Skip to main content

Different Loves 2

Some loves that come into our lives
Teach us something. 
About love, about life,
About ourselves. 

Some loves that we strive
To keep 
Are lost. 

Sometimes the love is right
But the time is wrong. 
Sometimes pain between
Two people
Cannot be overcome
No matter how strong the love. 

Some loves are tinged with regret.

I had a love like that. 
So did you, I imagine. 
A love that makes you wonder,
"If things had been different..."

I loved a man once. 
I first saw him looking out a window
On the second floor. 
I was moving in. 
Boxes in my arms.
He leaned out the window and said,
"Are you coming here?"

I squinted up at him, through
September sun. 
I said simply, "Yes."

And he smiled. 

"Wait," he said. "Please wait."
And I did. 

He came rushing out the door.
He must have taken the steps 
Two at a time.

He stood in front of me,
And reached to take the boxes. 
His hand brushed mine.

He held the boxes under one arm
Leaned in
Until his face was near mine. 
He brushed my hair back and said,
"You are?"

"Michelle." I gave him my name. 

"Michelle," he said.
"Yes. Michelle," he repeated.
As if he were trying my name on,
To see if it fit. 

And it did.

Have you ever had a conversation
That you wanted to never end?
Of course you have. 
"You hang up."
"No, you hang up."
But nobody does?

It was like that.
Hour upon hour.
Standing in the hallway,
Sitting on the stairs. 
Walking through trees,
Lounging on the porch.

Looking at the black sky
Until the sun rose,
Sending the stars to bed.

Have you ever
Poured out your every thought,
Without hesitation,
Knowing they were safe?

Even the darkest ones?
Did you dare to voice them?
To examine them?
To begin to understand yourself?

I did. 

This was a defining love,
A love that searched endlessly
For meaning
And depth. 
Young, idealistic, intense. 

And two years later,
He was gone. 
We didn't drift apart. 
We didn't grow tired of each other.
We didn't fight.
We didn't even break up. 

We faced a tragedy together.
It doesn't matter what it was.
It was out of our control.
But it tore us apart. 
I could talk to him about everything. 
But not that. 
Not able to reach me,
Not knowing what to do,
He left. 

Hundreds and hundreds of miles away. 
And, broken,
I waited for him to come back. 
And over the next year
He did. 
Many times.
And we pretended
That it was the same.
But something between us
Had died. 

Not love. 
I still loved him. 
His absence 
Froze me. 
Beyond mere pain,
I was numb.

Maybe what had died
Was a part
Of me.

I used to blame him
For running.
But long before he ran,
I hid.

In the aftermath of what
We could not control
We made decisions

Almost twenty years later
He called me. 

He had just turned forty. 
Had never married. 
"We never did break up," he chuckled,
Knowing I'd been married for years. 

We talked. 
And understood. 

"I did really love you."
"But I didn't know how."
"I know."
"It's okay."
"It's okay."

This was a defining love.
A love that changed me.
And him.

People say it wasn't
meant to be.
I don't know about that.

I do know
That if things had been different,
It would have been different.
But even in that sentence,
You can see
The absurdity of the thought.
The truth is that it wasn't.
It wasn't different.


But a gift,

And while this love
Is shrouded in a wistful fog of regret,
I am grateful for the gifts.

First love.
Remembering quiet whispers,
Complete acceptance.
Total immersion into a
World of our own making.

First heartbreak.
Remembering anguish
And tears.
And being afraid of
Never feeling
Whole again.

Learning about survival,

Learning about the
Brought on by

The enormous cost of
Guarding your heart
Against the one who
Loves you.

And the futility of
To twist something
Into something
It cannot be.


Popular posts from this blog


So I had my first Walla Walla goodbyes.
The first was my eye doctor, Dr. Poffenroth.
He's taken care of my eyes for 25 years.
He's more than just an eye doctor.  He's a caring person and a friend.
As I left my last appointment, he handed me a card with a referral to a friend of his who practices in Port Angeles.
I looked at the card.
And realized...I won't see him again.

I've been living in a bit of denial.
I know.  Big surprise.

With all the excitement and chaos of moving,
And all the stress of living in limbo,
I somehow missed that I'd be leaving some things
some people

I know I'll be back often.
To see my kids and the new grandbaby,
friends and family.
This fact allowed me to forget...
there are some I won't see.

Even though we promise to keep in touch,
Life has a way of getting busy.
Good intentions and all that.

I  have written many times about Walla Walla.
It's a magical place.
Safe, nurturing.
I never thought I'd leave.

People ask…

Being a Widow on Father's Day

This day never gets easier.

I scroll facebook and I see
that my children and I are not alone.
So many families missing dads on
Father's Day.

We are lucky.
Dave was here,
and fought to stay,
as long as he could.
He left a legacy that we will
always remember.
He was honest and kind and caring.
He was full of faith and joy and love.
His example leads us through every day
without him.
Missing him never goes away.

I want to give a "shout-out"
to all those moms who do double duty.
Who work hard to be the best mom that they can,
and try to fill the empty space left by a dad
who is no longer here.

For the last almost 11 years,
and often in the years before that
when Dave was so sick,
I tried to do what I could.
"There is no way to be a perfect mother,but a million ways to be a good one."
I worked two jobs.  Sometimes three.
A few times, even four.
To make sure my kids could stay in their childhood home,
to try to provide some safety, stability and security
in a wo…


I got a tattoo.  Christine actually wrote on my facebook post, "You??"
Yeah.  Me.

I've been thinking about it for six years.
I finally decided that if after six years, I still wanted it, maybe it was time.

The writing is Dave and Doug's.
Taken from notes they wrote me.
They always signed their notes the same way.

I thought I was doing it in memory of them.
To mark the way they are always on my heart.
To have a visible reminder.
A permanent keepsake,
always with me.

And while it is that.
It is also more.

I didn't realize it,
until afterwards.

It's a marker.
A closing of a chapter.
Closure, if you will.

I don't know how to explain it.
The minute it was finished,
I knew.
I knew something inside me was different.

and to a lesser extent,
have been part of my every thought
every day
for over 10 years.

Daryl saw the Dali Lama this summer.
One thing he learned:
Interrogate your truth.

I've been thinking about that a lot.

Interrogate implies a…