Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
The healing I have prayed for has been for John, mostly, or his mother, Pauline, or my mother, or my brother-in-law, my nieces, my sons. In a way, though, John has provided for my healing.
Every day I move farther away from a time when I felt wounded, cut to the quick. That would have been when I was married, the first time, and my marriage was crumbling in my hands. That healing has been a drip-by-drip evolution, for sure, over the past 15 years. It may even have started before that, when I was still living in the Dodd Road house, learning how to pray even as I learned how to parent, not too badly. It may be that my father's death, five years earlier, taught me how to heal myself so that, when the time came, I could walk away from a love that had disappeared and make myself whole again, to love again, when John finally appeared.
I had to pass through some other valleys of death on the way to healing, to be sure; other times when I felt I must die of loneliness, times when only my sons kept me connected to this life. I also felt much remorse for being an agent in the life of someone who had to hit a wall. Whenever I watch "It's a Wonderful Life," I'm reminded of what happens to someone if their dreams are squelched time after time. I, of course, wanted him to return to me and the boys, just as George Bailey, did, but real life doesn't involve angels to direct and guide, and I might not have been the one he begged to return to, anyway. He didn't return to me, but the fact of our sons kept me tied to reality instead of bathing in tears.
This time, when I watch IAWL, I was deconstructing it a bit, for the elements of socialism, and sexism, that I had never noticed. That may have kept me from weeping like a child and instead, I cried a little, but mostly I used my new lens of deconstruction to keep me real. I don't remember watching the movie the first Christmas that John and I were together (I think I watched it alone and bawled, but more for my older son than for my first husband). Last year, John watched it with me, and I know I cried, but not with nearly the intensity of the past. Yesterday, though, I watched with John away for the first half, sitting next to me for the second. The movie may be losing its power to reduce me to a puddle: this may mean that I am truly healed.
Certainly it could be John's unfailing love that heals me during these past two years. It's almost three years already since we met at the Lost Dog! He has loved me when I was frantic about my studies, frantic about the 8th graders and the tests, frantic about my sons, and also when I was contemplative and mystical, poetic and transcendental...when I was clearly not of this world. It is a good feeling, being loved like this. I am basking in it, as I basked in Florida sun during February, as I bask in the heat of the fireplace in January, as I bask in the spring sun's rays in May. I am able to write (not just sad love songs or sonnets) and I am healed.