It is the evening of Thanksgiving. There is a chill in the air. I hang my apron on the one hook that hangs next to my pantry door. I realize that I am so thankful for my fuzzy slippers. They are old and have seen better days. But they are mine. They hug my toes just right. They warm me. There is a candle still burning. That candle shared my day of cooking, baking, laughter and a great game of UNO during pie time. I blow out the candle and I am thankful for the autumn aroma that it brought to the day. The house is dark, the kitchen clean. Leftovers are stacked neatly in the fridge. The kids are tucked in their beds. I think of the silence that surrounds me and reflect on the sounds of earlier that day. Christmas music, laughter. The voices of the loved ones in my home enjoying the food I passionately prepared for that day. I stop and smile and think , I am thankful for this day. These are memories, new memories waiting to be reflected upon one day.
I sit now in my living room. The house is dark except for the light coming from the lamp on my side table. Glowing ever so softly. It is there I sit, My spot on the couch where I watch TV ,talk on the phone, read. Where I think, where I cry, daydream and reflect on days that have passed. My children’s rooms are seen from the corner of my eye. I am thankful for this space. As I sit down, I set my glass of red wine down and start to reflect like I have done so many times before. Quickly my mind starts to reflect on the last few years. Trying to find the balance in life. My children, my work, adult time and my determination of perfecting my awkwardly unbalanced side kick in Taekwondo. I start to think about my struggles. My struggle of letting go of the guilt of my husband's passing. The guilt ridden days and night that seemed to have clouded my existence. Maybe if I stayed he would still be here today. Is it in some way my fault?. Could it be that somehow my actions contributed to his untimely passing?. Will my children somehow, some day blame me? If they only knew that I left for them. I needed to save them as well as myself. Leave before what I knew of myself would be lost forever. Somewhere deeply hidden, my soul lost forever. I gathered up my strength and courage that day. Someday My kids will know. I will tell them when they are older.
From that day forward my strength has continued to grow. More than I could ever imagined. For that, I am thankful….My strength. I have accepted what has happened. I decided that I live with no regrets and have accepted the outcome of my decisions. I let it go and I set myself free. Free to live again, love again, smell the rain, nourish my soul…. Let people in. For I know that every dark night turns into day. I am free to write my story for it is me who holds the pen. For It is the journey and not the destination that is the story. For that, I am thankful.
Though I am happy, I fight off the loneliness that fills my mind sometimes. I look forward to finding love. I am ready. Recently, a friend told me that I have lost the chance of finding true love, that the fairy tale no longer existed.. I didn’t ask why. Maybe I was afraid of the answer. What if he was right? What if all that I have dreamed about doesn’t exist? I felt defeated that my knight in shining armor wasn’t coming to save me. It was sometime later that I reflected on that conversation of words I regret hearing, I closed my eyes and shook my head like a child. Perhaps the words would somehow disappear from memory. And then it came to me. Wait….I don’t need a knight to save me. I already saved myself. ME! I did it! In looking to find someone I realized that someone was me. I then opened up my mind to that unwelcome advice. Maybe, just maybe your one true love comes to you in your youth and when you get older you no longer have any reason to look at it that way. You no longer look for someone to complete you, but complement you. Complement each other. You are already complete. IF you think you are not, look deeper. It’s in the together that make the “one”. That realization, I am forever thankful.
I wondered when writing this story, How will my story end? My last sentence, My last phrase. Then I thought, how can I put an end to my story when my story has not ended? I still have unwritten chapters in my life. Chapters I will look forward to living and writing about. I can do this now because… I am free. And for that, I am thankful.