A reminder.

by mssinglemama on April 14, 2011

The rear view mirror on my car fell off four weeks ago.

I didn’t think much of it, online and dismissed the mirror’s unfortunate demise as a random twist of fate and yet another thing I would have to add to my to-do list.

At first, ambulance it felt uncomfortable, treat not being able to see what was behind me unless I deliberately cranked my neck or used the side mirrors, but after a few days I had completely adapted.

Without my rear view mirror constantly feeding me glimpses of angry drivers or the swirling traffic behind me, I noticed my drives were much more peaceful. Not being one to dismiss symbolism and fate, I wondered how liberating it would be if my own rear view mirror suddenly disappeared, if I could only look forward into the future without the echos of the past to weigh it down.

So, every day, while driving I used the empty square patch of glue as a reminder to think about the future only. It was more challenging than I expected, to force negative past experiences and memories from creeping up on thoughts of the future or even the day ahead.

And then on one of my drives John called me from a gas station in Los Angeles. He had driven the entire way in just five days. He took the trip to clear his head and to find answers.

“I’m trying to forget about us, to move on, but I can’t. And I don’t want to. I want this to work, I want both of you and I want us to work. So, there it is. I’m putting it all on the table.”

This wasn’t new, he had been asking me if we could work on things ever since our split on Christmas Eve, but this time his tone had changed. He had discovered on this trip and over the last three months, that relationships even with all of their stresses, can be beautiful, beautiful things when you have each other and when you have commitment, love and trust.

Fortified in my deep defense mechanism, I had been telling him this entire time, “No, absolutely not,” and on one occassion remember saying, “Hell would have to freeze over before I would even consider it.”

It was bad People, I was absolutely closed off to the possibility and being completely swayed by the opinions of a few friends and relatives. I had no idea what I wanted anymore but I knew that every night, in every quiet moment I found there was an emptiness. I missed him. I missed our friendship. I missed our love. And it was impossible to imagine rebuilding something that unique with someone else.

When you boiled it down, the only flaw in John and I’s relationship was our communication, our ability to work through issues without John reacting by wanting to flee and without me reacting to his urge to flee by shutting all of the doors and then broadcasting our fights to the world (here) and to my friends and family.

John and I have no drug issues, lying issues, cheating issues or even name calling issues. What we have are growth issues or adaptation issues to each other’s environments.

But then there is that fear, “What if he leaves again?”

And my answer to that fear is this – he never really left. I pushed him out and he went, but neither one of us ever really left each other. We were still communicating the entire time and we couldn’t even attempt to date other people.

We needed the break, we needed to both re-center ourselves and recover from this past year of external career related stresses. Those stresses, by the way, are easing up. John has escaped from what was an incredibly intense and stressful work environment and my business is settling down and much more stable than it was over the past year and a half.

“So, what do you think?” John asked. He was parked at a gas station in Los Angeles. I had been uncharacteriscally quiet.

“I think we should go out on a date when you get back.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun. We should talk. I am ready to talk.”

A few weeks later when John and I picked Benjamin up from school, he jumped into his car seat leaned his head back and just started smiling. And then the laughter came, this giddy incredibly awesome laughter.

Then we all started laughing for no reason other than the fact that we were all together again, as if the past three months were already a distant memory, in the past where they belonged. Necessary to reach this moment, but not necessary to live in this moment.

True happiness is only possible when you have felt true sorrow. The trick is letting the sorrow go so you can make way for all of that happiness waiting to take over, to shove it aside.

There are no plans for John to move back in, and the wedding is indefinitely off the table. This way, we feel, we can focus on us and on re-building a relationship in an environment that has significantly less stress or pressure.

So, there it is. John Bear is back, but he never really left anyway.
The rear view mirror on my car fell off four weeks ago.

I didn’t think much of it, online and dismissed the mirror’s unfortunate demise as a random twist of fate and yet another thing I would have to add to my to-do list.

At first, ambulance it felt uncomfortable, treat not being able to see what was behind me unless I deliberately cranked my neck or used the side mirrors, but after a few days I had completely adapted.

Without my rear view mirror constantly feeding me glimpses of angry drivers or the swirling traffic behind me, I noticed my drives were much more peaceful. Not being one to dismiss symbolism and fate, I wondered how liberating it would be if my own rear view mirror suddenly disappeared, if I could only look forward into the future without the echos of the past to weigh it down.

