I ran away from home today. The kewl girls spent the day with their god parents and I took my horse to the beach so we could run away together.
This week has been tough. First we had the daycare incident, then M's birthday and then a nasty encounter with an in-law. As the week drew to a close, the bands of grief squeezing my chest were so tight I'd forgotten what real breathing felt like. This morning when god mother M offered to take the girls for the day it was all I could do to nod in agreement.
Having the three kewl girls around, disappearing into my own little world isn't an option. With them taken care of though, I let my thoughts carry me away and my body run on auto pilot. I loaded my horse into the float and drove up to the beach. When we reached the sand, there was no stopping us. We ran really fast for two whole hours, and then we turned around and ran home even faster. It was exactly what I needed.
By the time we slowed down near the end of our journey, I was breathing deeply again. No more tight bands around my chest, no more run away thoughts - I'd returned to the 'now'. I stopped to properly take in my surroundings and realised what a spectacular day it was.
As the remnants of the past week fell away, the negativity and the stress and bitterness left me, too. I thought about all the blessings in my life and for the first time in over a week I felt truly grateful. Not just a token "Gee aren't I lucky...", but a whole body, "WOW! How fucking fantastic is it to be living this life!"
We returned to the car with a spring in our step, even after our 4 hour get away. I felt M with me, and instead of this making me ache for his physical presence like I have this past week, I felt warm and comfortable and secure in his love. I was reminded of when M and I used to spend little moments together gazing up at the sky. This was our 'thing'. It started as a mutual habit and grew into a magical connection between the two of us. Even when life got crazy we would sneak away when we could, heading outside somewhere so we could gaze skywards for a while. When we felt our little escape time coming to an end (usually when a child started screaming), M would always say, "Things are lookin' up, Al".
I was thinking of these moments today as I looked up at the sky. In the middle of the day, with the sun shining brightly and not a cloud to be seen, I saw a park light flicker. I gazed at it for a little longer, daring M to do it again.
He did. The light came on and stayed on until I drove out of the park.
Thanks everyone, for the supportive comments and well wishes this week. Sometimes when the going is tough and seemingly beyond my control, all you can do is go with it and 'ride' it out. Thankfully those times don't last long around here, and I have to say that after today - things are lookin' up.