I stood at the patio doors yesterday afternoon with Charlie next to me and watched rain pouring outside. Suddenly the wind was whipping the tree branches and hail began hitting the cement.
He is not afraid of thunder. But he will bark at it occasionally if he deems it to be of guard dog intensity.
It made me appreciate my cozy little home. My favorite things around me. My Charlie boy by my side.
I have a humble home. A one bedroom apartment might not sound like much, but it is certainly all I need or want.
It isn’t new or fancy with shiny appliances. But it is enough for me. And I’m grateful for it.
Being grateful is a big part of happiness, I’ve learned. Being grateful means that we have surveyed what we have and where we are, and come to the realization that it is more than enough.
Many of us, perhaps most of us, have gone through periods in our life where being alone was simply not enough. Those dreams we had when we were young.
Many of us fulfilled that dream of being married. And felt acute joy when we heard the man of the house pull in the driveway, home from work.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt that of joy when I knew he was about to walk in that door.
I didn’t grow up thinking about living in grand houses or any of that. For me it was that little house surrounded by gardens and the white picket fence.
It was “with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard. Now everything is easy cause of you..” (From Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Back when that song was so popular, I felt like that’s all I needed or wanted.
“Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good…
“…Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the evening. Sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you…”
Weren’t we naive then? To think it could be that simple?
Men were supposed to grow up and become successful businessmen. Women were to get married, have babies and keep the home fires burning.
I guess it all worked out for some.
But for others there came a day when there was a feeling of dread upon hearing that car pull in the driveway.
“Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard. Now everything is easy ’cause of you…”
Sometimes we gave them such power over us. I know I did.
“I’ll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today…
“..Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you. Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me…”
As little girls we spun knights in shining armor like fine silk into our dreams. Just waiting to be someone’s everything.
“I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today…”
Oh, how many times I have hummed that old song.
Be careful what you wish for.
I’m no longer waiting for a man to come home. For me there came a time when I just wanted to go some place far away. Where I wouldn’t hear that car ever again.
There came a time when I laid awake in the dark and mentally went through each room. Wondering what I would take with me to start a new life. Things that were important to me for sentimental reasons that he cared nothing about.
It’s what comforted me until I walked out that door for the final time.
No more getting scared, swallowing my pride, and going back. No more doubts. Just driving away and never looking back.
The hardest part is not looking back.