Life Happens

I’m beginning to get a bit nervous about discussing my impending future because the uncertainty of my life bothers people — bothers them a lot — and I don’t like putting them in such a position. Oddly, the uncertainty doesn’t really bother me all that much. In fact, I am more fearful of settling into my solitariness and stagnating than I am of uncertainty, which keeps me dreaming of impossible adventures.

(In case you’re new here, after the death of my life mate/soul mate, I came to my nonagenarian father’s house to look after him in his declining years, and now that he’s gone, this house will soon be sold, and I will have to start my life from scratch.)

I have suffered so many losses in the past few years that I feel lost myself, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I don’t want to remain the same forever, nor do I want to do the same things I’ve always done. It’s time for me to try on different lives to see what (if anything) will fit. It does feel strange, though, that my options are both limitless and limited (limitless because a world of possibilities awaits me, limited because of a lack of resources). Such extremes add to the uncertainty. How do you choose a path when thousands are open? How do you deal with the requirements of modern life when resources are few? And most especially, how do you sort through all the things you don’t want to do to find the things you do want to do?

I have no idea how to begin a life from scratch, but as one lovely woman told me today, “You do it one step at a time.” And she should know — although she’s still fairly young, she had a stroke one night and woke up blind. Talk about having to start from scratch! I’m lucky. I don’t have to start from so far down. I can start from where I am right now, with all my baggage, both welcome and unwelcome.

But even she has cautioned me to make immediate plans. To make a decision — today.

The truth is, life happens. It’s as simple as that. You take one step, then another, and all of a sudden you are somewhere you never imagined. I had no intention of ever looking after my father, no thought of taking dance classes, no dreams of dancing on stage, and yet, those things have all happened, one unwitting step at a time.

The first step toward my new life is now in progress. I’m sorting through all my possessions, weeding out the superfluous and packing the rest. I’m also sorting through my immaterial possessions, such as responsibilities I have undertaken and friendships that no longer bring joy, to see what if anything is worth taking with me into my new life and what needs to be discarded. My next step will be to wait to see what happens with my father’s house. It might take a while to sell, and if so, maybe the executors will allow me to stay here until it does. Either way — staying here a or leaving shortly — my third step would be to find a storage place and move all my stuff there. And then . . .

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Seems a good enough plan for now. So don’t worry. I won’t starve. Won’t be on the streets. I’ll just be . . . wherever life has taken me.


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.

7 Responses to “Life Happens”

  1. sumalama Says:

    That lady told you the truth, Pat, one step at a time. I have started over many times and that’s how I’ve always done it. And I’ve done it alone, with small children. I am not worried about you, now that you have the dance to feed your being.

    The kids and I lived homeless in another country for 6 months, many years ago when they were 5, 4, and a newborn. It wasn’t easy. But we survived. And are the better for it. And now this new journey of mine, with cancer, has my friends worried/bothered for me like your friends are for you.

    Let them worry, let them be bothered. It’s their choice. Me? I am truly excited for you and can hardly wait to see what your blog shares about the new life you will form!

    Best of luck and have fun!

    Hugs, Millie

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      How very kind you are! When I was going through the worst of my grief, people kept wishing they could take my sorrow from me, but I needed it — grief brought me to where I am in my life. And I need this adventure coming adventure just as much.

      Wishing you the best of luck, too, Millie. Hugs.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I’m sure you’ll figure it out in time, Pat. That’s just the sort of person you are.

  3. Rosie Gibson Says:

    your acumen with words seem to be a path to a book! I’ve been where you are, so I can somewhat understand. It took me 3 months after a nasty divorce to find what I loved at that time…massage therapy, helping others ease their pain.

    Now, after two years, since my soul mate was killed on the job and 17 years of marriage, once again forging ahead to the completion of my goal and dream as pro-bodybuilder. With the encouragement from the love of my life I started bodybuilding at 68 …. now 72 look forward to a national competition and pro-card in July 2015. Besides that, 6 months ago I moved back to Maui where my husband and I lived 11 years. I have a daughter and grandson here as well. There have been many challenges, one’s that I had to complete on my own … it was scary, not have my soul mate to rely I had to rely on the Lord Jesus.

    I wish you much courage as you start your new life…you are strong, you will do great…

    Aloha, Rosie G

  4. Constance Koch Says:

    Life happens! Sometimes I cannot take what I have been given and really get stressed. I do keep trying to hang in there and take care of things. Right now, I am not having a good time. Sorry, if I upset you.

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