It’s so obvious, need I say or write that gratitude is great FULLness for one’s health; without which as my mother said: it’s no fun growing old. Nearing 77, I am happy to say I am growing old gracefully, dancing several nights a week.
Which always, yes always, leads me to being greatfull for my karma, the daily amazement of the father granted me. Although my mother did not want me, as I was birthed as a child of rape, my non-bio-dad did welcome me by signing my birth certificate and loved me; I felt I was his own as much as were my brother and sister born after me. He was the nurturer, as I have often written, fed us as babies, bathed us, read to us at bedtime, my shoulder leaning into his strong arm while reading Grimm’s fairy tales: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.
Obviously, dad was way ahead of his time: 1950s, 60s, 70s.
Obviously, feeling loved is the root that allows us to bloom as adults; to empathize with others, show compassion instead of judgmentalness. His love allowed me to rebel against a strict religious upbringing, to leave by age 38 (too late in my book).
His example of spending quality time with me, (I could make a long list) and volunteering as one of the first male counselors, answering calls from desperate people on the night shift for Ithaca’s Suicide and Prevention Service is…
Obviously, why I chose to become a Marriage and Family Therapist, and now to pay my dad’s love forward as I evolved to my fifth and present marriage. I fell in love, after Dave walked into Skaneateles Lake in July of 2020, smiling a hello to me as I swam laps, a day I was hunting for waterfalls, a love affair of mine. Soon, we are walking out of the lake, me behind, to see more than his face – his broad shoulders, muscular arms, I’m immediately attracted, unusual for me, as is his 6’2” stature ratio to mine of 5’9”.
We sit on the grassy beach, after I squeeze the water from my swimsuit top, which I learn later was a turn on for Dave, seeing my boobs squeezed together.
Together being the operating principle, even as he is on vacation with his wife, a rocky marriage of thirty years due to her alcoholism. He volunteered to show me Carpenter Falls which he had hiked to earlier that day alone; his soon to be ex-wife not being interested. Interestingly, he is a carpenter with big, beautiful hands.
Two and a half years later, we are still spiritually married, as I proposed to him only 3 months into our relationship. I am greatfull for this meant-to-be miraculous meeting; what are the chances of us both being on vacation outside of our hometowns? He being from Depew, NY and me from Ithaca, NY? Of waterfalling in love? Although we are very different:
No therapy carpenter<> psychotherapist with many years of primal grieving
Open heart surgery on medications<> ten years older on no medications
Been in thirty-year (second) marriage<>married five times.
Voted for Trump<>voted for Biden.
We do have in common: two adult children we are both very involved with, both independents politically, both loving to hike to waterfalls all over New York state, and most importantly both wish to grow emotionally/spiritually. Most of all I feel gratitude when I allow tears to flow that continue to heal my heart so I can pay daddy’s love forward. And then some.
Daily, I touch dad’s photo, where he stands next to his German cousin, dad’s arms behind his back, obvious is his open heart, while his cousin crosses his arms over his heart. Now, I can say, “I love you,” out loud: I couldn’t say those 3 precious words when dad was alive☹although we wrote them, he passed physically in 1977. Yet his love passes through me daily, to have the courage to sing IMAGINE this past Memorial Day weekend at the karaoke evening at Mockingbird Campground😊.
“When the shell of my heart breaks open, tears shall pour forth… and they shall be called the pearls of god.” Rumi, 13th century poet