Stone walls do no a prison make, nor iron bars a cage (Richard Lovelace)
I feel as if I am back in the tower again. The one I have built to stay away from the world, the tower window does look down on the world and I really want to be there but I am afraid. I know what that fear is, it is fear of change. I want to move on, go forward but part of me is afraid to leave the past behind if in doing so I am lessening the memories that Ray and I built together for forty years. I don't want to lose any of them. I don't want to pack them away and be frightened to tell them, I want them to still be a part of who I am.
Ray's mother was married at 18, when she was twenty one and carrying Ray, four months before he was born her young husband was killed in a car accident. She stayed with her inlaws for a while but some argument developed and she went to live with her father. In due course she met an older man, got engaged and married him. They had three more children so Ray was second oldest in a family of five. I knew his step-father well but heard really nothing about his own father, it was just not talked about.
When I got to know Ray and his mother I was surprised that nothing was mentioned of her short marriage to his father, even when we were alone, I knew his name was Tommy and he was the boy next door (really) and they had married very young. It wasn't until her second husband died that she mentioned her first husband and as we were away from here at the time we didn't really have the time with her to discuss much. Then she died less that twelve months later leaving us with little information and no contacts.This has made me see that sometimes to keep the peace in a second marriage the first must be forgotten and I don't want that to happen to me.
I have been talking to an old friend, we are just friends although he insists that we dated in 1967, I don't think we did, we just were members of the same group and went some of the same places. I know it is not possible for relationships to be static so I know it will either progress or die. I am not prepared at the moment for it to progress. I am like one of those toys that teeter on the edge of the wall, not quite going over but balancing in a wobbly way. I don't want to be lonely but I don't want to have a relationship that takes away some of the freedoms I am just learning to enjoy. Or one that shuts me off from the past and all my precious memories of Ray.
So even though I am now 2 years and five months out from Ray's death it seems as if I am still not ready at this stage to move on. A friend suggested that I am letting memories of the past dictate my future. Okay I know she is right, that is what I am doing. I am also letting them overshadow my present. And I don't know how to change that. It is a pity your mind cannot be decluttered the same way you can clean out drawers and throw away old correspondence and bills you have long since paid. Sure there are some things I have already left behind but obviously other things are still holding me back. I wonder why?
In some way I have changed and people remark on how well I look, how happy I seem, how much I have gone back to being my old self again. They only see the outside they don't see the quaking uncertainty inside. I think we all have that, that dark area where sadness lurks, ready to come out any time a sad memory surfaces. I think that is getting to be a smaller part of who I am for sure. But until I get that area of my emotional life under control I don't really think I can move on.