In Between

I’m sitting here at the computer, playing endless games of solitaire, and dozing off. I didn’t even know it was possible to fall asleep at the computer, but I have a hunch I could fall asleep anywhere right now. The long days of caring for my father must have been more stressful and exhausting than I thought. Or maybe it’s that for the first time in more than a decade I don’t have to listen for calls of distress from the old and/or dying. There is only me in this borrowed house (borrowed from my father’s napestate pending probate and sale). There are no life or death matters to take care of, nothing major for me to accomplish (though I have a few minor obligations and things I promised to do).

During these years of caring for my father, I often blogged about my plans and possibilities for after he was gone, but at the moment, I have no desire to do anything but just float through my days, dealing with whatever comes my way. And to dance, of course.

Someday soon I’ll have to pack and put my stuff in storage in preparation for . . . I don’t know what. But now, there is no reason to do anything unless I feel like it.

I’ve always loved these in-between times. I remember as a child only being happy walking to or from school. It was a joy to leave the house in the morning, and a joy to leave school in the afternoon. But being either place didn’t particularly thrill me.

Some of the best times Jeff (my now deceased life mate/soul mate) and I had were when we packed up all our stuff, moved out of whatever house or apartment we were living, and headed across country to find a new place to live with no clear idea of where we were going. Leaving gave us such a wonderful sense of freedom that was all too soon offset by the need to find a place to live. I remember a truck stop in Utah, a motel in Iowa next to a rain puddle as big as a pond, a traveler’s oasis in Nebraska. All prosaic places that brought us a night of happiness.

And now here I am, in transition once more.

I understand now why I don’t want to settle down anywhere, why no place (except the dance studio) brings any thought of joy — being settled seems to be a sort of entrapment for me, and I am through being trapped. I suppose it’s silly to think this way — we are trapped in so many different ways — trapped in our minds, our ever-aging bodies, our society, our laws — that the secret must be to find freedom and wonderful possibilities within the entrapment.

But tonight is not a time to think of such things. It’s a time to bask in the quiet freedom, to know that these walls don’t bind my life, to feel the flutter of possibilities. And, apparently, a time to fall asleep at the computer.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.


5 Responses to “In Between”

  1. Deborah Owen Says:

    Bask in a hot tub of water with lit candles all around you. Lay your head back and feel no guilt when you say, “Free, at last.”

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I have heard it said that life is a path, and in your case Pat it takes on a more literal meaning. Wherever the path leads you, I hope it leads you to somewhere you can be happy.

  3. Kathy Says:

    Oh, yes, Pat! I, too, loved those in-between times. Once we started getting corporate relocations, I got hooked on moving to a new place. So much so, with no new place we really wanted to experience, we started returning to previous places – that excitement doesn’t last long. Here we are back in our home, which I love, yet I still long to discover another new place.

    Take advantage of this time to rest and renew – any type of big deal like you’ve been through will need some recovery time after.

  4. Constance Koch Says:

    Dear Pat, Yes, the stress and exhaustion that you carried for so long was more than you realized at the time it was happening. Now, there is a quiet and peace within you that you did not realize exists. It seems to be like a calming period for our mind and body. Yet, there is still a restlessness within us. I hope that you stay with our dance group for awhile. We enjoy being with you. Funny, about the walking to school and home. I enjoyed walking by myself too. I had a mile to walk after I got off of the bus. I wish that we could have some time to talk. Our lives have had a similar pattern. I feel again things in my life through your blogs, letters etc.

  5. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Perhaps a really long book and your favorite beverage. Glad you have time to relax, phone-call and worry free.

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