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It must be the rain, that's all I can figure. I've had something stuck to my brain all day and it took getting home and letting the tears flow to bring clarity to it. Early this morning around shift change, a co-worker and I stood around passing time until his shift was up and he could head home. We talk computers and politics and actually have a lot of common interests. He was telling me that he was planning to stop by his wife's workplace when he got home to get a glance at her. With their work schedules and two children they had barely managed to see each other for the past 4 days. He said, with a big smile " I kinda miss the old girl!". And I could tell he was looking forward to seeing her, if only to show that he was thinking of her. He lovingly calls her by name as if the whole world is as smitten with her as he is.

Later on, with a different co-worker the conversation turned to relationships, marriage in particular. Good ones, bad ones and just there ones. She and I have both been divorced, but she remarried some years ago and they are comfortable in a way that makes me oddly lonely sometimes. They have plans and dreams together, including retirement and things that they enjoy doing. Death or tragedy could disrupt those plans, but the plans are made and they enjoy the loosely woven future that they share. They miss each other when one of them is gone, even while the solitude is appreciated as a necessary luxury for a healthy relationship.

When I first divorced, the relief from the pressure of a bad marriage was so complete that I was on a high for months just not having to deal with it. The future looked endless and bright to me and I just knew that the true love that I had never had was right around the corner. As weeks turned into months and years the passage of time took the shine off of that brilliant dream and brought me to a spot where I'd never been before. Alone. With nobody to miss me but the little dog who grins and shows her teeth when I walk up the steps.

There have been much emptier times in my life, and many of them were when I was in relationships. This is different though.....sort of like a vacuum waiting to be filled with love and understanding. I look at others my age, stuck in unhappy marriages by finances or empty obligations, and I wonder how I ever found the courage to reach for something different and better. And yes, sometimes I still even wonder why. I remember sitting in a church, broken and scared, right before the deed was done. I asked the Big Guy, in my most open moment with Him ever, if I was doing the right thing. There was no thunderous "YES" or even a sign. But, a feeling washed over me that was so peaceful and so pure that I knew what the answer was.

Things didn't turn out like I had hoped. Love discovered and shared with heart in hand has been returned to me several times since then, and every time my soul has healed up a little bit stronger and wiser and capable of holding joy. Perhaps that was the plan all along....to "grow" the space that holds the good stuff whether it's filled or not.
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