So, every day, while driving I used the empty square patch of glue as a reminder to think about the future only. It was more challenging than I expected, to force negative past experiences and memories from creeping up on thoughts of the future or even the day ahead.

And then on one of my drives John called me from a gas station in Los Angeles. He had driven the entire way in just five days. He took the trip to clear his head and to find answers.

“I’m trying to forget about us, to move on, but I can’t. And I don’t want to. I want this to work, I want both of you and I want us to work. So, there it is. I’m putting it all on the table.”

This wasn’t new, he had been asking me if we could work on things ever since our split on Christmas Eve, but this time his tone had changed. He had discovered on this trip and over the last three months, that relationships even with all of their stresses, can be beautiful, beautiful things when you have each other and when you have commitment, love and trust.

Fortified in my deep defense mechanism, I had been telling him this entire time, “No, absolutely not,” and on one occassion remember saying, “Hell would have to freeze over before I would even consider it.”

It was bad People, I was absolutely closed off to the possibility and being completely swayed by the opinions of a few friends and relatives. I had no idea what I wanted anymore but I knew that every night, in every quiet moment I found there was an emptiness. I missed him. I missed our friendship. I missed our love. And it was impossible to imagine rebuilding something that unique with someone else.

When you boiled it down, the only flaw in John and I’s relationship was our communication, our ability to work through issues without John reacting by wanting to flee and without me reacting to his urge to flee by shutting all of the doors and then broadcasting our fights to the world (here) and to my friends and family.

John and I have no drug issues, lying issues, cheating issues or even name calling issues. What we have are growth issues or adaptation issues to each other’s environments.

But then there is that fear, “What if he leaves again?”

And my answer to that fear is this – he never really left. I pushed him out and he went, but neither one of us ever really left each other. We were still communicating the entire time and we couldn’t even attempt to date other people.

We needed the break, we needed to both re-center ourselves and recover from this past year of external career related stresses. Those stresses, by the way, are easing up. John has escaped from what was an incredibly intense and stressful work environment and my business is settling down and much more stable than it was over the past year and a half.

“So, what do you think?” John asked. He was parked at a gas station in Los Angeles. I had been uncharacteriscally quiet.

“I think we should go out on a date when you get back.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun. We should talk. I am ready to talk.”

A few weeks later when John and I picked Benjamin up from school, he jumped into his car seat leaned his head back and just started smiling. And then the laughter came, this giddy incredibly awesome laughter.

Then we all started laughing for no reason other than the fact that we were all together again, as if the past three months were already a distant memory, in the past where they belonged. Necessary to reach this moment, but not necessary to live in this moment.

True happiness is only possible when you have felt true sorrow. The trick is letting the sorrow go so you can make way for all of that happiness waiting to take over, to shove it aside.

There are no plans for John to move back in, and the wedding is indefinitely off the table. This way, we feel, we can focus on us and on re-building a relationship in an environment that has significantly less stress or pressure.

So, there it is. John Bear is back, but he never really left anyway.
The rear view mirror on my car fell off four weeks ago.

I didn’t think much of it, viagra and dismissed the mirror’s unfortunate demise as a random twist of fate and yet another thing I would have to add to my to-do list.

At first, information pills it felt uncomfortable, viagra not being able to see what was behind me unless I deliberately cranked my neck or used the side mirrors, but after a few days I had completely adapted.

Without my rear view mirror constantly feeding me glimpses of angry drivers or the swirling traffic behind me, I noticed my drives were much more peaceful. Not being one to dismiss symbolism and fate, I wondered how liberating it would be if my own rear view mirror suddenly disappeared, if I could only look forward into the future without the echos of the past to weigh it down.

So, every day, while driving I used the empty square patch of glue as a reminder to think about the future only. It was more challenging than I expected, to force negative past experiences and memories from creeping up on thoughts of the future or even the day ahead.

And then on one of my drives John called me from a gas station in Los Angeles. He had driven the entire way in just five days. He took the trip to clear his head and to find answers.

“I’m trying to forget about us, to move on, but I can’t. And I don’t want to. I want this to work, I want both of you and I want us to work. So, there it is. I’m putting it all on the table.”

