Heat like a blast furnace. The state is on fire. In this first world country, we are suffering power outages. Last night I just finished cooking supper when the power went out. I was grateful for the timing.
I went over to my neighbor’s house. Her tests all came back OK, and she was sent back home. She estimates the hospital bill to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. She will need to pay a couple thousand of that. But she is not a complainer, so she just says she’s grateful she wasn’t having a stroke.
As I sat on her front porch with her, chatting companionably, I thought about how very comforting it was. How this is my real life.
I grew up with a set idea about how my life would be. I would be married, have children, have a loving husband to grow old with. These dreams have persisted long after the reality became clear. The reality is that I do not have a loving husband. I do not even have a liking boyfriend. And I guess I don’t care enough to change that. But it does make me sad.
When I talked to Ed on Sunday, I realized again that he is a constant in my life. We love each other truly and deeply. We could never be married because he is a liar. When I discovered this, in 1989, I pinned him to the ground, I sat on him, and pinned his wrists down with my angry hands. (he is a huge man, so I am clear that he allowed me to do this) I said to him “if you had the choice of telling the truth or telling a lie, and the truth would be easier, you would still lie, wouldn’t you?” He said he would. But he is in my life and has been for nearly 28 years. I love him. He has always been there for me. I have been there for him.
He didn’t look like my dream of a man in a suit with a blue Brooks Brothers shirt. He is a former Hell’s Angel. It took me a long time to realize he was it. He was not a dress rehearsal for someone better.
And my neighbor, she is a wonderful friend. She is not a place-marker for someone else who might come along. She is my friend and I am grateful for her.
I have dreamed of sitting on the front porch on a summer’s evening with the Brooks Brothers shirt man who would love me endlessly. But it turns out that I get to sit on a front porch with a woman who walks her cat on a leash. And I am grateful.
This is my real life. This is not waiting for something better. This is it.
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. ~~ Matthew 7:13-14