The Yarn, Part II - "Mr. Rooster, The One That Used to Wake Me Up At 3AM"
Part two in a series.
Several years later, months after Hope passed and in the infancy of my dating experiences, the story continues. A widower coming from a loving marriage is a dangerous man to date for the first several months after his wife has passed. He is looking toward the future and stuck in the past. He wants the love drug again but also wants to explore various experiences. His mind is a mess of conflicting signals.
Numerous women rejected my dating overtures, or after the first date explained, they didn’t date or were hesitant to go out with recent widowers. I imagine their hearts were broken or their minds twisted in grief when they intertwined with past conflicted widowers. I wanted fun one day and to be in love with “the one” the next. The second woman who was “the one” I dated for several months in a bumpy relationship. She was a good woman and mother and, like all of us, trying to find a foothold in single life. We waxed and waned between commitment and non-commitment, and our emotions went from fun to displeasure on any given week. But we held on trying to figure out where this would go. One night we were supposed to get together, and she never called back after I tried numerous times. I went to bed rejected and in anguish.
I cursed my current life without Hope and begged for her help. I was nothing without her guidance and learned this more each day as a widower. I was always blind to certain aspects of the social fabric. Hope guided me in my inadequacies during our thirty-one years together and I credit her with much of my work success. She filled in the missing jigsaw pieces to complete my being. The hand that had lovingly completed the puzzle was now missing forever. With rejection, I went to sleep with the cell phone next to my head, still expecting a call from “the one.” I missed my best friend so much and the world was too darn tough for me to understand alone.
“The Witching Hour” is traditionally thought to start at midnight. Mine has always begun at three AM (maybe because I live on the East Coast). Hope always seemed to come to me around three AM during my witching hour. After Hope’s death, I, as an engineer who needs proof to believe, firmly understand the concept and universal power of the Witching Hour. I have witnessed numerous spiritual and metaphysical events at three AM. On this given night, with the idle cell phone still by my head, I woke at three AM with my brain filled with the notion to visit the meditation altar Pam had given Hope years before. With an uneasy feeling caused by walking through a dark home during the wee morning hours, I made my way to the basement where the altar and meditation area resided. My basement was not dank or frightening as basements conjure, but remodeled Zen-like with an uplifting decor. I turned the lights on in the meditation room and sat crossed-legged facing the altar. Why was I subconsciously guided to the meditation altar, I wondered. I opened each drawer and the same contents of diaries, pens, and other knickknacks were as they should be.
I then opened the sliding door and to my bewilderment, a small brown book was next to Amma’s blessed water. It was a diary of Hope’s I had never seen, with quotes and writings from her. Next to the diary was Amma’s second yellow yarn he had given her. Why was this so important? After Hope passed, I scourge the home for every vestige of her to embrace, adorn, wear, read, and hold close. The brown book and yellow yarn were not in the altar before that night. I would have certainly known they existed from my prior home-scouring. Hope had visited me that night to comfort me and guide me as she had for so many decades. I read the diary and it had a few passages that settled my current emotional quandary. She knew what I emotionally required even from above. I tied the yarn around my wrist and there it remained for many months of sweaty sports playing and daily showers. It was Hope’s last physical tie to comfort me as I ventured without her. She wanted to let me know she was with me and trust her. As the story continues in the book, she tugged on this yarn to send me a message.
What I realize now is I had to suffer like Job to appreciate the next woman to grace my life. Thank God I did not lose everything like Job but I lost almost everything with Hope’s passing. I now understood that if my next life partner came too easy, I would not truly endeavor to appreciate her and accept the hardships that go with a life with a new person. I would be stuck in memories and comparisons. I had to truly understand the mistakes I made in my first thirty-one years of relationship and suffer to get to the second relationship. My mother, Babette, gave me advice that rings true as I end this story: “You need bad times to truly appreciate the good.”
If we savored delicious rare chocolates everyday, they would no longer be rare and special and we would lust for something else to sweeten our life. The cycle of never being satisfied would disregard each prior indulgence. A lasting relationship is rare and special. Every day we must remember the heartbreaks, grief, hard work, wandering, and tears that it took to find love. Is love true? Only if we make it true by savoring each day, remembering the bitterness of maror sweetened by the understanding of a past life alone. Memories are both our maror and chocolates. A widower and widow lose their love without want. Divorces lose their love for different reasons. Lost love can wither, but new love can be forever if we trust our memories and those looking over us from afar.
 Maror refers to the bitter herbs eaten at Passover Seder to remind the Jewish people of the bitterness of slavery.
Love is a Never-Ending Adventure—Dennis Freed
Be Led by Your Dreams, Not Driven by Your Fears—Betty Hill Crowson