I was thinking of things to be grateful about this Thanksgiving: our future is uncertain, and this is true for many of us. Last night, I dreamt that I took our dog out for a walk and the leash kept going on and on and he didn’t stop…he kept running and running as I stood there helplessly at the door watching him. The same is true of our future: Michael has several doctor appointments in December which should tell us if he is improving or not. My vacation time off is now from my day job…we bake together and then most days, we split the day. My day job has worked with me to give me a class online and a very workable schedule next semester for which I am very grateful. Sometimes I want to stay with my husband all day at the store to watch over him but in the end, we need our space. We are still individuals and need our time away from each other.
I have been reading a blog about an American woman who lived in Saudi Arabia for many years. It is interesting. Before I met my husband, I came to Tampa alone and not knowing a soul. It was challenging. During the first year, I met a charming Egyptian man who swept me off my feet…literally, he was a fantastic dancer and we would tango, salsa, etc. As he had spent many years living in Germany working in the field of gemology, and fully adapting to the German culture, he could also cook. He made marvelous German dishes. But there was also a very secretive side to him and it was somewhat disconcerting to me. I was in graduate school getting my Masters in linguistics living in a somewhat not too good area. He lived nearby. One night, it was July 4th; I invited him to dinner and made a very special dinner. He stood me up. I had met Michael, who was living in the apartment complex, after separating from his wife. I liked him. We had spent much time talking over a moving globe in his apartment while he pointed out all the places he had been with the United States Military and I showed him all the countries I had lived and worked in. He was available and came over for dinner. He liked my cooking and he smiled at my meagerly appointed apartment. I believe that I had three pieces of furniture which were a couch, a kitchen table, and a light. Most importantly, he wasn’t secretive and shared with me stories of his past.
My relationship with the Egyptian man waned. Perhaps he noticed my newfound boyfriend or maybe he didn’t like that I wasn’t ready to move back to Egypt one day with him. It turned out that Michael and I had more in common, and so he moved on. Eventually, he just disappeared one day with his new girlfriend from the complex. It was a rocky beginning for me in Tampa but we are both still here. Like the dog on the leash; sometimes we just have to let go and trust there is a plan. Happy Thanksgiving.

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