
“I saw it glitter from the corner of my eye.”
I don’t know how “it” would glitter at all. There wasn’t any electricity in the house yet and the basement was dark. The only light we had was the flashlight pen I found in my purse. It was two weeks before we were to be married and we were moving an old washing machine from the basement and into the laundry room of the home we were to share together. I flashed the flashlight pen at his dust covered hands. In it was a diamond ring .
“Are you serious? One does not simply find diamond rings on the basement floor.”
My comment turned into a solid five minutes of cheesy Lord of the Ring jokes and we laughed at every one. Not because they were funny (they were funny) but because we were in love and excited. He put the ring in the palm of my hand and told me to hold onto it.
After we tried and failed miserably at trying to install the washing machine, we surrendered and laid flat out on the dark and empty hardwood floors. I dug into my pocket and retrieved the sweet ring and held it high so that we could both examine it.
“I wonder who it belonged to.” he said in a curious tone.
He took the ring this time and held it higher so that the sun from the windows could hit it and we stayed there for hours wondering. Who held the story of the diamond? Was it a sincere one? One full of love and joy? I’m not sure if we will ever know but what we do know is that the story is now ours to tell.
Warm weather. Visits to the Zoo. Meeting new friends. Seeing old friends. Countdowns to vacation. Trips to the shore. Late night fires in the garden. Fuchsias and Ranunculus. Best friends with new jobs. Husbands with new dreams. Loved ones with new homes. Dogs who learn new tricks. Cats that break old habits. Cuddling. Movie date nights. Cheer up date nights. Date nights, dang it!
Strong brewed tea in the morning. Effortless dinners at night. Wearing flower crowns for no reason. Afternoon naps on the couch. Watching British television on the kindle. Painting with watercolors on the front porch. Wearing new clothes. Hiding Birthday presents. Yard sales. Snail Mail. Beatrix potter books. Sherlock manga, Japanese kitkats and kimmidolls.
Buying a vintage typewriter. Toasted Italian bread. Planting a veggie garden. Eating homemade donuts. Vintage handkerchiefs. Etsy sales. Lemonade all of the time. Going days without seeing the in-laws. Good health. Great Love. Better life.