Monday, October 21, 2013



I believe I'm back to being single. At least it seems that way now. Time will tell. It's a bad timing thing for both of us, so who knows if the timing will be right again. I'm not going to worry about that. It's beyond my control so I let it go.

I learned so much  from this relationship and it has been good and hard and precious and enlightening and difficult and it's brought me to tears so many times. Mostly because it's pushed me to be so incredibly vulnerable with such a patched-up shattered heart. It's been scary.

The whole experience has held a mirror up to me and how I relate to men in relationships, and what I want from a partner and for my future.

I love so deeply and am so endlessly loyal that it's easy for me to get wrapped up in someone else's world while neglecting mine and I have to be vigilant about resisting that urge. I want to feel okay with me, just as I am. There might be aspects of my personality I'd like to work on, but I can't really work on them while hating myself for having them. All of me needs to be loved by me. And those I let into my life must love me too. And love ON me. And take good care of me, as I'd do for them.

There is a strange, unexplained place in my brain I keep coming back to and I'm not sure why I have been so fixated on it for the past 2 years.

It's the memory of a place I went to just months after Dave died. It's called Edgefield and it's not far from Portland. My dear friend took me to a concert there and before the concert we wandered around the property.

 It's a beautiful place with a romantic hotel and restaurant, vineyards, a glass blowing studio and a great concert lawn. As we walked around and eventually watched that concert, we were surrounded by couples, and to my shattered heart, everyone seemed deliriously in love.

 It was as though I'd found the most romantic place in all of Oregon and everyone was mocking me with their blissful loving touches and looks. It both pierced my heart with horrific pain and made me long for what they had. I remember thinking that I didn't want to live the rest of my life never having that again.

I prayed that I'd one day get to come back to that place and have a partner to share it with. I've watched too many romantic movies because I even pictured it as a place where someone might one day propose to me. I wanted that person to be Dave. I wanted him back and I wanted to turn back the clock and experience it all with him, but I also knew that that would never happen and that I might be around for a LONG time and that I'd be damned if I didn't get to experience that again before I myself died.

Ever since that day at Edgefield, the memory and image of the place pops into my head from time to time. Pretty regularly, actually. I have somehow associated that place with my chance to have a great love again.

I don't know if that's greedy or silly, wishful thinking or what. I don't really understand why that place means so much to me or why I keep thinking that I'm destined to experience it one day, with the love of my second life.

Sometimes I really wish I weren't such a romantic. Maybe I'm just torturing myself with mushy ideals from the movies. Maybe I'm just longing for something that doesn't or won't exist for me again. But I want it anyway. I'm wanty. I'm full of wants. I want a love that begins to make me feel alive again. I want a love that is big enough to hold me and all of my baggage. I want a love that's endlessly loyal and patient and real. I want to feel precious to someone else. I want to have that one person who I tell ALL my stories to because I know he'll want to hear them. It might be unrealistic. It might not be. I have no idea. I just know I want it.

But wanting it and deserving it don't make it happen. It's not something I can track down and then pin down, like a butterfly for an insect collection in middle school. It's something I can make space for and wait for and hope for.

It's something I get my hopes up for and that is incredibly hard for me to do. It's so hard to do that I just winced and felt sick to my stomach as I typed the words "get my hopes up".

It seems like it will hurt so much more if I let myself hope and then get crushed than if I just never aim for it in the first place.

But that's utter bullshit and I know it.

My poor heart just really wants to give up on hoping and the pain that comes along with the loss of what it's hoped for. It's had ENOUGH for now. But somehow, the hope is still there.

Every time I think of Edgefield, the hope wells up, just a tiny bit, as I imagine that it could happen to me. Again. Stranger things have happened, after all.


  1. Cassie,
    I don't find your "wants" unrealistic by any means. We all want to feel loved and needed, it's just the putting yourself out there again that is so hard to do. Being rejected or doing the rejecting takes its toll on you, I know. I have given myself a time out on building a new relationship, I just can't deal with it all right now. I'm hoping when I least expect it, there he'll be, and it will all fall into place. Sounds like one of your romantic movies!

