Damn them. Damn the U.S. Postal Service for being the excellent trackers they are. And, damn life for it’s ongoing kick in the stomach.
It has been 11 months since I moved away from our San Francisco home, in need of a fresh start with as few reminders as possible. It’s been two further moves once settled in San Diego. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my surviving days being reminded of what we had, and what we planned to do. There were too many of them. There were so many plans that we had made, and so many that got tossed straight into the trash can when Michael received his diagnosis.
“You are cordially invited to attend an exclusive open house at our world-class model. Experience first hand this special event where we will celebrate history in the making – the nations first LGBT Retirement Community with a continuum of care.
Tempt your palate as you savor delectable bites and taste the neighboring Paradise Ridge’s award winning wines. Enjoy a site tour of our ten acre, oak-filled campus with stunning view of Sonoma County Valley and Fountaingrove Golf Course.”
I accept that life gives us what it does. I accept that God moves in mysterious ways. What I don’t accept, is why there has to be so many painful reminders of what we don’t have. I get that for the majority of people my age, they are looking ahead to their golden years together as an aging couple. I get that they are carefully planning out their retirement, and that for those that are financially fortunate enough, they are looking into the perfect retirement community to live out their lives together.
Do I really need to have this single piece of mail track me down, 500 miles south of San Francisco, then travel up and down the streets of San Diego, making it’s way from the initial house I rented, only to find that I quickly moved on and put down permanent roots here in my current home, and then find itself dropped into my simply stated stainless steel mailbox?
“No. Michael doesn’t live here!”
“No. There is no happy couple interested in your retirement community.”
“No. There are not two happy and loving faces that you can plaster on one of your lovely tri-fold brochures.”
Okay. I know I’m being a bit childish. I get it. Where’s that thick skin of mine, right? You know, I wear my armour every day that I leave my house. I expect that I can lay it down once I walk through my door. I also expect (foolishly obviously) that I can control that which hurts me, or cuts to my vulnerability within my own safe haven. But you know, this is what really goes on here. When no one is around, and it’s just me that picks up the mail, well there is no buffer, and there is no need for it either. So, BANG! Shot to the heart.
“Is this very mature of me?”
“Can’t I just get over it, and realize that these things happen?”
Grow up Dan. Be a man.
For the record, I did handle it very maturely. Nobody in, or around, my house are even aware of this small moment, or this insignificant piece of junk mail. The reality is (and all of you live this every day) is that nobody around me would even think to ask if receiving the occasional piece of mail addressed to the two of us is difficult to deal with. And, I’ll bet that like me, most of you have those moments where life still knocks the wind right out of you. You probably take a deep breath, or immediately succumb to tears, or maybe still have those moments that drop you to your knees (those were always my favorite).
This is just one of those many moments that illustrate how it’s just not so easy to move on.
me, to the world: “Yes, I am doing very well. I am making progress, even though most of you don’t understand that there is still progress to be made. Yes, I thank you for telling me for the hundredth time how good I look. Not quite sure why one says that anyway. And no, I am not purposefully getting stuck, or wallowing unnecessarily. This is what I must do. Like it or not, this is who I am, and this is how I experience life.”