Yesterday, I was at the store shopping for my weekly Saturday dinner with the children and all of their friends. I saw something there that upset me greatly.
An elderly couple, nearing ninety I am sure, moving so slowly together to bag the groceries. It wasn't upsetting that I was already in a rush and they took up so much time. It was upsetting because I had a horrible epiphany-they have grown old together; I want to grow old with someone. I want that too.
At eighteen years old, a whirlwind romance, a two month courtship-I never imagined I would have no one to grow old with.
Twenty two years later, stunned to find myself alone, it never hit me, that thought, that there is a good chance-I will grow old alone. And I don't like it at all.
Every advice column, blog, book and television show-spews inane babble of "Be happy with you. Love yourself. Make time to make yourself happy. Fill your time with everything else and love will come along."
It's a lie. It's all one big whopper of a lie. And I am tired of it.
We are humans. We are made to connect to each other, not be separate individuals happy being without each other. We are made to fill our lives with people-not things, not activities and definitely not selfishness.
I can fill my life with just about anything to kill time. I can work long hours, love my children and cherish every minute, feed the poor, volunteer my time doing good in the world, take classes to learn and take classes simply to enjoy something. I can visit art museums and travel to the ends of the Earth. I can skydive, or go yachting, knit sweaters or cook gourmet meals. It doesn't change the single thing that is missing.
Nothing replaces the love of a mate. Nothing does. Too many people try to tell me that keeping myself busy will distract me and someday I will forget all about it. That this piece inside of me that is empty, will be filled up with other things and I won't miss it. I don't believe it. I am not made that way; others might be made that way, but not me.
I was made to love and to be loved.
So what now? What do I do now? Give up? I'm not made that way either.
I continue to hope. I close my eyes and I still dream. And I pray.