In February 2011 I became a single fifty-year-old. I moved out of the family home alone. I had no partner to go to. No infidelity had taken place on either side, but we were at the end of our relationship and decided to let an unhappy marriage go. I had chronic fatigue from an undiagnosed condition, but I knew I wanted to find love again. I wanted a partner whose eyes showed joy when he looked at me. But at Fifty I didn’t feel as though I had time to waste.
First lesson, the day I moved into the flat, the electric company hadn’t connected the service yet. I spent that evening without my usual distraction of watching a DVD. Instead, I had to light candles and sit quietly. I was quite upset about it, angry at the electricity company but it was a gift. I found myself in-the-moment. Alone but fully present to the significant life shift that was happening that day. I closed my eyes and meditated and calmed my mind. I opened them and looked at my new home with fresh eyes. In the candlelight, I drew comfort from the personal treasures I’d brought with me. My Grandmother’s crystal cabinet with photos of my kids on top. I had to wait for the electricity to come on but having to be patient meant there was something I needed to have first.
I started internet dating in October that year, and I met some great guys. All were sweet and kind perfect for someone, just not me. They were like me, wanted to be in love and were trying so hard to find it. To help things along, I wrote in a book the kind of man I’d like in my life. I needed to think about this. You need to be careful what you ask for. I wrote down, a kind heart, a good role model in how to treat your partner (for my kids), and a generous nature. I also wrote someone taller than me. Two years later I wasn’t any closer, but still, I was impatient. I visualized myself walking down the street with a man holding my hand and when out for dinner alone, I visualized a loving partner smiling at me. In bed, at night I imagined how it would feel to have a loving partner cuddling me. I knew I’d like being in a relationship. I thought I would be happy once I had one. But still, I had to wait.
I was getting sicker and had to take myself off to the hospital a couple of times. Each time I was released without them finding the problem. In November 2013 I couldn’t be out of bed for long, hold down food or water. My mouth was tingling, and my heart raced on and off. I kept sleeping all the time. I called my mother to drive me to the doctors. He said I had a panic attack. I said I think something is really wrong. He said to go to emergency, which we did but the doctor there said I looked too well to be admitted. I asked him to check a pathology test I’d done the day before. He reluctantly agreed. When he came back, he brought a team of people. My kidneys had stopped working.
That was the beginning of a health crisis that snowballed. I ended up needing an operation to remove some overactive glands that were putting too much calcium in my body. It was clogging my heart and kidneys, and goodness knows what else. I lost the ability to speak in sentences and walk for a while. I learned to walk again, doing everything the physio said and even used a walker to get from the bed to the toilet. Who’s going to want to love me now? Will I ever have a man in my life? Patience had to be developed to cope with a long stay in the hospital. All up six weeks. I remembered surrendering to the situation. I thought my body needs me to be here so it can get better. I sat looking at the view from my window each morning and thought well at least I don’t have to go and sit in an office all day. I’m cozy in a comfy chair with meals being brought to me three times a day. And the idea that I could be happy, without a man began to creep in. I was happy that my kidneys had started working again. And that I didn’t have a heart attack and that I could enjoy the trees and sunshine. I was glad, over the moon, that I didn’t die. There was so much to be happy about. I lived in the moment. Letting any emotion that came up be felt and have its moment. I felt sad and angry at times, happy at others but I became peaceful more often and accepting where I was right now was meant to be.
I came home just before Christmas, and a dear man, that I’d sent a smile to on the internet dating site six months earlier, had sent me an email. We’re living together now, and I know in my heart he’s perfect for me. There’s joy in his eyes when he looks at me, he holds my hand as we walk down the street. We go out for dinner a lot, and he smiles at me, and at night he’s there cuddling me.
It took five years to complete this cycle of change. Learning to be in-the-moment helped me to have patience while it all unfolded. Looking back I can see it was all meant to be. I’m confident that if I’d met Sam earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready for our relationship. I still have trouble accepting the need to wait for some things, but I have learned that having patience usually pays off when the timing is right.
I have a short story to giveaway. It’s about a young woman who rushes off to sea, without being adequately prepared, because her life hadn’t turned out the way she’d wanted it to. If you’d like a copy of Brave in Love emailed to you, leave a comment below.
You can find out more about Dora and her books on her website. http://www.dorabramden.com