It’s not that I haven’t been “alone” in the house in the one week and five days we have been living here.  It’s that I haven’t been ALONE in the house.  I haven’t had real time to sit and think and breathe and take it all in.

It has been crazy.  Removing wallpaper.  Buying new stuff.  Donating old stuff.  Showing friends.  Making sure the kids have great first memories here.  Pool time.  Laser tag time.  Rearranging.  Picking out paint colors.  More showing friends.  A date night.  Two friend nights.  Family game nights.  Movies.  Buying more new stuff.  Donating more old stuff.  Rearranging again.  All on top of unpacking a family of 6 here.

New dining room table for 8.  Beautiful old hard wood floors in need of refinishing.  So much character, so many memories that have been had right here in this house by the family that lived here for 50 years before us.  So many stories have been made here, and so many more are yet to come.  Rotting wood under the bathroom floor.  A dishwasher that doesn’t work.  Windows that won’t stay shut.  A riding mower that won’t stop stalling.

The yard, the lights, the creek running through it.  The little bridge, the imagination to be stretched.  The holes in the wall that each hung artwork that brought joy to others.  The wood, the real wood, the french doors, the peacock wallpaper.  The mirrored closets, the quirky lights, the cieling fans.  The painting underneath the wallpaper that said the man’s name plus the woman’s name.  They loved each other.  They were a family.  They still are.  They’ve shared their home with us- we are here now, making our own memories, writing our own name under the real paint on the wall.  Leaving a little mark where it may never be seen by anyone else.

The kids love it.  We love it.  Despite all the cobwebs, costly surprises, the little disappointments here and there, the scratches and dents, this is fucking beautiful.  Just like we are.  We, as individuals, and WE as a couple.

Life is simple here.  I can get up in the morning and not wonder how long until someone knocks on my door.  Often before 9 am, sometimes as late as 10 pm.  No boundaries to have to establish because no one comes.  It is peaceful, it is quiet, just the sound of the birds, the woodpeckers, the insects, the traffic, the small-dog bark far away that is so quiet it is amusing.  Nothing wakes me up.  Nothing disturbs dinner time, disturbs family time, no one comes unwanted.

The house has so much to give, so much to tell, so much to share.  It is beautiful.

It is not perfect, but it is so me.  It is so US.  I appreciate the things that aren’t perfect, because it is the WHOLE that I see, the goodness in the whole of it.

I am alone for the first time here.  Just me and my body and my mind and my soul.  It’s been a heat wave for the past week, in the 90’s with no central air here, just now cooling off into the 70’s.  It is stormy, it is dark.  A little light from the lighthouse and the roped edge and the headlights when they pass quietly.

I’m scraping wallpaper from paint that bubbled beneath it, with no idea how to remedy the walls, yet not worried about it.  My kids played house with my husband as he lied on the floor resting with the littles, just barely playing along with occasional input… they ate it up.  Then they played outside- laser tag with the bigs.  Up until 10 pm.  Who is this man, who is engaged with the children, seeing them, touching their face telling them they’ve done well, that he loves them… who is this man who holds my chin and sees me, truly sees me?

This man could barely hug me 8 months ago.  He hadn’t kissed me, really kissed me,  in 10 years.  He hadn’t caressed my breasts, hadn’t breathed me in, hadn’t enjoyed touching me, feeling me touch him.  He pulled away when I tried.  Now, 8 months later… he is still a work in progress, but sort of… not really.  He is recovered in the sense that he is forgiven.  Forgiven by god and the universe as he prays to them, forgiven by me, and working towards forgiveness to himself.  He doesn’t understand how to forgive himself yet not “let himself off the hook” so to say- I tell him that we only do what we can, in every moment.  Sometimes you don’t realize the impact of what you’re doing.  I truly believe that he did not.

Not that he didn’t know it wasn’t wrong to cheat on me.  To pay other women for sex and sexual favors, of course he did.  Just like I always knew it was wrong to have sex with married men, long ago- yet I thought, “Does it really matter?” I made excuses for why it wasn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.  Of course it fucking mattered.  It speaks to the quality of existence that I lived.  I know that it is not okay that I did that.  I knew it then but didn’t SEE it.  I know it now, yet I completely and utterly forgive myself, I did long ago.

Why and how can I forgive myself for those horrible wrongs?  How and why can I forgive him for his horrible wrongs TO me?

I just do.  It is the path towards healing, towards loving myself, towards accepting that no one is perfect and that everyone fucks up big time sometimes.  BIG time.

And if you get through life not making a HUGE time fuck up, that is great for you- you may not be able to relate to how I can forgive him, and that’s okay- I envy a life free of huge fuck ups.

Although, I don’t really.  I appreciate what all this shit has given me.  I’m not always sure what exactly it IS that it has given me, but it has brought me here.  Here and now, I feel thankful.  Pretty much every damn day, I feel thankful.

Life is normal.  Polygraph days are weird, and I still get a pit in my stomach that very BAD NEWS is coming whenever he gets that tone in his voice.  Then he tells me that he did something dumb at work or that he feels defeated by the tractor.  And I exhale.  I don’t know when those pieces of fear will go away, and that’s okay.  They’re in me for now and some day they might not be.  Or maybe they’ll always be.  And that’s okay too… because today, I choose this.  My life, just the way it is.

I know that I have been on a hard path.  It was horribly hard.  It brought me to where I am though- right here.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It still feels like forgiveness came quickly and easily.  I compare it to the sex in the parking lot cheating of 2003, I didn’t forgive that for YEARS.  Close to a decade until I truly released it and felt any semblance of forgiveness.

Now, today, I feel forgiveness for far worse offenses.  Far, far more recent pains.  How is that?

I believe it is because his remorse is real, his healing is real.  His path is genuine and he knows what it did to me.  He acknowledges me, he sees me, he feels me, he cares.

And for that, I am thankful.