Comforting Words: Ship Ahoy

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ship Ahoy

It is hard to believe that one year ago my world was upside down and I was hanging on to the edge by my fingernails!

As October 8, 2007 approached I was terrified. The memories of last year came crashing in on me like a bad motor vehicle accident. The proverbial "meaning of life," as was I learning to appreciate it, was again threatened.

Never mind the fact that soon I will be under the knife of my 5' 8" surgeon. That was petty matters to was shaping up to be a horrible anniversary. And the possibility that it would be so caught me completely off guard one lovely autumn day as I drove to work and heard the words of Simply Red's song, So Not Over You, on my car stereo:

Don't know why I still slept on my side of the bed
The emptiness when you were gone kept ringing in my head
Told myself I really had to move along now
Stop regretting all the things I left unsaid...

So I tore up your letters
Took your picture off my wall
I deleted your number, it was too hard not to call
Felt a little better, told myself I'd be fine
Got to live for the good times up ahead...

'Cos everywhere I go
There's a love song that reminds me of you
And even though I knew I had to be strong
I was still not over you
'Cos I still believe and I could see how there's nothing left of you and me
That time is over
'Cos I'm so not over you

All my friends try to tell me better find somebody new
Why waste time being lonely when there's nothing left to lose'

Anything to get you out of my mind
I'm a fool if I thought I could forget
And I could not forget

Now I found a way to keep you there beside me
To where my love won't be denied
I can only hope to keep you there and guide me
There's no more need to hide from all this pain inside

So not over you
That time is over
'Cos I'm so not over you

Struck by the emotions that these lyrics arose in me, as I was on the afternoon rotation, the next morning I purchased the compact disc and played Track #2 again and again and again. It felt as if I needed to saturate my soul in the reality. To once and for all accept what is.

Soaked one last time in pain and completely aware of the reality of how my world has changed, of how my life's course has taken a direction I could not have forseen, I braced for what could have been a lonely Thanksgiving Day.

As it turned out, not unlike all the other times when I call for help, my angels came. Thanksgiving Day and in fact the weekend was spent doing just that - giving thanks in the company of my boys and people who have joined me on this leg of the journey, doing what gay and not so gay people do best - shopping, dining and in laughter.

A wonderful man told me over dinner last night that his mother always told him that a ship is of no use if it is not put to sea. She was using this metaphor to teach her son one of the best lessons I have heard about pain and growth.

This wise woman wanted her little son to understand that unless we venture out onto the high seas of life, overcome its storms and, like a ship, return to shore battered, worn, probably with pieces of our stern missing but ready to go again - we have not fulfilled our purpose.

I am off to sea again - in every sense of the word - heading straight into the storm of outstanding legal wranglings, surgery and learning to be loved again and in a way that I have never been before - but this time the waters are not as scary as they were twelve months ago.

As always, there is a prayer on my lips and it is "God, thank you!"



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