Missing Someone

My beautiful grandparents

I don’t remember the day we moved my grandfather into our home.

I remember watching Jeopardy with him and doing crosswords.

I remember his love for BonBons.

I remember his smile and his laugh; anyone who knew him can’t forget.

I remember asking him questions about how he met my grandmother; she wore a blue velvet dress to prom.

I remember he said he was in a quartet and I asked him to sing me something. He sang Blue Moon.

I remember he cracked walnuts and gave bags of nuts away to everyone: truly a gift from the heart.

I don’t remember the day we had to put him in an elderly care facility.

I remember how it broke my mother’s heart because there was nothing left that my parents could do to take care of him.

I remember how he talked about getting back home, because he never believed he wouldn’t get better, he never gave up: the sign of a man with character.

I remember the phone call I made home when my mother told me he had passed away.

I remember the drive home. It was dangerous and stupid because I could barely see through my tears. I just wanted to be with my family.

I remember the memorial service where my father told his story, and put the image in our minds that he was reunited with his wife, playing golf with his brother and son, and most likely making all the angels laugh.

I hope he looks down at us and is happy for where we are. I miss him and try not to be sad for myself, but happy that he is in a spiritual place of enlightenment and peace. But I am selfish and I wish I could talk to him again. It’s been almost 14 years since he passed and although he lived a full life, into his eighties, I wish I had talked to him more, gleaned more knowledge, laughed at more jokes, been able to grow older with his guidance. I hope he thinks I’m funny. Whenever I come up with something funny from out of nowhere, I think he’s planted it in my head. And I’m grateful.

I remember Donno Claire Bellows (1916-1998): a great husband, father, grandfather, friend, comedian, soldier, man.

32 years of love: Granny, Dad, Mom, Popper


Breathing Again

It’s been almost 5 months since I left my husband. We are still technically married, although living separate lives. We have spoken briefly, but kindly, about 3 or 4 times. What’s new and what’s different is me. I’ve discovered a few things about myself which are novel, and surprising, if only to myself.

To begin with, I’m happy again. I’m happy in a way that I haven’t been since I was 25 years old. I feel like I’m settling into who I am, because it is different from who I was a year ago, two years ago, before I went to Israel. I know my happiness stems from being able to take care of myself because I have a new job. I was thinking about this yesterday, though. I’m not deriving my value or worth from my job, which might make me feel even better, because I feel relatively successful at what I do. But, I’m still deriving my validation from comedy. And I’m over caring about it. When I do well and people laugh, I feel good. When I do poorly and people ignore me and I hear crickets, I feel crappy. There it is. I’m comfortable there.

I am considering the idea of a relationship again. Huge news. I guess I just kind of miss being in love. I wasn’t in love and I haven’t been in years. That was hard to accept, but I have and I have moved on. But I really like the idea of being in love with a guy I love being with. So I might be looking for that. But, not too hard, because as I often say, I shouldn’t have a boyfriend when I still have a husband. That’s real, and I’m putting it out into the world. So judge if you must, but there it is. No one ever faulted me for holding back. The opposite, actually, is quite true.

Thirdly, I am working on accepting those who don’t accept me. Divorce makes people uncomfortable for a few reasons, I believe. I think if a person is insecure in their own marriage, another’s divorce will feel like a challenge. I know some people look down on me because I “gave up” and I turned my back on my husband and the promise I made to God. I, however, refuse to believe in a God who wants me to be married because I *promised* I would, more than He wants His child to be happy. So, that’s the choice I made and some people don’t like it. Some people feel superior to me. I’m getting very close to the point where I don’t care, where I won’t try to repair that relationship and I won’t think about that loss anymore.

For the last two years of my twenties, I wasn’t living. I lamented consistently that I missed who I was, I missed my life. I’m getting there again. I’m not the same person as I was. In my twenties, I lived according to societal standards and I did what I believed was expected of me. In my thirties, I’m not doing that. I’m doing what I think is right and what I believe is right for me according to the values I follow. I’m working hard to shove four years into the next two years. I sleep less, but I’m living…really living and I am loving it.

I cry less. I still feel. But there is so much joy boiling up inside.

Learning New Skills

I started to write a joke about embarrassment and I thought it sounded less like a joke, and more like a blog post. I overshare because I want people to like me. It’s ironic, because the thing I do to reach my desired goal is the exac tthing which keeps me from reaching it. I sense someone likes me so I want them to like me more so I tell them more stories in the hopes that I will strengthen their positive feelings.

I also feel like I tend to fall over that line quite dramatically by sharing too much. And then, there we are. I’m that girl.

The problem is that my life is mostly an open book and I rarely feel ashamed about what I do because I try to act in ways that I am comfortable with. Naturally, some exceptions may apply.

When I do something embarrassing, I tell everyone, which is contrary to the concept of embarrassment. Usually people want to hide when they do something embarrassing. I call people and tell them. It will eat me up inside if I try to hold it in. I have done so many embarrassing things that don’t bother me anymore because if I can laugh at them with others, then the power of embarrassment is gone. That being said, it’s hard to be ashamed all the time if everything I do is out there. And, because I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I do, I always say too much.

Discretion: a skill I need.

I am terrible with making first impressions of other people. I’m cynical and yet when I meet someone for the first time, I fool myself into believing that they have the best intentions, because I have good intentions towards others. I have taken Abraham Lincoln’s words to heart: ““If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.” So I don’t. And because of that I have often been burned by people I expected to trust simply because they had given me no reason not to. I just don’t want to live the kind of life where I think people are out to get me or forcing others to earn my trust, even though might not be an awful idea.

This is a challenge especially with men. Occasionally I can read the creep in a dude, but he has to be laying it on pretty thick. Especially in Southern California where there are so many people out here willing to step on anyone to get what they want, I should be HYPER-VIGILANT, and yet, I’m not. I have had my little heart broken and rebroken too many times to count when I’ve been let down by what I had hoped would be. This isn’t necessarily in reference to a romantic relationship, although those disappointments certainly happen frequently enough.

Suspending my Disbelief: A skill I need.

I spent almost 3 years of my life stagnantly. It’s not that I want the next three years to fly by, I just want to fill them with purpose, drive, success and life. So when I have to wait for anything to happen (like feeling that I have a successful comedy career), I get discouraged. I am also struggling with enjoying the moment. The feeling of missing out is so engrained that if I’m not in the middle of something, I realize that I’m on the outside. I like being busy. I like being overwhelmed. I like needing to breath. I like putting my head on my pillow and feeling so exhausted that I don’t remember anything else.

Patience: A skill I need.

I know that identifying what I need to learn to do will help me do it. Committing to the change…that’s another story. Maybe just the one change at a time…