Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Secluded Paths

Maggie kept the beat in our relationship when it came to social engagements. She injected me into a lively social world that held me captive to weekends packed with activities, most of which were not optional. Now, without her overwhelming influence, I find myself woefully disengaged with what I think most people would consider normal life.

We had no children so I don’t benefit from the continued social pressure that comes with little ones. The lack of children also often filters me from events in which I’d otherwise be included. Well-meaning friends intentionally don’t invite me to birthday parties and other kid-thick events “to protect my sanity,” so they say.

Except for the brave and determined, friends who only knew Chris as half of Maggie and Chris have had difficultly making the transition. Most fell aside quickly after Maggie’s Angel Day. My guess is that they were battle-weary from the 850-day fight. However, for me that was just the climactic end of one major battle in the still on-going war.

So here I am with my solitary habits but now with fewer friends. Fewer friends mean fewer easy opportunities to be social. Gravity has temporarily dragged me into a lonely world.

Thankfully, if there’s one thing that seems to be constant, it’s change. Life is transition. All of this will change and it will likely change again. The New Reality will become the Old New Reality. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

The picture that I chose for this post was taken on one of our many happy vacations. A framed version hangs by the front door of my downtown condo and right below it sits a patient walking stick I cut from a tree that grew at the house where we lived together happily for almost ten years. Every day when I leave the condo I glance at that picture. Almost every weekend, I take that walking stick on a mini adventure. Both remind me that my journey isn’t done; I’m just in transition.

I consider myself a world traveler. As of this writing, I’ve visited 11 countries (with three more coming up next month.) Every one of my journeys has involved at least one secluded and often scary path. Each time I’ve been delighted at what I found at the destination. Life is a grand adventure. I also consider myself one of the lucky ones because just like you I’m forever blessed to never again walk a path alone, even when I’m the only one leaving footprints.


  1. Wow. That last line is beautiful.

  2. Hi Chris. My wife was the organizer for get - togethers. Now the Florida group isn't much anymore. The family birthdays, and Holliday's are pretty much in the past, no more dinners at my house.

    I still have a dog at 16yrs, so in time I will be able to travel more. Like you, I have a very quiet life. Change and moving forward is an everyday challenge, but it is the only way to go. Walking now I only see my shadow, but knowing her presence is always there..

    God Bless..

  3. Yep, "All of this will change and it will likely change again." You got that right. Little did we know this before our persons died, at least I did not factor it in, I just went blindly on day to day, never expecting the worst to happen. I walk a lot too, and just found his walking stick after I moved. Will have to take it with me as I travel, mostly nearby beaches, even in winter it is lovely, and I don't have to worry about the crowds! Sad that just when we need them the most, friends disappear. My cave is looking cozy as winter is upon us, I, too, am sinking in these cold, long, lonely days. Take care, be safe in your travels.

  4. I am so glad you are back writing - you got me thru some of my dark moments in the last 2 years - you are a beautiful writer with such profound thoughts - I have a 13 year old so I am the kool-aid mom in the neighborhood which is OK as it keeps me so busy and moving forward and not thinking - but I know change is coming as he grows - thank you again and please keep writing - Kristie

  5. Thank you Chris for reminding me that I am not walking this path alone.
    Maria O.