Friday, June 4, 2010
Last week, however, the fifteen year old wall oven went out and the appliance man couldn't get the parts because they quit making them, years ago. We didn't really expect that. And you just try finding a thirty inch white built in gas oven, sister. Other than the $3,000.00 and up fancy schamncy ones, all we could find was a Jenn-Air and everywhere we checked, they didn't have it, anymore, because it has been discontinued. We debated having the kitchen rewired to electricity (there are tons of electric ovens that size) and we also discussed getting the expensive, $3,000.00 one since we have no intention of moving unless it is in a hearse. Husband made a last ditch effort to locate a Jenn-Air and miraculously snagged one on Ebay that just happened to be in Tulsa, still in the box, the exact same dimensions as the last oven, being sold by a reputable dealer for $550.00 (regularly $1,200.00). Okay, then.
They could have shipped it but I was in the mood for a road trip. This morning, I drove up along the Turner Turnpike, listening to the radio and enjoying the need for sunglasses. The Tulsa skyline is very different from the one in Oklahoma City. OKC has more buildings and they are a mishmash. Tulsa's look like they came in a set.
Then I hit the road to try to make it back in time to take Husband out for a late lunch.
And while I drove, my mind wandered the way it tends to do and I thought about my life and my future and my kids and my friends and all that. And I thought about the first (and last) time I ever had a broken heart. I have decided I will never, never, never, ever, EVER go through that, again.
As a young woman, I struggled in my first marriage to someone with whom I was not really suited but who I adored and who was a good father to our three children. A combination of being too young, too proud, too hot headed, too willful, too busy, too stressed, etc. caused the relationship to be frequently loud, painful and frustrating. But even at the time, I knew I'd never come close to having a broken heart. I would look into the eyes of women and you can see it - some of them have soft eyes, some sad, some dancing, some happy... and some hard. I never wanted to be one of those women with hard eyes. You know the ones I mean. They look so brittle. They tend to be angry at their life, disappointed in men, unhappy with their path.
I married very young and as I grew up, I was like a pieced quilt top made up of me, my children, my family, my hopes, my fears and dreams, my husband, my life experiences, etc. All of them contributed to who I was. When my first marriage broke up, I spent some time emotionally mending the rent cloth of my life but even in my darkest hour, my heart was intact. It never took a sucker punch and when I looked in the mirror, my eyes were weary but not hard. Darkened, but hopeful.
The second time I fell in love was different. He was smart, funny, first a co-worker, then a friend, then a chum, and eventually a confident. I understood how his mind worked and thought I knew his heart. He made me laugh. I trusted him, completely. I certainly knew he was off limits but I was in a vulnerable place in my life, living alone for the first time with a heart still as tender as when I was a young girl.
That was my soul, permeated with love, emotion, devotion, trust, hope, faith.
You can see where this is going.
Of course, there was a trainwreck. To my heart, it seemed like overnight I went from being in a loving relationship to being an emotional widow. He'd made few promises but broke them all. For my part, nothing had been more real in my life. In contrast, he said he had made a mistake - what we had was only a fantasy. My emotions reeled. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I fled to the Pacific coast to be alone and stood at the top of a waterfall thinking that not hurting would be a very good thing. Then I slipped - not on purpose - and slid nearly to the edge. Looking down, I could see where I would fall a good thirty feet onto rocks if I didn't crawl back up the hill. So I set about doing that.
It took about ten minutes to crawl back up to where I could hold on to the barrier set up to keep fools away from the edge. I took it slow for fear I would slide and not be able to stop, the next time. Once I got to the barrier, I rested. It was summer and I was sweating. A family arrived and looked at me curiously so I scrambled over, muttering that I had lost my camera (which was true). I worried that I would become the topic of "Stupid old lady tricks" at their dinner table, that night, and hoped that at least I could serve as a good lesson in what not to do.
They didn't have to worry. Never, never, never, never, would I have put myself through that, again. Never. The very thought took me back to that moment at the waterfall, just before I slipped. Utter misery. Overwhelmed with pain and anguish. I don't think I could survive such a thing, again.
If a new baby is a common little miracle, a broken heart is a common little tragedy. So here's to all my sisters who have been there and never want to go back.