A Short, Slightly Sweet and Sad Chapter in My Life; Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed

The newest man in my life first made his appearance in your life on May 20th, 2018. Talk of him has continued with his original nickname of BIM which was changed to New Guy. It was the steamiest and most intense long distance romance I have ever encountered – anyone has ever encountered. It progressed to a rather indirect marriage proposal in the blog of June 1, 2018. Of course, there was not only the blog posts, there was a lot going on behind the scenes. It was all very jolly and fun but there were severe obstacles on the serene path to happiness. The obstacles are his two children, aged 9 and 10. He is a wonderful father, he has custody as the mother was killed in a car accident. The daughter very ill with a genetic heart defect. Of course, if we were to have a future it would be necessary to live in Belgium.

We worked on a carefully considered plan. He would come to Vancouver where we would have a month of “alone” time and then proceed from there. It seemed rather sensible but my increasing anxiety was a sign – reality was raising its ugly head. The reality is that I am 75 years old, had purposively not had children and now would have two. I thought long and hard, he encouraged me and I began to believe that I could do it. But I had a crisis of confidence and realized that I could not – such a move, taking on the yoke of motherhood would ruin the relationship and possibly me. At first we considered his coming to Vancouver but the more I thought about it – the more anxious I became. What would be the point of our becoming attached to one another when there was no future in it? His children needed him and he needed a wife to help raise them. My flexibility and frequent flier miles would mean that frequent trips to Belgium and other vacation spots would be possible for the two of us – but that would not be fair for the children who had already lost one mother. So I said NO and no more. He is crestfallen and the pain and despair he is suffering is immeasurable. I feel dreadful – Alexis the rejector. But it would be worse if everything proceeded and in the end there would be greater pain suffered by everyone.

And then what would happen to my writing if I were in Belgium raising two kids. I worked my whole life for this moment – to be able to create, to write, to explore. That is not compatible with that life style in Belgium. New Guy won me over with his: “I am in love with your writing” or words to that effect. He wondrously encouraged my writing and said the sweetest thing about my blogging – but writing demands solitude and peace. Emily Carr gave up men her whole life to follow her creativity, both art and writing. I must take a similar path.

Yesterday was a good, if not a great day. It was to Burnaby where Tracey hosted a birthday lunch for me at Lotus Seed, a vegetarian (of all things) restaurant. The food was superb and Katherine, our waitress, a 19 year old Vietnamese girl, recently in Vancouver and alone will be in my life. I will write of that day longer and later.

But today is a day of mourning. I am so sad and although I was being brave I broke down and cried on more than one occasion yesterday. If I am home alone I can cry as much as I feel like. I will not have to stop. The only way to get over a loss is to allow oneself to feel the pain – not to wallow in it – but to feel it. That was the advice I gave New Guy. We have continued to be in contact, but I am not sure that this is something he can continue to do. And he does need to get on with this life – for his children’s sake.

There are those that will say that mine is a selfish act, but it is not, it is unselfish. A recent book, Meghan Daum’s Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed should be required reading for all that are considering having children. The book’s hypothesis is that having children is the selfish act. I shall write more about the issue in subsequent blogs. But right now I need to be sad.

The photo attached to this blog is Tracey and I at the Lotus Seed. There are Instagram videos of me in Burnaby made to make others cheerful. There is no indication that New Guy watched them, although that is what first attracted him – my funny videos

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