19 January 2006

He Shall have Music Where Ever He Goes

One of the many things I love about my loving husband, the Mad Genius, is that he is always singing.
Some of my favorite moments in our life are of him singing.

Now sometimes, it is just plain annoying and I want to shout, "For the Love of God and all things Holy Stop it!"
Fortunately, most times, it is very endearing.

Let me define singing. He doesn't just sing in the shower. He sings outside, he sings while he's at work, he sings in the car. And part of the fun of it is that you never know what he's going to sing. It could be country, it could be KISS, or it could be a commercial jingle. I can walk outside and he's belting out whatever song is in his head while mowing the lawn, he'll make up the verses to what is happening right that moment. He once adapted Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" to "Sweet Missy Dog" and sung it to our puppy.

My most recent memory of him singing was just the other day. As he left the room, he began to sing to the dog:
"If you're a Puppy and you know it, clap your hands!" How can you not smile at that?

My favorite moment of him singing is when we were first dating. Michael Bolton was all the rage at the time and he had a duet with Linda Ronstadt. The chorus was "Don't know much but I know I love you." Well, at that time in our lives, he was a confirmed bachelor and not so sure he was up for a long-term relationship. But we both knew that we were in love and there was no going back.
But that didn't stop him from singing "Don't know much..but I know.." and then stopping and smiling that little boy smile of his.
How can you not love that guy?

And yes, he has since sung the rest of the song to me, and many more.

Pardon Me

Forgiveness: (n.) 1) The act of forgiving; pardon 2) compassionate feelings that support a willingness to forgive 3) the act of excusing a mistake or offense

Forgiveness is a tough concept to grasp. It is a good thing to do but it may be the most difficult thing a person can do.

Along with my fun little non-judgmental resolution, I have been thinking about forgiveness.

There are a few fractured, unresolved relationships in my life and in retrospect, all can use a little forgiveness.
But then, where does one draw the line? What's forgivable and what's not? In my world, it isn't black and white but in others, it most definitely is. They say that you forgive the person but not excuse the action. They say that a person isn't defined by their actions. They say that people are doing the best they can at that time in their life. They say forgive but don't forget. It’s very complicated.

I think it is a very personal decision.

My first attempt was a hand-written note to someone who wasn't honest with me and our relationship ended as a result. I found, with the passage of time however, that the interactions of the relationship had ended but the hurt and the anger still existed. I decided that I couldn't truly end the relationship without...warning: psychobabble forthcoming...closure. Thus: forgiveness.

But, forgivenss seems like such a Lifetime Televison, Little House on the Prairie thing to do. It seems dramatic and overwrought. It also feels a little arrogant, if you will. Like you're making a proclamation "I, Queen of all that is Good & Pure, am forgiving you!" But "they" say it's a good thing to do and makes you a better, stronger, healthier person.

So, in the spirit of Christmas (yeah, I said it: Christmas) I wrote the person a note and enclosed it in a Christmas card. I said that I had forgiven them and that I hoped they forgave me. A pretty simple little note but packed with emotion and intention.

As I assumed would happen, I received no response and that's okay. (How does one respond to a note like that anyway? Does Miss Manners have a category for it? Does Hallmark carry a thank you card?) Frankly, I was a little relieved not to have it postmarked Return to Sender.

I was a little disappointed but then I remembered that it wasn’t all about me. It was also about the other person.

I also assumed that I would immediately feel better and all would be right in my world. But it wasn't. Now, not to completely blow the theory of forgiveness out of the water, I did feel differently. I know now that I've said all I have to say, I've done what I could, and now I can move on. It is my hope that this person can now move on as well. There is a relief in that knowledge.

Also with that knowledge I realized a whole other concept of forgiveness…when you forgive someone, quite often you’re forgiving yourself as well! It’s very complicated and heavy stuff.

Now that I have done it once, I am looking for other opportunities to forgive. Kind of like the last scene in Scrooged where Bill Murray talks about giving and if you do it and keep doing it, you get addicted to it. I hope that I can keep doing it. I hope that others can forgive me as well.

Blast from the Past

I recently took a trip down Memory Lane. It was unintentional, a result of telephone call to an old friend. I guess I should have anticipated this little jog of memory but it caught me completely unaware.

Normally, a person would think that a visit like this would be a pleasant thing. For the most part it was, do not misunderstand. I just didn't anticipate the fall-out that would occur. Suddenly, I am hearing names and picturing faces from nearly 20 years ago. Suddenly, I'm catching in vivid memory vignettes of my past. Scenes that were purposefully left behind, scenes from my former marriage and it's aftermath; dramatically underscoring how much life has changed since then.

There are often scenes in movies where the character receives a telephone call or letter that immediately transports them to their past. Memories resurface, feelings resurface, and thus the tone of the movie is set. It feels as if my life has become that movie.

For the first time in eighteen years, I can clearly envision my ex-husband in all his illusions. I can see our old apartment, my old car, my old friends. For the first time in years, it feels like it was yesterday.
All of those things: the car, friends, apartment are gone now. I'm a completely different person, there's really, truly, nothing the same. Not my name, not my looks, not my attitude.

What is unsettling about having everything change is that I fought so hard to Not have everything change during that time. I went against authorities advice to move away, change my name, and essentially disappear. At the time, I refused. Now, after so much time has passed, all of that has changed. I did move, I did change my name, and I did change many things about myself. All for the greater good in the long run and all despite of my efforts.

This has also shown a glimpse of what my life could have been had I stayed. I would be the mother of two teen-aged children; I would be married for 18 years and still the wife of a husband with substance abuse and mental health issues. I would have different friends. I would live in a house my in-laws built for "us" right next door to them. People I know now, I wouldn't know. Experiences I have had would not have happened. It is a glance at an alternate version of my life.

It is terrifying. The entire thing: the glimpse of the past, the glimpse of what-could-have-been. I feel stuck in a time vacuum where the past and the present have collided. At times, I have to blink and concentrate on the present to make the past recede. To say it is disconcerting doesn't quite cover it. It is disorienting.

One positive thing it has done for me: it makes me so thankful for how my life HAS turned out.
That alternate version of my life seems bleak, whereas this version of my life is full of blessings and good things. Thank God for cosmic nudges, unseen plans, and unforeseen circumstances. Without those things...as negative and scary as it was...I would not be the same.