A funny thing happened the other day. Well, to be honest, the FUNNY thing happened a couple of years ago, and a weird thing happened the other day. A couple of years ago, when I first got on facebook, I tried to friend my first love, Brian. I was 18 when we broke up, 27 when he completely destroyed my heart, so it’s been a while, and I thought things were so far under the bridge, it wouldn’t matter. Apparently, there was something that I was missing, because he not only didn’t accept my friend request, he blocked me. Seriously!?!
I guess in all the facebook shakeups, at some point I became unblocked (I doubt he purposefully unblocked me). YES, I check periodically, because I am a stalker at heart. Stalker, curious…same thing, right? Either way, I was a little shocked when I checked for his name, and it popped right up at the top of the list. He also has a new profile picture…and he looks exactly the same as when we dated, other than now, all of his gorgeous red hair is a reddish gray. I found it a little creepy that he and my husband look an awful lot alike, but I guess when one has a type, one shouldn’t be surprised when one notices a pattern in the looks of the men one dates.
I admit, I stared at that picture for a long, long while. We had a long, torrid, dramatic history, and I had loved him since I was 13 years old. Full disclosure, there is a tiny smidge that still cares, which I will use as the perfect excuse as to why I sometimes check (ahem, stalk?) his profile. Several hours later, as I lay next to my sleeping husband, I was still thinking about that picture, and Bri’s life. It occurred to me that I don’t believe he ever had any children. I wondered if that had been his choice, or that of the Rodeo Queen that he married, or the woman he married after that. Bri had wanted children eventually, but neither of us was ready at 18 and 24.
Yet, when he broke my heart at the end of my senior year, I cried him a river and then six months later, was pregnant with my son, Matt. Bri and I had a pregnancy scare when we started dating, and he had been excited and hopeful. I was terrified and thought my life would be over. Fortunately, I wasn’t pregnant then. I say FORTUNATELY, because in my wallowing of the last six months, I forgot something astronomically important.
Part of my pain has been knowing exactly how Aubrey’s pain feels. Losing Bri didn’t break my heart, it shredded it. I swore I would never love anyone in that way, ever again, and I was absolutely right. But no matter how little I loved Duane, in spite of all the abuse I suffered by him, in spite of him and his friends being a danger to my daughter, I would not change having him as the father of my children. YES, I realize that I likely would have had other children at some point, but they wouldn’t have been Matt and Aubrey, and I would not trade Matt and Aubrey for all of the other children in the world…nor even all the potential children of my own.
I guess for a while, in all my trying to take on Aubrey’s pain and make it hurt her less, I forgot about my own spirituality, and I forgot about what a fantastic life I have. Without trying to sound all Bible thumpery, I lost sight of the Universe’s master plan. If Brian and I had stayed together, if the Universe had not split us apart, there would be no Matt and no Aubrey. Matt, who is a gifted musician with phenomenal potential. Aubrey, who is brilliant, and on her way to becoming a biologist with the potential to cure cancer, or fibromyalgia, or alzheimers. No matter what they accomplish, or whom they do or don’t become, I cannot imagine a world without them in it.
Even more so, if my life had followed a different path, I never would have met Ron, who truly is the love of my life. Ron, who would never in a million years actually make the effort to date, and would instead, be alone playing video games until he died. Ron, who has made me want to work hard to be the best person that I can be, who has changed my life for the better in so many ways, and who puts up with my crazy.
As much as I love Isaac, as much as I loved Isaac and Aubrey together, as much as I hoped and wished that they would be together forever, I finally realize that it’s not up to me. It is time for me to step back and have faith that life is going the way it is meant to go. It is time for me to trust that the Universe has someone incredible in store for my daughter, perhaps someone she has yet to meet. And for all I know, maybe Isaac and Aubrey will someday find their way back to each other. Maybe there are lessons they need to learn apart that they couldn’t learn together. They both have their share of issues, and who is to say that they haven’t been separated in order to become better people for their future each other? Aubrey has only begun to learn to communicate, and Isaac has absolutely NO concept of committment. Who knows if he ever will?
A friend once described her life as “floating IN the stream.” She didn’t just mean the trite, “go with the flow.” She said she had spent so much time just struggling to stay afloat while life rushed her down with the current. One day, she realized that if she stopped fighting the way her life was trying to go, she floated. Life became easier, and she stopped worrying about finding a husband, getting a happier job, forcing things to go her way. Just a few short years later, she was married, with a beautiful baby boy. She still had the same job, but she had learned to appreciate what good it offered. She floated.
So it is time for me to let things float. Yes, Aubrey’s heart is still broken, but she is strong enough to figure it all out. She has her own stream, she is her own leaf. For the moment, she might be trapped against a rock or a tangle of limbs, but she will eventually flow again. It is not my place to direct the flow…that is for the Universe to control. I cannot change her waters, smooth the rapids, clear the way. My job to do such things is over.
And in the exact same way, it is time for me to recognize that Isaac is just not meant to be in either of our lives at this moment. I will always love him, I will always care about him, and yes, I will always check (ahem, stalk) up on him through mutual friends and various other means. But he is also in his own stream. His waters might be muddied, his leaf a little tattered and torn. He may never change, or grow, or learn to let himself be loved. Again, that is for the Universe to control. I cannot love Isaac into learning these lessons. All I can do is step back, and hope for the best for him and for his life.
I truly hope there is a confluence in the future. But I will not build dams, fell trees, or stand in the current. It is what it is. That is life.
“Nothing compares, no worries or cares, regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste? Never mind, I’ll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you, too. Don’t forget me, I begged. I remember you said, sometimes it lasts in love, and sometimes it hurts instead.”