I have a friend who says her favorite days of life are the days following a headache. She has chronic migraines, and they come to stay. So when one is gone for a brief amount of time, everything about her world is better, happier, brighter, and more hopeful. She says she never feels better than when she has felt so sick, and that always happens on the Day after a Headache.
I think I’m living in a metaphorical and ongoing Day after a Headache. It’s just so stinking good. Ridiculously good.
It’s possible that you’re going to get tired of hearing about how well things are going in my little abode. But I write what’s true, and the truth is, it’s going well. I’m kind of sorry about that, in a ‘sorry-not-sorry’ kind of way. ‘Sorry’ only in the sense that I hope the angry readers are the kind of people who can still be friends with a not-angry person.
Peter and I have been married for 23 days. I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been in my entire life. You guys, like, the happiest ever. I mean, I have had some crazy happy seasons. But just like you never feel so good except for when you’ve felt so sick, I think one is never quite so happy except for after she has been so sad.
When your heart has healed, the joy is unspeakable.
One morning last week, I told my mom, “We had the most magnificent night together last night. Best. Night. Ever. We decided to eat outside on the deck, and Peter and I put together a spread concocted of burgers and pork chops and salads of several kinds, followed by ice cream and an evening of “all three of my boys” playing catch in the yard for an hour. I felt like Normal Rockwell could pay a visit at any moment to paint a picture of my backyard scene.
It may sound like no big deal, but this everyday scene is what I’ve missed to my core.
There are things I’ll never again in my life take for granted. Baseball in the backyard. Two toothbrushes by the bathroom sink. A man whistling in the kitchen. Pillow talk. Somebody else’s towel drying on the rack. The sounds and smells of coffee brewing in a pot, not the Keurig, because it’s percolating for more than just one person. Someone to help carry the dinner conversation with the boys. The way his leg brushes against mine in the night, and I know everything in the world is okay.
I hadn’t been able to write in several days. It’s a normal part of the creative arc, a part every artist knows – the dry spells when your mind is busy doing other things and there’s no room for creating. For me, it usually happens when I’m busy creating something else.
Like, for example, a family.
On that night when the boys all played catch in the backyard, I felt this stirring in my heart, gentle like butterflies but persistent like an itch. It took me a moment to identify it. Ah, yes. Hello, old friend, I know you. You are the Urge to Write. I ran to get my journal and favorite pens. I didn’t write, because I didn’t want to miss anything else that was happening in or around me. But I just had to keep the notebook close, just in case.
Peter caught a fly ball in his mitt, and then looked over at me with my notebook close by. “Something’s brewing, I see.” Indeed. Something is brewing.
My friend Donna said this morning, “I’m so delighted for you, and I can’t imagine the weight lifted. To have someone to carry the weight, to lift the burden, to do life with you. Just to have a companion. Just to have a buddy. I love this for you.”
I love this for me too. I am so glad I didn’t give up before the rainbow appeared.
I want to drink big gulps of this life of mine.