Days Like These

Getting ready for good-bye.

My boyfriend is packing up his belongings today, preparing to move out of my apartment.

This is not news either of us is particularly excited about.

It feels terribly unfair and uncomfortable and unreal.

The cardboard boxes stacked in the living room are giving me a giant lump in my throat, even as I make light of them and it, for my son.

We’ve made up a story that isn’t entirely untrue to tell him why Derek is going.

And I am trying not to feel that I will always and forever be totally alone in this world. Especially now that my parents are gone. Especially now that my son has become a daily soul-testing challenge, hard hard work I wish I had a partner (and some days just a witness) for. And I am trying not to feel like sitting in a dark room and crying my eyes out for a week is a good idea.

As usual, I’m up and at ’em. I’m “strong.” I’m “moving ahead.” I’ve got my eyes on the prizes: more time to get myself back into healthy routines, less time spent wishing things felt differently, more peace and order in silly daily things like laundry and cleaned-up kitchens, less time staying up past my bedtime in order to “connect” beyond the seemingly endless noise and tasks of adult life.

But what I always loved most (and still love most) about my boyfriend is the way he didn’t live in that world, the way that dreams swirled around him, the way in which he could ignore the so-called rules of living and follow his passions and interests. He was my Pied Piper for two wonderful years after I’d survived the most bruising parts of my divorce.

I wanted to be able to follow him to that place, but I coudn’t do it.

And he couldn’t take his place in my world, either.

And so today he is packing boxes, and I’m telling my son stories, and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that just love isn’t enough. And, perhaps even harder, that it is okay that I want more.

I have no poetry to offer today, no wonderful ladders made of words to take me up and out and into the heavens. Today I can say only what is in front of me, my head bowed in grief, my palms extended and open to whatever the world may bring me next.

About stacy

I am a writer, author, mother, former magazine editor (last at Redbook), optimist, and, above all, a searcher. I'm still searching for whom I'm really meant to be, after a series of very jarring losses: a divorce and house disaster that led to a book (Falling Apart In One Piece); a week after the book came out, my parents suddenly fell gravely ill, I resigned from my job (and, apparently, my career), my son went into crisis, my parents then rapidly died four weeks apart, and my boyfriend (who had moved in with me and my son just weeks before the book came out) began the painful journey of realizing we couldn't make our relationship work (that story unfolded on this blog). Since then I've been trying to figure out what's next. Or, in other words, how to fill in the blanks.
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24 Responses to Days Like These

  1. Laurie says:

    This is so sadly beautiful, Stacy.

    I am trying not to feel that way too. It blows, articulately speaking. But it will end, and that will be a good day.

    It’s more than okay that you want more, and you will have it. With all these oysters we’re powering through lately, I’m throwing my money on the chance of a couple of pearls out there.

    I’m glad you wrote this. Keep doing it when it helps. I’m listening, looking forward to seeing what lands in your palms. Long-distance hug to you, my friend.

    • stacy says:

      You’re right about the oysters. I guess they’re not an indulgence then; they’re an investment in a more surprising and lovely future! Looking forward to sharing more with you, sometime soon! Friends are the salve that eases bad times, that’s for sure.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing this today. I had someone tell me today that his life is too complicated for me, and it feels like both my son and I are being rejected. No choice but to power through, but sometimes I wish I felt like I had a forever somebody, or some hope of. Taking inspiration from your story to get through this and throughout life w/o a Pied Piper for us.

    • stacy says:

      ::shudder:: “It feels like both my son and I are being rejected.” Yeah, that. A truly miserable feeling. I remember clearly the time I said to my boyfriend, “It’s so hard to know that if he were your kid it wouldn’t be so hard for you.” But that’s the truth of it. Divorce is the heartbreak that keeps on giving….. I am so glad I have company in these twisty feelings, even if it feels terrible to wish for company in something so miserable. Thanks for being here.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Oh, Stacy … you may not feel like this is poetry, but it is, it is. I know it’s not nearly what you want or need, but I’m here witnessing, I promise, always. xox

    • stacy says:

      Being witnessed counts so much more than we know. Thank you for helping me not be alone in this universe, even on the many days I feel I am! xx

  4. Katrina says:

    this is beautiful. and honest. and real.

    thank you.

  5. Stacy, I am so sorry that you’re going through this. In your heart, though, I’m sure you are able to appreciate the fact that this is happening without the surprise and feelings of betrayal that came with your divorce. It is incredibly sad and painful, but I know that good things are about to happen for you in a big, big way. Opportunity has just opened its door for you…

    Best,

    – G

    • stacy says:

      George, your comment brought tears to my eyes, truly. Thank you for such lovely wishes for me; I can feel your sincerity in every word. xox

      • If anyone can relate to what you’re going through, Stacy, it’s yours truly. Keep me in mind if you ever need a shoulder. This past year was a living hell for me, as you know, but things have gotten so much better now that my kids are back living near me. Don’t just hang in there – look up and expect great things!

