Saturday, September 27, 2014

And I Danced

It turns out I had a couple of big things happen last weekend. Aside from last week's post, I also met up with my three closest girlfriends halfway between Austin and Dallas to celebrate my birthday. We went out Saturday night to a country dance hall. Now this is the first time I've ever really gone to a dance hall since he died. He and I used to go often - and I'd never gone before I met him... So naturally it didn't occur to me that men would be asking me to dance. But within just a few minutes of being there - guys were walking up and asking all of my friends and I to dance.

I didn't even know how to process that. I said no, to each one that asked. I had NO intention of dancing with a boy. Ew. A few asked why, so I dropped the widow bomb. That's definitely the quickest way to keep men from coming back around! So for a while my girlfriends and I just went about our way on the dance floor together, laughing and having a great time.

After an hour or so of processing this totally freaky new situation I was in… I began to hear a little whisper in me though. It wasn't "no" - it was something else. It was the thought that Drew would really want me to get out there and dance with a boy that night. It was my birthday weekend after all… and he was a sensible man. I know, if HE couldn't be there to dance with me, then by God he would want some nice boy to show me a good time on the dance floor. Who knows, maybe that little whisper was actually him. Telling me to lean into it a little, telling me it was okay. All I know is that suddenly it started to feel more okay.

I turned down a few other guys, because I just didn't get the right feeling about them. And then…
All my girlfriends were out dancing and I was standing just on the edge of the dance floor, leaning over the bar and sipping on my beer. And this sweet boy with glasses came up next to me and asked me to dance. I'd seen him dance with my girlfriends and they all seemed to think he was nice. I thought so too. Still, I told him no at first, and that I'm an awful dancer (which is true!). He prodded me a little, ensuring me it was really easy and he'd keep it simple. Unlike any of the other guys, he didn't give up when I said no the first time. And unlike any of the others, there was a real genuine kindness about him. Even in his prodding.

It was the sort of kindness that reminded me of Drew… back when he was prodding me to go on a date with him. I was a year out of an abusive relationship back then and terrified to date. And he was never pushy or demanding in his request - a gentleness and respect in the way he tried to persuade me. I felt all these same things from this boy asking me to dance.

Before I knew it, I agreed, and we were out on the dance floor together. And my inner dialogue went something like this: "Holy cow… I am DANCING WITH A BOY. Look at ME!!! How is this happening? Is this for real? What the hell is going on? This feels….. so…. NICE! How does this NOT feel more weird?!? How is this not upsetting? He's quite a good dancer. And he feels safe. And warm. And look at me… I'm actually dancing and not falling all over the place! How the hell does this feel okay?!?! How on earth am I holding the love I have for Drew in my heart and also dancing with someone else and it feels perfectly wonderful?!"

Not only did we dance, but we danced 5 or 6 times the rest of the night. And apparently I'm such a serial monogamist that I even do it with dancing… because I still wouldn't dance with anyone else that night. lol. He kept his word too, went very slow and kept things easy for me. He tried to spin me a few times - most of which went horribly wrong and ended in brilliant laughter. I would not say there was a spark or anything like that… but we sure laughed. And it didn't feel wrong to laugh with him either. It felt good to allow myself that. It felt beautiful. and Free. And strangely okay.

And then came the last dance. The bar was closing up, and we had one final dance together. About halfway through, he moved my hands to his shoulders and both of his hands to my waist and moved just gently closer to me. At first I panicked a moment, half nervous about tripping over his feet and half unsure of having an emotional breakdown. But I didn't stop… I kept dancing. And I let go of the fear. I closed my eyes, brushed my cheek slightly against his arm and just let myself be carried away in the moment... feeling a closeness to a man that I haven't felt in over two years. I was - for that instant - a little bit less afraid of letting in someone new.

Sure it was just a few dances. And no, there were no phone numbers exchanged or anything of the sort. Heck we barely talked to each other really. But we laughed. And we shared a kindness between each other that was so wonderful. And for one very small moment in time - I got the tiniest glimpse of how one day, it will feel warm and safe and beautiful to take the other first steps again, like going on a date, kissing, saying "I love you"... making love. And how maybe, just maybe, it won't be as painful and scary and horrible as I imagine it will be.

It made me realize that one day I will meet another boy with that same kindness - and I will know how to recognize that sort of kindness because of Drew. Because he was the first one to do it right. And in doing so, he will come with me into every new beginning I take.


  1. Sarah, this made me so happy and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing and giving me hope. Happy birthday xo

    1. Thank you Rebecca! It's bizarre - even six months ago I know it wouldn't have felt okay. I think that if we are patient and very careful with ourselves and don't try to rush things, the new stuff will happen just when its right, and won't actually be so painful or awful. Keep your chin up - we'll make it through!

  2. My husband passed away three and a half years ago. Getting back into the dating world was so scary! My very first date had no chance of ever turning into anything, I was far from ready. But, it was so simple and sweet, it was as if I was a 16 year old girl going out for the first time. Your story reminded me of that. I am very thankful for the guy who was so patient and kind towards me and all my awkwardness on that date.
    I am happy that you were shown the same by this stranger and that you let yourself let go and have some fun. I actually don't know your story, I just read this post, but I know that you deserve it. Happy birthday.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that - it feels good to know others get it! I look forward to that albeit awkward "first date" in the after life… i imagine it will go much as you said, and that will be just fine! Thanks again =)

  3. Sarah - I'm truly happy that you were able to process, let go and have fun. And I like you and so many of us, there is time when you can't imagine ever being with someone after our husbands. Our daughters wedding was just 4 months after the sudden death of my husband. The daughter-father dance started with her and her uncles while a slide show played of her dancing with her dad when she was only 3 years old and ended with her brother, new husband and I dancing. As another slow song started to play a friend of my new SIL came up and grabbed me to dance. It was awful, I dance a few seconds and left the dance floor crying, I had not anticipated that, nor was I any where near ready to have another man hold me. It's been 4 1/2 years since, and today I am in a happy, healthy relationship - I could never have imagined being where I am today - it's been a journey...

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Becky. I can imagine how painful that time was for all of you, my goodness. I'm so glad to hear you have been able to move forward with someone new… that gives me hope. I do want that someday. As hard as it is, i do want it.