I have summer traditions and one of them is to visit a very good friend at her cottage and although I come to see her and her wonderful children I have always come to see her father as well. I am crazy about this guy as he is a current version of who my dad always was to me.
8 months after I separated he lost his wife, so his grief accompanied mine in timing but not genre. The first summer he was invited everywhere and looked lost trying to figure out what to wear and what to take, his daughter lining him up with hostess gifts and fixing his hair.
The second summer we talked about marriage and business. He is one of my advisors only he does not know it. He asked me some personal questions and some of them I answered. I was choked up for all of the afternoon except for when I was laughing. It is like this with people you are comfortable with who can see right through you.
The third summer I answered every question and asked many of him. He was better and strong. He was always clean, not foggy about their life together-no regrets or residual anger . I see what peace a life, not a perfect life but a good life, can bring a person.
This the fourth summer, we found ourselves talking about dating. What it is like at this stage, what is funny and surprising, what is lonely and disappointing.
He said to me “I had a beautiful wife and the best marriage and nothing can compete with that.”
I said, without even thinking “I have not had my best marriage yet.”