Our Story Begins: The Question from Left Field
The conversation came out of left field.
“Hey, Dad,” my middle child asked me, “can I ask you a question?”
“You don’t have to ask me if you can ask a question…just ask.”
“If you ever found the right person do you think you’d fall in love and get married again?”
I have to be honest, I wasn’t really prepared for that question. Not from her. Her older sister has been abundantly clear on her position: until this last year she wasn’t comfortable with the idea. In fact, my oldest daughter has had more than a couple meltdowns when she realized I’d had drinks with a woman – at that woman’s house (there were others there) and coffee with a colleague. Both relatively innocent, but from her perspective they were “dates.” In the end it wasn’t about whether I was ready for meeting other people it was about how she had not dealt with losing her Mom entirely.
I told my middle child as much. I figured she deserved to know, she’s maturing at an incredible rate.
“I don’t know how the boys would handle it, either,” I told her. “Why did this suddenly come up,” I asked her?
“Well . . . you know, some people say you shouldn’t.”
I could never pull out of her who the “some people” were. At one point she talked about movies sending the message but reading between the lines I’m going to say someone had this conversation with her.
There are two types of people in the world, and I told my daughter this: those who think you should be out there dating and moving on with your life, even if you’re not ready for it; and those who think you should sit and grieve and live your life forever “basking in the love you lost.”
Let me just add a simple fact here, one that I told my child: I miss my wife. I miss her terribly. I don’t live my life constantly looking through a veil of grief. That certainly was the case for awhile but certainly not now. I told my daughter this as well. I will always love Andrea, she was beautiful, vibrant, dedicated, infuriating, and brilliant.
“I miss your Mom, you know that,” I told my daughter. “But yeah…it’s lonely sometimes. I don’t have a lot of time, and what I have I spend with you kids . . . but I miss the connection you have with someone you love, sure.”
My daughter looked at me, tenuously walking the path here . . .
“Just some people think you shouldn’t. Like, you were in love, you miss them, you care for the kids and they say that’s the way it should be.”
“What do you think?”
My daughter looked a bit thoughtful. “If you’re in love and they’re the right person should it matter?”
“I don’t think it should,” I told her. “But you have to bear in mind I’m not exactly the easiest person to handle. I jump from project to project: I work crazy hours as a journalist; I write incessantly both freelance and online; and I’m a musician, kiddo, that’s part of me.”
“I know,” she says talking to me, “I see you play and it’s like the guitar is your left hand. You couldn’t just stop.”
I inform her that it’s no small fancy that I want to record another record and maybe go on the road if I could make a living. Would I do that if they were still at home? Maybe. If I could make enough and arrange the tour.
“Our house is filled with music, animation cells, guitars, vinyl records…it’s a bit eclectic, I’ll admit that,” I say. “But you kids all seem to like it and that’s something anyone would have to be okay with. That’s a lot to take in,” I tell her.
“Do you think there’s someone like that out there,” she asks me?
“Would you be okay with that if I was?”
She looks at me and smiles . . . “yeah. Yeah, I think I would.”
I muss up her hair a little, call her “cousin It” from the Addams family and smile.
“Well…no worries for now. That person’s not around . . . not yet, anyway!”