In 2003 I moved yet again. I had been living in the country, thinking it would be an ideal life. Actually I was subconsciously trying to rekindle some of the feelings from an old life is what it was. When I had lived in the country before I’d had a partner, someone to share it all with, and this time I was very alone, without any sense of belonging or neighbourhood.
I moved into town, to a townhouse complex that provided me with lots of neighbours, not friends, but neighbours. I understand now that my constant need to move is my way of searching for home. I had never found my sense of belonging, that place where I could be happy. And I never would if I kept looking outside of myself. Home is a feeling generated from within.
My ex-husband lived not far away with his current partner, and he walked my way a few times with his dog. We had found a sort of friendship over the years, were still parents to our kids and grandparents to their kids. We were still family of a sort.
I received the call late one night, and my daughter told me that her father had collapsed playing hockey and was at the hospital. Ten years after a triple bypass, his heart finally gave out. Of course I went immediately, my kids would need me. He was gone when I arrived, and I waited, with his partner, his team members and my daughter, waited for my son to come from out of town.
I helped the children the best I could, being there, staying in the background, and watched. The continual parade of people that came to pay their respects was amazing, old friends, neighbours, coworkers, and all of the family that I had once loved like my own. These were people from my past, and I saw what it meant to live in one area for more than thirty years, the connections and the comfort.
I spoke with people I hadn’t seen in decades, and my emotions were mixed at times. Anger that the divorce I hadn’t wanted, and a need to find employment had robbed me of the stability I saw in his life. Even though he had married and divorced a second time, had had numerous partners, he’d had the same job, lived in the same area, maintained the same activities.
I was also sad, for time and distance and pain hadn’t diminished the fact I still cared about him. I wasn’t a widow, but I grieved.
And I fell into another deep depression, closing down, shutting everyone out.