There are days and times and moments in between the larger slices of my life I find myself in the missing place. I have made incredible strides recreating myself. I learned to stand on my own two feet and have done so now for nearly a decade. I enjoy my independence and my freedom. I am accountable to no one but me. I choose every step in my path and every moment in my day.
Yet there are the quiet times when a memory surfaces and I cannot help but go to that missing place…the space where I wonder what our life would have been like if Gary had lived. Would we have still loved each other as much now as we did when he died? Would we have had and raised the child we were planning for?
I miss him and all the things about him I loved. I miss the way he called me “Tam” and the feel of his arms wrapped around me. I will have that missing all my life because I loved him. But the missing is larger than that. I miss what it is like to have a partner…someone to dream, plan and share my life. It is not the big things but the little ones I now long to weave back in again. Someone to hold my hand in a darkened movie theater or to curl up with on the couch. Someone to remind me I have what it takes to make my dreams come true. Someone to laugh with and play with. Someone to write love notes to and say, I remember when.
This is progress. Until recently, I refused to miss the gifts being in relationship can bring. I avoided the possibility of experiencing pain and loss again. I built walls around my heart and locked up my feelings. I survived. Nine years later, I finally find myself ready to risk losing again. Now the missing place includes not only what has been lost in the past but also what is absent in the present.
I have a very full life for which I am grateful. Losing Gary led me to rediscovering my artistic side. I have a deep reservoir of friends and good family who support me. I have a new career I love and a life path that is finally in line with my greater purpose. Most days, I can draw on all these things. But as I’ve opened up to the possibility of meeting someone to share the small things with, it means sometimes missing that which I do not yet have.
In those times, I draw on my coach training tools, my friendships and my dance. Not to negate the feeling or bypass it, but to keep a healthy balance between being open to love again and being present each day to all I currently have in my life.
The missing place reminds me of what was and what can be again.