I wanted to love and be loved forever. I wanted to grow old with the man I loved. Like Yeats with Maude Gonne, we’d love the sorrows of each others’ changing faces, and it wouldn’t matter one whit if we weren’t young and beautiful anymore, because we’d laugh together at the losses and infirmities, and we’d see each other on the inside, where our hearts and souls would still be lovely as before, and we’d bask together in the beauty of a life well-lived, a family well-raised, shared accomplishments to look back on with pride and affection.
So much for my plans vs. God’s.
My divorce taught me a great many things I didn’t wish to learn, and am grateful for knowing, only on alternate Thursdays, in months with an R in them. But I did learn one thing that could be important – something I wish every woman could learn far earlier in life than I did.
I was the one I should have loved
I was the one who kept the vows and the faith
I raised the children and suffered in their coming and going
I was there for the births
I was there at the deathbeds
I was the one with the strength to endure
I was the one who made both a living and a life
I made a house into a home.
I should have brought me flowers
Decorated my soul with them
Thanked me for my fortitude and courage
Praised my resiliency and good-heartedness
I should have spent less time gazing adoringly at him
And more time appreciating me.
So now I know this somewhat daunting truth:
The one I really need to be loved by is me.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2011