I stopped into Starbucks to get a bad cup of overpriced coffee this morning. (Can you sense my frame of mind already? I apologize in advance…)
It’s a gorgeous spring day with endless promise and possibilities. The blue sky and emerging green on the surrounding hills remind me what a beautiful place in which I live. Appreciating the wonder of the world doesn’t come as easily for me right now as I wish it did, though.
I feel a little like an already-saturated sponge trying to absorb something more. I’m so filled up with my own special blend of sadness and disappointment and dimming hope that it’s feeling more and more difficult to add in much of anything positive. Even writing that sentence makes me sad…that I’m in this place at all.
Back to Starbucks…
There were a lot of couples searching out caffeine this morning. I saw a wide range of ages…young couples with a small child, middle-aged couples comfortably enjoying the morning paper and a cup of java while sitting close, and retired (probably) couples with that nice, shared easiness that being together for years can produce. It’s bittersweet to encounter other couples out in public. On one hand, I delight in seeing relationships that appear to be loving and healthy. I’m not so much of a wounded curmudgeon that I wish unhappiness on others.
On the other hand, it makes me grieve over my own loss. I’m not loving what it feels like to shuffle around in this shell of singleness. Seeing people together this morning reminds me of what I had with my wife and what I long to have again. I miss having a hand to hold. A shoulder to press mine against. I miss knowing that my unique brand of humanness is understood and loved by another person who has chosen to share her life with me.
I remember, at the start of this all, that Hope mentioned feeling like a rubber band that has been stretched too far. She felt exhausted and empty. I understand that now better than ever because it’s kind of how I feel. The way that she and I muddle through that feeling, however, is very different. She chose to leave and seek strength in separation. I would choose to draw in closer and find strength in unity.
When I write these blog posts I usually try to swing the story back around to some positive point of reflection…a sort of moral that I’m trying to hold on to. I don’t think I’ll do that this time. This page in my story is stained with tears and torn on the edges and I don’t think I want to try and patch it up quite yet.
I know God is in control.
I just can’t quite find a reason for joy at the moment when what I yearn to be is – once again – part of a couple.