A little over three years ago on the very same day my ex-husband was moving out of the home we had shared, a brand new next-door neighbor was moving in. I could not have known then– on a day that was so incredibly monumental and painful and emotional– that God and the Universe and every good thing I can think of– had already prepared the way for me. For her. For us.
You see, I live in a pretty traditional neighborhood. Other than myself, there really weren’t going to be any other single women. Single moms. Until that day. Until she moved in. Until we found each other. There was a moment that summer when I knew. I knew suddenly that we were “in this”– as in, this life— together. We were hanging out on my back deck, under the big wooden gazebo, as we frequently did, having a beer and talking about life and love and love and life. Summer was coming to an end. The nights were getting cooler. The days a little shorter. She looked up and around at the gazebo and said, “How are we going to get this put away for winter?”
And I knew. I knew right then. She was in it with me. This thing we were doing. All these things we were trying to do, now on our own. We were going to do them together.
Those things have ranged from hilarious to horrific. From cradles to graves. I’ve never laughed so hard or cried so easily. Snow storms. Flooded basements. Unruly kids. Unruly men. Shenanigans too ridiculous to put on paper. Jobs and dogs and the daily stuff of life. Heartbreak and heartache too heavy to bear alone. Victories and triumphs that needed bearing witness.
She moved in next door when I was about to experience an emptiness too deep to name and filled it with a love too deep to describe.