This wasn’t new, he had been asking me if we could work on things ever since our split on Christmas Eve, but this time his tone had changed. He had discovered on this trip and over the last three months, that relationships even with all of their stresses, can be beautiful, beautiful things when you have each other and when you have commitment, love and trust.

Fortified in my deep defense mechanism, I had been telling him this entire time, “No, absolutely not,” and on one occassion remember saying, “Hell would have to freeze over before I would even consider it.”

It was bad People, I was absolutely closed off to the possibility and being completely swayed by the opinions of a few friends and relatives. I had no idea what I wanted anymore but I knew that every night, in every quiet moment I found there was an emptiness. I missed him. I missed our friendship. I missed our love. And it was impossible to imagine rebuilding something that unique with someone else.

When you boiled it down, the only flaw in John and I’s relationship was our communication, our ability to work through issues without John reacting by wanting to flee and without me reacting to his urge to flee by shutting all of the doors and then broadcasting our fights to the world (here) and to my friends and family.

John and I have no drug issues, lying issues, cheating issues or even name calling issues. What we have are growth issues or adaptation issues to each other’s environments.

But then there is that fear, “What if he leaves again?”

And my answer to that fear is this – he never really left. I pushed him out and he went, but neither one of us ever really left each other. We were still communicating the entire time and we couldn’t even attempt to date other people.

We needed the break, we needed to both re-center ourselves and recover from this past year of external career related stresses. Those stresses, by the way, are easing up. John has escaped from what was an incredibly intense and stressful work environment and my business is settling down and much more stable than it was over the past year and a half.

“So, what do you think?” John asked. He was parked at a gas station in Los Angeles. I had been uncharacteriscally quiet.

“I think we should go out on a date when you get back.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun. We should talk. I am ready to talk.”

A few weeks later when John and I picked Benjamin up from school, he jumped into his car seat leaned his head back and just started smiling. And then the laughter came, this giddy incredibly awesome laughter.

Then we all started laughing for no reason other than the fact that we were all together again, as if the past three months were already a distant memory, in the past where they belonged. Necessary to reach this moment, but not necessary to live in this moment.

True happiness is only possible when you have felt true sorrow. The trick is letting the sorrow go so you can make way for all of that happiness waiting to take over, to shove it aside.

There are no plans for John to move back in, and the wedding is indefinitely off the table. This way, we feel, we can focus on us and on re-building a relationship in an environment that has significantly less stress or pressure.

So, there it is. John Bear is back, but he never really left anyway.


The rear view mirror on my car fell off four weeks ago.

I didn’t think much of it, online and dismissed the mirror’s unfortunate demise as a random twist of fate and yet another thing I would have to add to my to-do list.

At first, ambulance it felt uncomfortable, treat not being able to see what was behind me unless I deliberately cranked my neck or used the side mirrors, but after a few days I had completely adapted.

Without my rear view mirror constantly feeding me glimpses of angry drivers or the swirling traffic behind me, I noticed my drives were much more peaceful. Not being one to dismiss symbolism and fate, I wondered how liberating it would be if my own rear view mirror suddenly disappeared, if I could only look forward into the future without the echos of the past to weigh it down.

So, every day, while driving I used the empty square patch of glue as a reminder to think about the future only. It was more challenging than I expected, to force negative past experiences and memories from creeping up on thoughts of the future or even the day ahead.

And then on one of my drives John called me from a gas station in Los Angeles. He had driven the entire way in just five days. He took the trip to clear his head and to find answers.

“I’m trying to forget about us, to move on, but I can’t. And I don’t want to. I want this to work, I want both of you and I want us to work. So, there it is. I’m putting it all on the table.”

This wasn’t new, he had been asking me if we could work on things ever since our split on Christmas Eve, but this time his tone had changed. He had discovered on this trip and over the last three months, that relationships even with all of their stresses, can be beautiful, beautiful things when you have each other and when you have commitment, love and trust.

Fortified in my deep defense mechanism, I had been telling him this entire time, “No, absolutely not,” and on one occassion remember saying, “Hell would have to freeze over before I would even consider it.”

It was bad People, I was absolutely closed off to the possibility and being completely swayed by the opinions of a few friends and relatives. I had no idea what I wanted anymore but I knew that every night, in every quiet moment I found there was an emptiness. I missed him. I missed our friendship. I missed our love. And it was impossible to imagine rebuilding something that unique with someone else.

