I keep thinking about the fact that before I met Dave, he was living his life thousands of miles away, day by day making his way toward me. Somehow, amongst all the humans I encountered, I found him. He found me. We were waiting for each other but didn't know it. He was mine and I was his and we didn't even know it.
I think about all the tiny, mundane and huge, crucial decisions I made and he made all those years that made it possible for us to be in the same hallway of the same building of the same university at the same moment, in order to meet each other. And somehow, in all the 15 years we got to be together, we didn't mess up. We stayed together despite the incredibly high divorce rate, the fact that we were together almost every single day, and the fact that we survived many difficult times together.
How is that possible? What are the odds?
Somehow, despite the odds of that happening to me a second time, I have hope that I will love again. I truly do.
I think about the things I want to say to that person who's out there, waiting for me too. I want to say...
Don't give up hope. I'm here, waiting. I have so much love to give and now truly understand how love is really all we have. Those moments of joy experienced with our loved ones make the inevitable loss of life more bearable. I will be more centered, present and appreciative in our relationship than if I hadn't been widowed. It's not a liability. It's a gift to you. Yes, my baggage has "widow" stamped on it, but you are the one who will help me carry that bag. You are the one who will want to stick around to help me bear that weight. I know that in searching for you, I will be looking not so much for a list of requirements in a partner, but in a feeling I get when I'm with you. No, not physical attraction. That might tell me that I want a second date with you, but not necessarily that you're the one. No, not the thrill of infatuation. That might make me pursue you, but it's not enough. That feeling I'm searching for? Safety. Safe to be myself. Safe to risk. Safe to tell you what I'm thinking, even if that feeling is emotionally tricky. I will feel as though my heart is safe with you, even when my heart isn't perfect. And then I'll know. I'll know it's you I was looking for all this time. It was you who was waiting for me, knowing you were looking for the same things. We'll recognize each other somehow.
It seems impossible that we humans find each other in this big world. And yet we do. We do all the time. I think I have two choices. I can either have faith that I'll find it again or not. Neither option guarantees a thing, but at least if I pick the faith option, I won't be acting as if I don't think it will ever happen.
When I taught fourth grade, nothing was more frustrating to me than seeing a capable student give up on a new skill before he started. He believed he couldn't divide, so he didn't even attempt it. His classmates who had faith that they could divide, did. And the more they divided, the better they got. My little faithless student proved himself right. Those kids who had faith were right, too.
If I believe I can find that person, I'll put myself in situations that will make it possible to find him. This is my theory, anyway.
Even if my theory doesn't hold water, it is much more likely to help me expand my life, rather than restrict it and that is reason alone.