Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The path to here and their paths from here

"Relationships -- we all want 'em. We all got 'em. What do we do with them?" Name the song and artist and you'll get $50 in the mail. No, not really, but it would be nice, wouldn't it?

As fall 2005 approaches, so do two weddings of two exes. My previous lives (no, I'm not talking about new age philosophy or reincarnation; don't worry, this Lutheran hasn't gone off that particular deep end) have been interesting, to say the least, and would make a great autobiography some day. A real page-turner, lemme tell ya. I've come across very different sorts of people with very different interests and goals and personalities and situations. For that, I thank the people I once loved.

One showed me what pure beauty is and how brightly the stars shine. She taught by example that it's okay to be who we are if we try to be the best people we can be, to let others see that, and to live for our own truths. The world's colors have been brighter since I've known Amy. I will always be grateful for how she looked at me and how she let me look at her. And, the last I heard from her, she's met her match (and that's saying something) in her man. I wish her the happiest life, every moment filled with love and intellectual challenge and tantalizing politics. If anyone deserves it, she does. A CT wedding is planned.

One showed me that sometimes you have to break someone else's heart to stop breaking your own. He made me discover strength I never had and vulnerability I never thought I needed or wanted, but that has proven that I'm the person I want to be. Craig showed me that I don't ever have to live by anyone else's rules except my own, but that I better know what my rules are. Through three very difficult years with pan flashes of smiles that always turned into tears, he turned into a different person and I turned away from him. He's not evil, although labelling him as such would have been easy. (Since when have I been the one for the easy route?) And once and now and then, I saw the person I fell in love with; the sweet, creative type. Now Craig's off in a new life of his own. A house, an almost-wife. I hope for Craig that he will always be Jekyll and never Hyde. That he'll do it right this time. I told him once he better treat her like a queen. She seems like the person he needs; I hope he's the person she needs. A Labor Day weekend wedding is planned.

As weddings approach and as the cycle of lives turn, so marriages fall apart. Three dear friends of mine have their hearts broken nearly every day all over again as they live the process of breaking up what they thought would last them their lives. It's hard to see people you love in pain, and sometimes the only thing you can do is be the silence on the other end of a phone call, let them talk it out.

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish them. Words shrink things that seem limitless in your mind to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemy would love to steal away. And you may say things that cost you dearly, only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all. That's the worst, I think; when the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.

--Stephen King

So maybe I can just be an understanding ear to those who are going through the storms and turn to me. Maybe I can be the one who tells them things get better. Because they always do. And years from now, friends, you'll look up from your life and see your exes getting married and wish them the very best life that's out there. Because don't we all deserve to be happy?


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