Good Stuff, Good News, It’s All Good

I’ve been overusing the word “good” lately, but I have to say, it’s a hell of a lot better than overusing the word “miserable.”

I had a weekend of two wonderful things: I took Zack to see the house I’ve been eyeing in Garrison for more than a year, and he loved it, and so I’m bidding on it (yikes! and yay! all at once); and Derek came to visit on Friday (for a final move-out errand) and to see Zack, and the three of us had a great, easy time.

It’s crazy what time does to agony… Also, what conversation, mutual understanding, letting go, seeing what really is rather than what I wanted… all that. I know I wrote a book about traveling that journey, but I was as suprised—no, more surprised—this time to stumble into acceptance and grace and peace. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can feel better than releasing the chains of attachment, the self-imposed barbs of regret, dropping them to the ground and seeing how light life can be.

But you do have to go through the dark first. There’s no other way to get there.

Seeing Zack and Derek was beautiful, poignant, and above all, amazing. Zack was open with Derek about how much he missed him, how he wished he could come back; and Derek was gentle in responding. The three of us slept all in one room, just like before, but not quite—all different, in fact. And it was fine. And lovely.

When Derek put on his coat and readied to leave early the next morning, Zack was pedaling away on my exercise bike, reading a book (hilarious, yes?) and he dismounted to run and give him one of his trademark velcro hugs. He jokingly dropped to the ground, his arms wrapped around Derek’s leg, saying “Nooo! I won’t let you go!” and giggling like a maniac as Derek began walking toward the door. He meant it, of course, but he was saying it in the right tenor. Then he got back on the bike and started pedaling again as Derek opened the door to go, and Zack shouted, “I love you, Derek!” And Derek said, “I love you too.”

I died. A good death this time.

Later Derek sent an email saying it had been good to see us and that he looked forward to “finding our way together.”

I’m so grateful I don’t have rules in my head about How Things Should Go. Because it leaves room for accidental beauty like this, painful and pretty in equal measure, and worth all the gold in the world.

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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10 Responses to Good Stuff, Good News, It’s All Good

  1. Lindsey says:

    Oh good, good, good. SO MUCH GOOD. And yes, I agree absolutely, we have to go through the dark before we can get out. No other way. xoxo

  2. Sherry says:

    “Nothing, absolutely nothing, can feel better than releasing the chains of attachment, the self-imposed barbs of regret, dropping them to the ground and seeing how light life can be.

    But you do have to go through the dark first. There’s no other way to get there.”

    If you only knew how deeply these words resonate with me today. That you are finding your lightness is inspiring, very much so for those of us that haven’t gone through the darkness yet. Those of us who are standing at the edge of the forest, the frigid cold pool, and hemming and hawing to leap. Thank you for reminding me of the goodness that awaits on the other side. Thank you.

    • stacy says:

      Sherry: Remember, it is our very humanness that makes us not want to leap, that makes us weep. Whenever I feel awful about facing whatever I have to face, I remind myself that that, too, is a gift. Sending you love for your journey to the other side. I”ll be there with you. xox

  3. So glad for you. Time for more “good” stuff…

  4. So, so glad you’ve got some breathing room & lightness. Hugs to you.

  5. Rita says:

    This is such a beautiful, poignant post, Stacy. And it expresses something I’ve long believed: We have so few relationship boxes, and we require all relationships to fit into the few we have. So someone is either husband/mate or boyfriend or ex-husband/mate/boyfriend. I wish we could do a better job of seeing our emotional attachments to others in more nuanced terms. Obviously, you and Derek still love each other. That doesn’t end just because the terms of the former relationship needed to change. And that particular relationship ending doesn’t mean the love ended, you know?

    • stacy says:

      Exactly, exactly. That is what made the breakup so brutal, too. To love each other that much and have to accept we could not live together, could not build a life together? I’m still bilious in the face of that truth. But at the same time, moving forward, too, wanting to make room for the love that’s there, to honor it, even though it really stings…. That is the agony in it, the sweet and the salty bound together. Le sigh.

  6. Naima says:

    Such a beautiful and poignant post Stacy. I have been reading your blog since last year when I read your book and sometimes it has been painful to see you go through such agony also because it reminded me of my agony, despair and pain. It is so powerful that you are not afraid to show all these feeling to the world even though you work in a world in which strength and façade seem such strong forces. Thank you for your words of wisdom and your poetry. I’ve always felt as I didn’t have much talent for life even though nobody would think that looking at my life from the outside. In your blog and
    your words you show me that many more people live with ambiguity. And you remind me that despair and letting go of life is not the answer. Thank you.

    • stacy says:

      Naima, first I apologize for responding so late! I read your beautiful comment at night on my iPhone just before bed, and mentally responded… and never made it back here to fully respond. But yes, “living with ambiguity” is very well-said (and that statement sounds ironic, ha!). I do try to constantly remind myself there is so little we know. I used to hope that flexibility would spare me from pain (a young girl’s wish, of course); but now see flexibility is what allows you to move through pain and take on as little water and weight as possible. A worthy reward for careful self-examination. I am happy you have found company in my words and comfort in my thoughts; and I am happy to have discovered you, as well. Very best, SLM

  7. Naima says:

    By the way, your book resonated with me living in Amsterdam, daughter of illiterate migrant workers. Words of wisdom, honesty and love are universal.

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