When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
When we were first married, 45 years ago, Terry was in the Army Reserves. He had to do a two-week summer Annual Training every year, and he’d already done that before we were married in June. So I didn’t have to face his leaving for two weeks until the following summer. I dreaded it with everything in me. As the time approached, my dread of his being gone for two weeks increased. Maybe it was because we lived in a rented half of a house that belonged to a woman who had a very weird and scary son. Maybe because I was about seven months along with our first child. Maybe because I was far enough away from my parents that it took a planned-ahead trip. Really, it was probably less than half an hour, but I was an inexperienced driver, and I dreaded the trip.
Maybe it was because we lived only 1 1/2 miles from Stillwater State Prison in Minnesota. You think?
Well, clearly, I survived it. I survived many other summer AT’s as well, because he stayed in the Reserves over 20 years. And four babies came along to keep me busy and occupied. The circle of friends grew over time, in spite of moving across country where we had no family or friends whatsoever. In spite of all that, I don’t remember ever feeling lonely again.
And truly, because of my faith in Christ, I am never alone. I always have prayer, I always have the Word to sustain me.
These days, I find myself craving time to just be alone. I treasure the moments when there’s no one else in the house but me. No demands, no interruptions. I can play music loud if I want, and some music just NEEDS to be played at full volume. I can read, write, watch a TV program no one else enjoys. These are treasured times.
It’s funny how life changes, and how we change with life. Being alone was not something I treasured when I had it in my younger years. The days could get pretty long from the time Terry left in the morning until he came home for supper. I remember feeling much at loose ends in those early days, having just finished a hectic year of college and wedding preparations and then suddenly, after “I Do,” finding myself with free time on my hands.
What I wouldn’t give for that kind of time today.
Well. That’s it for today, I guess. This prompt has put me in somewhat of a ruminating mood, and that usually doesn’t lead to anywhere good. Time to finish getting ready for work and go out in this ridiculous sub-zero weather. I sure hope someone turned up the heat at the office!