On September 7 it will be sixteen months since Jim died. Jim was horribly sick. He had gone from being a vibrant, athletic, intellectual man to a person who couldn't talk, had a lot of trouble walking, was unable to read or maintain the needed focus to follow the story line of a movie. All this was due to those damn tumors. He fought hard for 18 months but still he kept slipping away. I understand now that the crazy behavior he was demonstrating a month or more prior to his diagnosis was also the result of the tumors taking hold - but we thought it was stress and anxiety attacks. Thus I feel like I lost my Jim thirty six months ago .... or a full three years. It doesn't sound like much time when written out like that, but it feels like an entire life time in too many ways.
I wrote, in my last post, about how I am witnessing a transformation in myself. How I seem to be more open and receptive to connecting with people. How I am engaging more and shutting down less. I truly believe this is a gift that Jim gave me when he passed.
So in all this transforming and unfolding I began to talk to my nearest and dearest friends about possibly dating again. My best friend, MM, kept telling me to go on Match.com. I always gave her the same reply .. "Never!" Well, never say never. Somehow, at a weak moment I guess, she made the suggestion one more time. She told me that it would be good for me to meet some new people, to do a little harmless dating, to just hear men say nice things to me and get some of my groove back. I thought it might be an interesting study in sociology and, what the heck, it couldn't hurt - right?
She had me write out my profile just to see how it felt. I did this. Then she sent me pictures that she had of me with notes "this would be a great profile picture", or "use this one definitely!" So I now had a profile and several pretty good images of what I look like so .... I just posted it there on Match.
And immediately got an email from someone!
This world of Match.com is certainly an interesting place. In this cyberspace you can poke, wink or favorite someone. You can also email via the site without ever knowing someone's real name or anything about them except what they are willing to tell you in their profile - which I was warned repeatedly can be pure fabrication. Here I was with an email from someone and I couldn't open it. I had to pay the requested fee to actually become an active and matching member of this Match.com world. Why was I surprised by this?
Alrighty then, I bit the bullet and signed on for one month.
Things became active very quickly and I began to do "coffee dates" - these are meetings that you agree to do with someone who piques your interest and you've emailed a few cryptic notes with to get more information. So you meet for coffee, or a glass of wine, and see if there's any chemistry for either of you. On my first coffee date the man asked if he could see me again. I was taken aback, I laughed and even said aloud "Oh my God, this is the next step isn't it? Gee-whiz. Can I think about it?" Poor guy, not the reaction he was looking for probably.
I began meeting some really interesting people as well as emailing with others; a professional writer who wrote me entire stories. I would get a cup of coffee and just settle back to read the emails from this man - who I never met. A back-to-the-lander from Vermont who had the IQ off the charts but was real down to earth and very interesting to talk to. An economics professor who was consulted by the Clinton administration on how best to get the country back on it's feet. A banker who has been a surfer for over 4o years. I was intrigued by the science of surfing. Those guys become geologist and meteorologists in their study of waves and where to catch the best ones.
With these meetings I realized that I had a very different agenda then most of these people on Match; sociology experiment was NOT what these guys were after.
But, you see, I was pretty certain that I was not going to meet anybody who I would consider a match for me. I had decided that I had found the love of my life and lived with him for 31 years ... something some people never find ... so I would be content with a nice, comfortable person who might not enjoy all the things that I do but I have a lot of friends to call on to go off and do said things with. Thus, I would be willing to compromise and accept that the next partner might not really be a true love, and that would be OK. I didn't know how I might meet this person but it sure didn't feel like I was going to find them on Match.com.
Then after only three weeks on Match I got an email from a man, DL, who lives in Camden. After our first "coffee date" where we hiked all over an island and talked for hours and hours I realized this guy was different. This guy and his big energy, sense of humor, adventurous spirit and zest for life felt like a match. As I told him, "the last time I felt like this about someone it lasted thirty one years!" And that pretty much sums up how I feel about this man. I'm amazed, shocked, over-the-moon, astounded and can't believe my lucky stars. To feel this twice in a life time seems so ... so .... abundant! ... and I feel blessed by the Gods somehow.
I've shared all this with a few of you in private emails and conversations. The encouragement and words of wisdom you all have shared with me have buoyed me up. Some of you reminded me that Jim would want me to be happy and would be delighted that I have found someone who has me feeling this again. Others have said how happy they are for me and still others of you have looked at me and said "you have a sparkle in your eyes again that was gone for the last three years. And my sister-in-law, Donna, told me at the end of a phone conversation that she could hear my voice again ..."I've waited three years to hear that voice Mary. If this guy can do this then I say 'thank you Dave!' "
A sparkle in my eyes ... yes .. I can even see it. And I'm twirling again. A Maple Key falling and twirling all the way down.
A big question I have is what to do about my blog?! It, obviously, is going to change dramatically. Do I keep writing because I love to write and this blog gives me the discipline as well as the space to do this? Do I write about my adventures, my crows, my observations and life? Do you all keep reading because you are interested? I'm actually throwing this out there to you all and hoping for some feedback on it! I mean this.
I continue to unfold and to open myself to all the unknowns that are offered me, still, always .... on this path called life.
Loving you all back,