When you boiled it down, the only flaw in John and I’s relationship was our communication, our ability to work through issues without John reacting by wanting to flee and without me reacting to his urge to flee by shutting all of the doors and then broadcasting our fights to the world (here) and to my friends and family.

John and I have no drug issues, lying issues, cheating issues or even name calling issues. What we have are growth issues or adaptation issues to each other’s environments.

But then there is that fear, “What if he leaves again?”

And my answer to that fear is this – he never really left. I pushed him out and he went, but neither one of us ever really left each other. We were still communicating the entire time and we couldn’t even attempt to date other people.

We needed the break, we needed to both re-center ourselves and recover from this past year of external career related stresses. Those stresses, by the way, are easing up. John has escaped from what was an incredibly intense and stressful work environment and my business is settling down and much more stable than it was over the past year and a half.

“So, what do you think?” John asked. He was parked at a gas station in Los Angeles. I had been uncharacteriscally quiet.

“I think we should go out on a date when you get back.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun. We should talk. I am ready to talk.”

A few weeks later when John and I picked Benjamin up from school, he jumped into his car seat leaned his head back and just started smiling. And then the laughter came, this giddy incredibly awesome laughter.

Then we all started laughing for no reason other than the fact that we were all together again, as if the past three months were already a distant memory, in the past where they belonged. Necessary to reach this moment, but not necessary to live in this moment.

True happiness is only possible when you have felt true sorrow. The trick is letting the sorrow go so you can make way for all of that happiness waiting to take over, to shove it aside.

There are no plans for John to move back in, and the wedding is indefinitely off the table. This way, we feel, we can focus on us and on re-building a relationship in an environment that has significantly less stress or pressure.

So, there it is. John Bear is back, but he never really left anyway.
The rear view mirror on my car fell off four weeks ago.

I didn’t think much of it, viagra and dismissed the mirror’s unfortunate demise as a random twist of fate and yet another thing I would have to add to my to-do list.

At first, information pills it felt uncomfortable, viagra not being able to see what was behind me unless I deliberately cranked my neck or used the side mirrors, but after a few days I had completely adapted.

Without my rear view mirror constantly feeding me glimpses of angry drivers or the swirling traffic behind me, I noticed my drives were much more peaceful. Not being one to dismiss symbolism and fate, I wondered how liberating it would be if my own rear view mirror suddenly disappeared, if I could only look forward into the future without the echos of the past to weigh it down.

So, every day, while driving I used the empty square patch of glue as a reminder to think about the future only. It was more challenging than I expected, to force negative past experiences and memories from creeping up on thoughts of the future or even the day ahead.

And then on one of my drives John called me from a gas station in Los Angeles. He had driven the entire way in just five days. He took the trip to clear his head and to find answers.

“I’m trying to forget about us, to move on, but I can’t. And I don’t want to. I want this to work, I want both of you and I want us to work. So, there it is. I’m putting it all on the table.”

This wasn’t new, he had been asking me if we could work on things ever since our split on Christmas Eve, but this time his tone had changed. He had discovered on this trip and over the last three months, that relationships even with all of their stresses, can be beautiful, beautiful things when you have each other and when you have commitment, love and trust.

Fortified in my deep defense mechanism, I had been telling him this entire time, “No, absolutely not,” and on one occassion remember saying, “Hell would have to freeze over before I would even consider it.”

It was bad People, I was absolutely closed off to the possibility and being completely swayed by the opinions of a few friends and relatives. I had no idea what I wanted anymore but I knew that every night, in every quiet moment I found there was an emptiness. I missed him. I missed our friendship. I missed our love. And it was impossible to imagine rebuilding something that unique with someone else.

When you boiled it down, the only flaw in John and I’s relationship was our communication, our ability to work through issues without John reacting by wanting to flee and without me reacting to his urge to flee by shutting all of the doors and then broadcasting our fights to the world (here) and to my friends and family.

John and I have no drug issues, lying issues, cheating issues or even name calling issues. What we have are growth issues or adaptation issues to each other’s environments.

But then there is that fear, “What if he leaves again?”

And my answer to that fear is this – he never really left. I pushed him out and he went, but neither one of us ever really left each other. We were still communicating the entire time and we couldn’t even attempt to date other people.

