Accepting What Is

Outside again before the sun was up today.  Everything still wet from last night’s much needed rain, the sky was streaked with gray clouds in the darkness.  One tiny crack in the gray gave way to dawn’s first light. It is still, except for the faintest breeze.  The air is chill, I sit, wrapped in a blanket.

I closed my eyes in the dark, choosing a meditation on Acceptance.  Because things are not as I want them, but they are ok, I need to shut down the incessant chatter of my monkey mind, and allow myself to see and accept and find joy in what is.

Oddly, though it was not my intention, choosing to focus on acceptance, to think about my ex-husband.  He is rarely in my thoughts anymore.  But, as it does in it’s own inimitable way, the universe reminded me that today is his last day in our old house.  The house was foreclosed on and he fought a crazy misdirected fight to remain in it once it was sold, which lasted about 6 months. He has lived there since 1978.  It was a small cape cod style home, exterior of stucco, roof of slate.  It sat on a rise, overlooking 125′ of lake front, on 3/4 of an acre of land.  The tallest tree on the lake is on that property, a tulip tree maybe 100′ or even 150′ tall.  The trunk so big that you couldn’t even put your arms 1/2, maybe not even 1/4 of the way around it.  I loved the orange tulips that grew on it every year.  You could see it from anywhere on the lake. A yard full of mountain laurel, and huge old rhododendrons.  It was once a beautiful place, but has fallen into complete disrepair.

But I digress.

In his belief that there was only lack in the world, he never had enough.  In his belief that he was not worthy of love and belonging, he was unable to accept or give love to anyone, in the end.  I spoke to him earlier this week.  He called me and left a voice mail, the night S was here.  Oddly, I  had driven by his business, of which I was an integral part for 30 years, earlier in the day, (after I found my car in the parking garage….) and seen a for sale sign on it, and it was closed.  I assumed that had something to do with his call.  He had sounded urgent, when he called, as if it was very important to both of us.  I know better.

But I called him.  He was calling because in the basement he said there was a box of stuff that was really mine, that was really water damaged.  Things like my high school diploma, books, pictures…. Did I want it?  It was so badly damaged that he didn’t know how I would salvage anything.  I told him, no, throw it out.  I haven’t looked at it in 30 years, at least, I won’t miss it.

This was not urgent.  I am surprised he would even ask.  I think the urgency in his voice mail came from somewhere else.  Perhaps, he just wanted my attention.  Perhaps, he wanted me to know that he’d finally given up the fight.

I asked him how he was doing, knowing that he is not equipped to deal with this move on any emotional level.  His things are how he identifies himself.  To say he had a house on the lake, was who he was.  To say he owned his own business, was who he was.  Now he has neither.  I am sure he has no idea who he is anymore.  He told me he’s taking it one day at a time.  I offered my assistance this weekend, to help him pack it up, to move it, to store things for him.  He politely declined my help, as I knew he would.

My son asked me to see if I could get his hockey stuff.  Hockey was a HUGE part of son’s life, the main focus, as he grew up.  He played from age 5 or 6 to 16. He was pretty good.  He quit, to be free of his father’s control.  He gave up a lot, something he really loved, for that freedom.  It was not until years after that he understood what his motivating force was.  But 3 weeks after he quit, he was living with me, having gone to school one day from his father’s and come home to my house.  He has been back one time for dinner in the 6 years since.

But he wanted his trophies, his jerseys, his autographs and any other memorabilia he has.  His father told me he could have them.  I offered to come over and pick them up.  His response was that it was all packed to go to his new place, and to get at it, he would have to unpack everything else.

Meaning, no…son can’t have it unless he asks his father himself, and comes to get it himself.  His last little string of control on my son.  My son has no relationship with his father at the moment, for a few years now.  Because his father, is his father.  He has made a small effort, at times, to make my son believe he has changed, and the minute my son felt comfortable with him, he would go back to being the controlling manipulative man he is.  He brings chaos to everyone’s life that he encounters.  It is mainly the chaos we both left, the never knowing what any day would bring us, never knowing if the earth might shift on its axis while we slept.

I asked him where he was going.  Since things were packed up to go to his “new” place.  He said, “Oh I’m not sure, I’m hoping for confirmation today.”  I wanted to say, “Really?  You have to be out of the house in 4 days and you don’t know where you are going?”  But I know better.  He doesn’t want me to know, and to question him will only bring me a whole huge circular conversation at the end of which the answer will still be that he doesn’t know.

So…today.  He will pack up the final load.  He will drive out of the driveway, to parts unknown.  My son and I will have no way to contact him (he hasn’t had a cell phone in years) or know where he is.  It is the way he likes it to be, so no one can find him, or know what he’s doing, or hold him accountable.

It just seems so strange, so odd, so unsettling I guess, to not know where he is.  I have known every day for the last 50 years almost, since we were 18, where he was, what he was up to, basically.  It’s not that I need to know, really, my emotion for him is only sadness.  But now, he is really on  his own, really by himself.  I have serious doubts that he has even told his sister, the only family he has outside of us, where he will be.

I can’t imagine living so solitary a life.  Isolating yourself so much from the world at large.  But I accept it, it is his journey to make, perhaps he needs to do this to find his true center.  I prefer to believe that.  I prefer to believe that he will, at some point, have the epiphany of all epiphanies, and find a glimmer of light.  I prefer not to think of him as living his life out separated from the world.

Acceptance.  This was not where I thought I was going to go with this.  I was looking to accept that I wasn’t seeing S this weekend, because he’s busy with his house, and perhaps still uneasy with me, and I was looking to make good use of the time, even though I’d rather have spent some time with him, trying to bridge the gap that I so stupidly put between us last week.  To be honest, even before that, although we talked regularly and intimately, we hadn’t seen much of each other. Maybe because I was always jumping the gun with him, always demanding more than he was able, or wanting, or free to give.  Kind of acting like a petulant child, I guess, not getting what they want.

Today, I may see some friends, maybe take a walk, maybe go to a farmer’s market.  Maybe not.  Maybe just stay home, work on my house, make some jewelry since I have use of my right hand again.  The day usually brings it’s own destiny, and I will practice accepting whatever it brings my way.

I guess the only way to make sense of chaos, is acceptance.  To let be what is.  Even if the path is strewn with obstacles, and difficult to see at times.  It is what it is.  To live like water is to find a way, to go with the flow.  There is only acceptance.

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