This morning, I woke up to snow dusting over the grass and the flowers Spring teased with a week earlier. There was a daffodil forced to surrender as the snow held it down. When I saw it, I wept. Lately I have been feeling the pain of being held down by uncertainties, lack of direction and acts of God.
See, in this past month, I have a restless tornado whirling inside of me and it has no idea where to touch down. I am drawn to this need to run and face what’s ahead, yet my depleted energy from uncertainty and wishes for the past have held me in place, planting me in where-do-I-go land. It’s like I am trying to run with while a strong hold on the hood on my jacket restricts my distance, even pulls me back.
It started, this fitful edgy feeling, right before the pandemic hit. I started to feel my grief to lift somewhat. Sure, there were times when it pushed me back down, hard, bringing me to my knees. I still had days where I screamed out questions of why’s. Days where my longing for Peter was so intense, I struggled to breath. Yet, those days were coming less. In it’s place was the harsh reality of my life now, a life without him, and questions of where to go from here took over the spaces grief once filled. I knew I could and, finally should, move without Peter, even if meant loosing the part of me he defined.
When the pandemic hit, I was forced to stand still. The constant reminders of my loneliness, of my now purpose, were thrown at me like fast balls from a major league pitcher. I could even bunt them away. The thoughts and feelings came at me so hard and so fast, anxiety curled around me just to avoid them which brought on panic attacks. Ones in which I haven’t felt this severe in years.
And yet, the restlessness continues in me. I have morphed into the Pushmi-Pullyu llama of Doctor Doolittle, wanting to move one way toward the future, and another way to stay toward the past. The end result is I don’t move at all. Part of the hold is the pandemic itself. It’s hard to move anywhere when the fate of your life and those of others are at risk by any type movement. The uncertainty of the future thwarts any decisions or plans. And then there’s the part of me who has no idea where to go. It’s hard to move when you don’t know the direction.
My past has been filled with me digging down deep for perseverance. I have a history too long to detail to prove I am a survivor, but trust me, I am. The highlights and lowlights in my life prove my stamina and my resolve. During these times, I eventually reached the point in figuring out how to tackle any obstacle in order to move on. I only licked my wounds for so long before continuing my fight. Sometimes, I stopped for a breath of self-pity, or had moments of contemplation, even took a break here and there to collapse in sobs, but I have always continued on. And now, I feel I am finally lessening my grief load in order to move on, or I did before I was forced to stay still by the Pandemic devil.
Peter’s death was the biggest and worse hurdle I am going to have to get over. I am not over it yet, however, I am finally straddling it. Even with the damn pandemic, I am sitting here, seeing glimpses of a future I still cannot name. The thorns sticking out of this barrier are hurting because I require movement. And now, today, stuck inside a house I want and need to leave, I have none. So, I sit upon my prickling impatience, feeling the torment of restriction, and at times, and glancing back to where I was once when Death first took Peter. And it is a painful set-back…until I see the hope in the possibilities in front of me.
The time I spend now, up here on the fence, may have a purpose for me for it gives me time to think. And for now though, it buys me time. See, I’m not sure where I want to go, and what I need to do right now to move forward. A part of me wants to stay in the comfort of familiarity, where Peter still exists as part of my definition. There is a certain ease and an intimate joy to live in a place where Peter lives on. The other part of is drawn by a strong force to move on and start all over again, separate from Peter because I know I will forever be separate from him. His death handed me my single card and broke my membership to my coupling with him.
I will forever love Peter. There is no way for me to ever stop loving a person who changed me, loved me and moved me. I can never stop loving the part of me he birthed inside of me. And I will forever be bonded to him because he is half of my children’s creation. My love for my children is so deep partly because of him. By moving on, I could never nor would never want to abandon Peter and his memories. Still, there is that fear which tethers me to stay put in the familiarity, his familiarity. And yet, by standing still, stagnated in the surroundings of him, I cannot and will not become the person I am without him. I cannot let the snow hold me down to show my independent color.