I saw this image/quote and it rang a bell in me this morning. The word “broken” caught my attention. I was out on Saturday, enjoying an Artist’s Date with a new friend. It was kind of a nostalgia thing. I had chosen to wander around a small town’s downtown area to poke my nose into interesting little shops that had piqued my curiosity. Fortunately the weather had cooperated and it was actually a nice day to be outside.
We had started off in a coffee shop (where else?) that I’d been wanting to get into but which had been closed on my two previous visits to the town – both falling on a Sunday. Well, I confess that the experience was a bit less than hoped for, largely due to the lack of warmth and personality from the two people working the counter. That resulted in a spirited discussion on the importance of hiring people who really have a passion for what the place is supposed to be about. It is hard to get enthusiastic about a place that is lacking in passion. (And I won’t even mention the empty pastry case – oops! I guess I just did)
So, let’s get back to the “broken” thing. After our coffee, we commenced our journey around town. One of our first stops was a little antique shop on Nason Street that I had walked past when I had been heading down to the coffee shop. It was a smallish shop, but it had a few interesting things inside – worth a peek and see. My companion had mentioned that she had gone into that shop a little while back and had seen two tin/metal chests that she had liked and had talked the guy down a bit on price but had subsequently not gone back to pick them up. So when we went in there she mentioned the chests to the owner and it turned out that he had put them in the back room and had been holding them for her.
So while he went into the back room to get them for her I started poking around the shop. I was thusly engrossed, with my back towards the door, when I heard a familiar voice. Turning around, I saw that it was indeed our (Laureen’s and mine) good friends, Dave and Pedro. I was really happy to see the both of them. Dave was surprised and, I think, happy too, but maybe not as much as I was. Pedro was clearly happy. I proceeded to tell Dave, truthfully, that just that very morning I had been warmly and fondly thinking of the two amazing Christmas parties that Laureen and I had attended at Dave & Pedro’s house. I have such wonderful, deep and cherished memories of those parties. Dave replied that those days are over, not meanly, but matter-of-factly with the add-on comment of us all being broken.
Now there was a lot behind that comment. Dave, quite literally and physically, had been broken by a very serious fall on ice one winter, subsequent to those parties. And for a while our connection with him had grown even deeper as Laureen took it upon herself to nurture and care for Dave. But there came a moment, as there always does, when people make choices that forever change the course of lives and Dave made one of those choices. Understand, dear reader, that I say this with no malice in my heart, nor would there be cause for any. It isn’t about that at all. He simply made a choice, and the course of many lives were altered as a result of that choice. I suspect, in retrospect, that Dave has some inkling of what his choice cost him, and us too. And yet, we all have free will and the power of choice. Indeed, that is precisely what our lives are all about.
So I do understand what he was saying about being broken but for myself, as much as maybe I should feel broken for having lost the love of my life, I simply don’t feel broken. In fact, his suggestion of it only makes me feel more resolute in my determination to carve out a new life for myself that has purpose and meaning and passion. In the meantime, I may be lost, and sad, and lonely, and nostalgic, and deeply grief-stricken, but I am not broken. Now I do acknowledge that maybe you can’t go back in time and recreate a moment that was magical and that was filled with magic and joy and laughter. But you can feel, and hold as tangible, a deep Gratitude for that moment having happened at all. Those two Christmas parties stand out in my mind and in my heart as one of those sparkling moments in mine and Laureen’s life together. We were where we were supposed to be at that moment in our lives, with the people that we were supposed to be with, and there was much Joy and Love and Connection in all of that. The fact that this happened will never change. I think of that moment in time and I feel nothing but love and gratitude for Dave and Pedro because they shared in that moment with us and indeed were instrumental in creating it so that we could all partake of the experience of it. So how could I ever feel otherwise?
No, I am not broken. Indeed, though it may be that Laureen is now physically gone from my life, the echoes of her love, and of our shared experiences, shall always be with me and the eyes with which I look upon and experience the world will always be tinted, and will hold a hint of sparkle, for the memories of what we shared together and with those whom we were meant to meet. Aho!