    It's good that you still have hope, I do too...keep thinking of Edgefield, those thoughts are good to have and will take you to a better place. Someday, you too, may be one of those couples walking hand in hand, deliriously in love again. I often picture myself in places we went together, only I'm with another person. It's a first step for me in moving on, in seeing someone else in my world. I don't like it, but that's my reality. Keep hoping.

    1. I feel the same way. I want/hope for those things again too but know that merely 'hoping' probably won't make me realize that reality. I am somewhat afraid of putting myself out there though - it has been over 20 years since I was in the dating world and I remember that it takes time and I guess you have to be ready to reject and to be rejected. Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it...then I re-read what Cassie and what you posted Cathy - that you picture yourself in places that you went with your husband, but now you are perhaps seeing the possibility of being in those places with another person.

      Cassie nailed it - "I want a love that begins to make me feel alive again, big enough to hold me and all my baggage, endlessly loyal, patient and real. I want to feel precious to someone else"! Yes.

      Boy, do I want all of us to keep holding onto THAT hope! Thank you for helping me to see that glimmer.

  2. Cassie, awesome post... I, too, am one of those widows that put myself out there only to be rejected and have to act as the one rejecting. It is so difficult and requires a strong emotional side. Somedays I just plain get angry for all of us and everything we have been through that the love we seek doesn't seem to be found very often in the grocery store.

    I agree with Cathy that your "wants" represent the majority of "us"! Thank you Cassie for sharing and making me feel less pathetic!

  3. Your fourth paragraph could be mine. A new "friend" who's a man....and I were just talking tonight about how I am "all in" and how it sometimes creates problems because of my expectations.....ah yes, expectations....those things that get in the way because the gap between expectations and reality is so big - I've counseled for the past 32 months, I'v learned a few things!

    Adding "trying a relationship" to this grief mix is hard, tough, energy consuming, and at the same time adventurous, fun and life giving. But oh the challenges! I am beginning to believe that when two people (esp if both are widowed) even think they'd like to give it a try, it's a miracle. It's not easy. We don't "fit like glue" like we did in our 30 year love filled relationships; we don't know each other hardly at all, and even if it works out, will be lucky to get 30 years in to know each other with the depth of our first loves; we continue to struggle through expecting each other to respond like our first loves did, knowing full well, in six months, thats entirely not possible! So difficult. And yet we plod forward on. We talk A LOT. That too is hard and difficult. So many tough subjects in this new world called dating, now 30+ years later. And so much heaviness as we continue to be grieving from time to time and as we each manage "houses without spouses" that require much time and energy too.

    Choosing to "love again" or at least try to, might be worth the risk, at least I think it is; because, I also think I know, that choosing not to try to love again is an even greater risk.

  4. The last time I dated Ronald Reagan was President.

  5. Cassie, You've given words to my experiences once again. I have come to look forward to your posts each Monday. I want to be treasured for who I am. I want to give that person the love and joy I know I have to give. I will never let go of my love for my husband and my memories of the intimacy we shared and I have a lot of living yet to do. I'd like to share it. Maybe . . . .

  6. I want to feel like I matter to someone again. That I'm important, that I'm worth going out of the way for. That I'm worth doing things for "just because". And I want someone to matter to me again, who is worth going out of my way for, that I want to do things for "just because".

    But I'm afraid of the heartache and rejection that comes along with the risk. I don't know how to do this anymore - it's been over 20 years since I've been alone, that I've had to try to figure out someone else's habits and foibles and decide whether or not it's worth pursuing.

    I just want my husband back.

    1. coyotefit -
      I love, love, love your post here. I want that as well - "to do things for someone and to have things done for me, just because". I resonate with your last sentence - I want my husband back too. Knowing that I just can't get what I want this time, no matter how hard I try, I re-read Mjay's post and felt a bit better. I am also coming around to that thinking - that it may be a greater risk to not try at all. I am scared of getting my toes in the water again, but I am beginning to feel that my only real option is to try.
      As Mick would sing - 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might get what you need'. I certainly hope so. :)