A few weeks ago, Mike and I wrote a joint post together about some of the challenges of two widowed people dating. The metaphor that we mentioned, which is a common one, was of being second fiddle… the idea that each of us sometimes feels “second” to the person that came before us in our partner’s lives. It’s a bit unavoidable now and then to feel that… but I would say that most of the time we don’t go around carrying that weight.
After I’d written my part of the post, while Mike was working on his, I was milling around in the kitchen quietly… putting dishes away, cleaning the counters, etc. I was thinking more on the idea of the second fiddle and got to thinking – maybe there is a better metaphor for this life as a new partner.
Maybe in our old life we were fiddles, playing in unison together with our matching fiddle. But a lot has happened since that life, and the person that I am is different from who I was then – as is the same with Mike. Maybe now, we aren’t fiddles at all anymore. Maybe we’re guitars, or cellos, or banjos. Maybe Mike and Megan and Drew and I were matching fiddles… but maybe now, Mike and I are more like a guitar and a banjo. We each have a different sound from the person we were then, and together, we harmonize into a whole new sound.
This idea is really beautiful to me, and may just prove to be the perfect new metaphor by which to view this complex world of being two widowed people who are loving again. Being such a big music lover, it’s the kind of metaphor that makes sense to me and has a really good feel to it. Being that Mike has brought all new kinds of music into my life – particularly bluegrass music – makes this metaphor even stronger for me. When I think of my life with Mike, in musical terms, it has a similar but different sound to it. Like country to bluegrass. Does it mean that I like our sound more or less than my sound with Drew? Definitely not. Does it mean I no longer love the old music? Nope. It just means that Mike came in and added more beautiful music into my world.
I feel like it’s a wonderful way to think of it, because it takes away the idea of comparison. We may have been fiddles long ago, with fiddles beside us…. but now, he’s my banjo and I’m his guitar, and we’re making a whole new kind of beautiful music together.