I gotta tell you. This moving to Whistler thing has turned out to be the best decision I've made in the last nine months.
Really. I'm not kidding. Nor am I being ironic. And considering how much I tossed and turned and agonized and suffered over it, I can't believe how well it's playing out. It's totally positive. Feels just right. I'm like Goldilocks snuggling comfortably into little bear's bed. Snow White stumbling onto the dwarfs' ramshackle house and finding refuge there. I'm home. I'm where I belong. And the responses from my friends only confirm what I already know. The mountains are raising my spirits again.
Now if I can only figure out a way to sustain the move, I can get down to the more arduous task of rebuilding my shattered life from the ashes of April's tragedy...
Don't get me wrong. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. Bad things happens. It's just that I'm realizing just what a wild spiritual roller coaster I've been riding these last few weeks. And just how thick the fog of grief had settled around me recently. Now that I'm slowly getting comfortable with my new digs, that fog is slowly dissipating and I'm beginning to see clearer what the path ahead might look like. It's steep as hell, I can tell ya. But at least there's a discernible path now. Until very recently, all I could see was darkness...
Compromise is an interesting thing. For 30 years, I chose to live in a community that never became home. Vancouver was just too big for me. Too urban. Too busy. And for the kind of semi-domesticated animal that I was, far too rule-bound.
Trouble lurked around every corner. I'm probably one of the only guys in Vancouver to have been hit with multiple speeding tickets - on my road bike! One time in Stanley Park, the cops even called the paddywagon on me because I questioned their priorities in stopping a defenceless cyclist when motorists were flying by at mach speed. Okay, so I could have been more polite. But then, authority and I have never been all that tight.
The police had my number, for sure - at times it felt like the men-in-blue were just waiting for me to leave the house so they could toy with me. As for driving a car in the city, forget about it. I was like a bull let loose in a chicken coop.
But Wendy, dear Wendy, was so important to me that I willingly subjugated my own need to live in the mountains for a chance to share my life with this wonderful person. And for better or worse (mostly better), we made it happen. We brought up two strong and confident children. Worked through mid-life crises (mostly mine). Learned and grew and celebrated our differences with humour and laughter. It's not like we felt like we were better than anybody else. Far from it. It's just that we knew we had somehow stumbled onto our own little formula for marital bliss. And that was good enough for us.