Life is Short… Love Hard.

You know that feeling when a relationship is nearing an end? It’s a deep sense in your gut that you’ll soon be saying goodbye, whether you want to or not. I learned a long time ago that these kinds of things are not guaranteed, these love relationships. They are not linear, and like most stories, love stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.

A little background on both of us… If you know me, then you know all of this already, but if you don’t, I’ll give it to you in a nutshell. I’m a middle-aged woman, who spent a lifetime serving as mom and as wife, while working full time in the not-for-profit arena, doing the best I could to make life better for those less fortunate than I, while raising my two children and taking care of my husband and home. My kids are doing great. One married seven years and a half ago and is living up state. The other moved even further away as married with children and a terrific job , and just loving life.

Now I am in the midst, I imagine of what is known as an Existential Crisis, as I am slogging through that awful period of the “Empty Nest Syndrome,” while trying to rediscover my marriage and to see if my husband and I are on the same page about our future together. I’m dealing with a lot of transitions in my life, and trying to determine my next path, and I really don’t know what to do. I’ve been a full time care giver for my 89 year old mother as she navigated her way (successfully) through lung cancer, and now I’m trying desperately to  protect her from Coronavirus. My emotions are sometimes raw, yet sometimes numb. My passion for work, for life, even for chocolate has been muted.

The other starring character in this story has an even more mournful past. He is the product of a mixed marriage, if you even want to call it that. He was actually hit by a car and left for dead, though he had a strong will and survived, as a youngster. He was kept in foster care for way too long. He seems, even today, to be an isolationist, and to be ever so slightly melancholy, although some just say he is laid-back, or mellow. I feel he is very trusting, accepting and loving. There aren’t too many like that in this world, especially when their beginnings were so challenging.

I came upon him quite by accident. My wanderlust took me to where he was one day, and I happened upon him, visited with him for a short while and then left. But something inside me kept tugging at me, telling me to go back. I’m not really sure what it was. A calling? A sense of obligation? A need on my part?

I went back several times to see him, to figure the whole thing out. He needed me as much as I needed him. I knew he couldn’t stay alone in the situation in which he was living, and I needed to have my own personal outlet for emotions that nobody else could ever understand. I love my husband, my mother, my children and my friends, but this guy seems to me to be the best medicine. Like a few before him, he is the kind of friend who listens without judging, accepts my crazy mood swings and goes with the flow, seems to know when to just lay down next to me quietly, and when just a little kiss on the cheek to tell me he loves will be enough.

Alex’s time is running short. He is having trouble with arthritis. Big trouble. So much so, that when I tried to help him up to his feet two days ago, I threw my own back out. But as I have with all my four-legged children over the years, I made a promise to him. I told him that if he promises to tell me that he can’t take the pain any more, I promise not to make him stay any longer. I have never known a love like his, and I doubt I ever will again. (But then, I said that about, Goyo too.) Rest in peace my dear sweet Alex.

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