I think back to the show “Doogie Howser, M.D.” At the end of every episode the child prodigy writes in his computer journal about the situation he has just gone through. After striking the keys in his smooth summery of the half hour we just spent watching, he stops, pauses in deep reflection, and types out the moral we should have walked away with. If life were only that easy.
In the last few years I have had friends who have gone through the loss of one of their parental units as I had. It is an expected thing – earlier then I thought, but expected. Never easy, but will happen to all of us eventually.
This weekend one of the remaining parental units will now re-commit to another person; this will be the third time. People I know in this same situation find it a bit difficult to see their unit date and move on. Lord knows the siblings are having a hard enough time in my family.
But there is this guy I work with who has helped me to put things in perspective. He doesn’t know it, and I never bring it up. Great man, terrific dad, loving husband, unfortunately lost his wife in the last year. If anyone deserves a good life and someone to be with, it is him. With the loss of a spouse, people often feel the obligation that they need to hold on tight before the memory of the love escapes them. For others, moving on to find a new life is more important then wallowing in the dark reflections of what might have been.
There are two certainties I have discovered – the more I think about love, the more I realize how little I know about intimacy. The same is true for writing – the more I write, the more rules I break that I had no idea were out there. Life is the same way. When I spend time exploring this world, meeting new people, going to new places, it makes me think of how little I have accomplished with my life. How, if that parental unit, mine or other, were to stay the same, never date or commit, how small their world would become. Or maybe how small their world had become in just a short time – and now it’s time to explore what is out there again.
Dean Martin had a hit called “It’s a great big beautiful world” and I would have to agree. And here is where I wish that I were Doogie Howser, M.D... That my few brief words could summarize years of happiness together to make us all sigh and relate to the major characters who have now grown, ready to move on. But that’s now how it works. It takes a little time to move on, make good choices, or mistakes, and explore the great big beautiful world.