We needed the break, we needed to both re-center ourselves and recover from this past year of external career related stresses. Those stresses, by the way, are easing up. John has escaped from what was an incredibly intense and stressful work environment and my business is settling down and much more stable than it was over the past year and a half.

“So, what do you think?” John asked. He was parked at a gas station in Los Angeles. I had been uncharacteriscally quiet.

“I think we should go out on a date when you get back.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I think it would be fun. We should talk. I am ready to talk.”

A few weeks later when John and I picked Benjamin up from school, he jumped into his car seat leaned his head back and just started smiling. And then the laughter came, this giddy incredibly awesome laughter.

Then we all started laughing for no reason other than the fact that we were all together again, as if the past three months were already a distant memory, in the past where they belonged. Necessary to reach this moment, but not necessary to live in this moment.

True happiness is only possible when you have felt true sorrow. The trick is letting the sorrow go so you can make way for all of that happiness waiting to take over, to shove it aside.

There are no plans for John to move back in, and the wedding is indefinitely off the table. This way, we feel, we can focus on us and on re-building a relationship in an environment that has significantly less stress or pressure.

So, there it is. John Bear is back, but he never really left anyway.


We all need reminders that life is precious. If we all had more, advice perhaps our relationships would be different, try our lives and our existence. It’s a bit of a black fortune, story I think, to know what true loss feels like.

The fortune is only that now you truly appreciate life. We all say “life is short” but now you know it is and you live your life differently than you lived it before. There is a stark difference in your life between that before and after and it’s very hard to explain to those who have not lost or experienced such a tragedy.

The black part of my black fortune is a sharp dagger in the pit of my stomach that feels raw again every time Benjamin asks, “Where is my grandpa?” The questions are growing more frequent as he gets older and more curious. I answer as best as I am capable and quietly hope against everything that Benjamin never sees me suffer in the same way.

“Is he in Heaven?”

The Heaven idea had to have come from someone else. They must have responded to Benjamin’s declaration that “My grandpa died of cancer,” with a thoughtful, “Well, he’s in Heaven now, Honey.”

Because I am not religious and don’t pretend to be, I have been telling Benjamin that his grandfather is in the clouds.

“Sure, some people call it Heaven, babe. But it could be another planet, or maybe even a star. We just don’t know. But he is out there somewhere and you know where he always is?”

“Where?” asks Benjamin.

“In your heart. Shut your eyes.” We shut our eyes together and I put my hand on his heart.

“Do you feel him?”

I am trying to feel him as well, I know he is there. More apparently on some days than others.

“No, I don’t.”

“Well, he is there whether you can feel him or not.”

“Can I get a jet pack to go up to see him?”

“No, you can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I’m sorry, Benjamin, but you won’t get to see him while you’re here.”

“But when I die I can see him?”

“Yes.”

“Cool!”

And then he gazes out the window at the clouds overhead and I can see him wishing he could meet this person, this magical grandfather. Benjamin has no grandfather, aside from John Bear’s dad, and even his Uncles all live out of state. It’s just so hard because my father would have been one of those grandfathers that moves mountains for his grandkids.

These conversations almost always happen in the car.

Maybe it’s because every morning we drive by my father’s childhood street. He only grew up a few streets down from ours, something I treasure. Maybe he walked on the sidewalk in front of our house. Maybe he can see us now, here. Happy. But, maybe he can’t. There is no way of knowing and with every year that passes I miss him even more, I miss saying “Dad” out loud, I miss his smell, his long, Dad arms, his inner strength and his smile. But most of all, I want him here for Benjamin.

So, this black fortune.

It does give you awareness and makes life more vivid, but there is nothing you wouldn’t give to have them back. Your only option is to keep living and live on for the one you have lost, as they would have wanted you to.

That’s why Matt Logelin, one of my dearest blogging and real-life friends, is a hero in my eyes. Matt lost his wife Liz just a few hours after she gave birth to their daughter, Maddy. His pain over the loss of Liz and his love for their beautiful daughter Maddy is now on the pages of his new book.

The book, out today is titled Two Kisses for Maddy and it will change your life.

Please, please read the excerpt here. The forward alone will stay with you forever.

And, Matt, you are truly today’s Shakespeare. There is no doubt about that. And a remarkable writer.

Related posts:

  1. A reminder and a secret.
  2. Gloom and Doom
  3. Gone Baby, Gone
  4. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy (!)

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