  6. Julie Ross Godar says:

    What Lindsey said. And Laurie. And Melissa, and George.

    I will require hugs tomorrow. And, if possible, more oysters.

  7. Janelle Evans says:

    Albert Camus; In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
    I’ve always like those words, the reminder that “my” joy and happiness are eternally within. I’m sorry for your hurt, but so proud to read the words “I want more”, because it’s the settling that drives us to true despair, that takes away our zest for life and murders all hope of happiness. His dreams were a lovely escape, but your dreams are the stuff of which a happy reality are made. Keep dreaming and hoping, maybe, because it is Summer, send your son to a friend’s for a week, and then cry your eyes out. Listen to music, soak in the tub, and eat comfort until it flows inside of you again. Then, to repay the babysitter, take your son and his friend to Disney for a week. The mouse will do most of the babysitting for you, and reconnecting to all of that pure child energy will help your heart to heal (just a little bit more).
    With Loving Thoughts for Your Healing,
    Janelle

  8. Oh, babe, I just saw this. So sorry, hard stuff all around these days, it seems. You are such an amazing person, a light in the world. You will so NOT be alone. The parenting thing, though, that’s rough. Things are really tough with Ethan right now. Let’s just say it looks like what we’d thought was ADD is actually mania and I am howling “Noooooooooo!” because I don’t want this for my baby. I hold you heart in my heart friend. Big Hugs. And how I wish we were having lunch tomorrow as scheduled. Soon, though , soon!

  9. Maya says:

    Big hug!! (From someone who read your book.)

  10. Gwen says:

    Stacy

    I just bought your memoir and love your insights, introspection, and incredible spirit. My divorce is a different kind of hell–as my husband put us into colossal debt (12.5 million) without my knowledge practically overnight. The fallout is mind bending every day. Always an optimist myself–and one who carefully planned her life down to the cocktail picks, I struggle to wake up each morning for fear of the next ice pick in the eye. Your comment, “I didn’t love learning a new way to be . . . ” is exactly what runs through my mind as I deal with organizing estate sales, dodging creditor calls, and freaking out over not one but four foreclosure notices. Thank you for inspiring me to hang on to who I really am–a strong, competent, and optimistic woman. I was losing it there for a while.

    • stacy says:

      Gwen, sending YOU love and strength. And yes, I’m still not loving this learning a whole new way to be (seven years in and still learning to let go), but I am stronger for feeling my weakness!

  11. melody says:

    I’m saying prayers for you tonight before I sleep. May you have “peace that surpasses all understanding.” May you feel loved and supported by those near to you. May all the courage and strength you require, to love your son well and really connect with him during this time of hurt in both your lives, well up within you — just when you need it most. I ask that you might feel wrapped in God’s loving arms….and never feel alone.

  12. Cathy says:

    Oh my gosh – this reads like it could be my life two years from now. That makes me sad – and incredibly sad for you.

  13. I am so sorry you’re going through this, and also worrying about your son and his responses.

    We either give our hearts when we feel safe enough to do so, and welcome someone into our lives, or we isolate ourselves in the shadow of past hurts and in so doing, eliminate the joys of loving and being loved.

    So which is worse? Or rather, which is better?

    I know what it is to be where you are – to have no parents or family to turn to, to have a child (or children) entirely yours to raise, to feel adrift and wonder if you will be alone forever – more likely for women (let’s be realistic) than it is for men.

    But all I can say is this. Life will present surprises and meaning to those of us who continue to say yes to its wonders. We need to heal and protect ourselves and (in my opinion) assume nothing. We need to raise our children and keep that roof over their heads and still do work we feel proud of. We need to offer the model of an open (yet wise) heart, and then there is no inevitability to a “future alone” unless that is what we choose. And at moments, in my own life, that is exactly what I chose because it felt right. Me, my two boys, our threesome as more than enough.

    And then things change. New faces, new dreams, new possibilities. If we allow them, and when we’re ready.

    Sending love, through the hard days, and wishes for the possibilities to remain open, when you’re ready.

    • Stacy @bklynstacy says:

      Wolfie, thank you for these lovely, poignant words. I am wiping away tears, because I know you are so right. About all of it.

      I can’t believe how deep my heartbreak goes—-the loss of my parents has created and echo chamber, and seeing my son’s own pain deepens all that evermore (“Why do all the people I love come into my life and then go away, mom?)…….

      And yet, the only choice is to go on.

      I feel lucky there are women who have walked and are still walking this path. Company is indeed all I want in this misery, as it will keep me from clinging to my Alone as if it were the prize I was always meant to treasure.

      *sigh*

      xoxoxo

  14. stephanie says:

    Stacy, I haven’t been in touch for a long while, but I’m so sorry for this. I hope you are doing well. xo

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