It's 11:30pm on Friday night. Joey is in Ruston for his brother's Bachelor Party for the Memorial Day weekend. I have put the dogs up, said goodnight to Joey over the phone, piddled around in the kitchen, watched some TV show called Bathtastic (?) to avoid scary shows like 48 Hrs Mystery, double checked the doors, brushed my teeth, washed my face, flossed, rearranged the shoes in my closet, and finally what I have been putting off...crawled into a king-sized lonely bed. Has our bed always been this huge? I thought of building a Joey out of pillows, but have dismissed it as childish and slightly creepy. I guess it's not so much the void space as it is the one who usually fills it.
What strikes me as remarkable is that I have slept alone for 26 years. You would think it would be almost like back to the basics. In fact, I remember lying in bed at 25 and single, thinking how funny it was that I slept in my queen sized bed all on one side as if someone were sleeping next to me. And I remember the following thought, one that I think most single women have, that I wonder if I will still be sleeping alone in 20 years? And then the inevitable next thought...yup, probably.
It's kind of like how people muse "How did we ever live without cell phones?". Before they existed, you went on long road trips with pay phones being your only link back to home base. Now, you drive 15 minutes away without your cell phone and you feel incredibly vulnerable. It's the same jump from singlehood to marriage. I crawled into bed every single night for 26 years alone and into bed with someone for 7 months. You would think the comfortability factor would weigh heavily on the sleeping alone side. But somehow, the last 7 months have tipped the scales of 26 years. That is a beautiful thing that only God could have created.
I don't mean to get even more sentimental than I already am right now, but it makes me think about those that have lost their spouse. What is it like when the time scales of singleness and marriage tip in the favor of wedded years? And then when that person is gone. Oh man. That hurts. Tonight I found myself setting the coffee maker for tomorrow for 6 cups of coffee as I usually do, not thinking about the fact that I should have been setting it for just mine. I bet it's the little things like that that get you. The stuff that you have taken for granted over time. If it's engrained so much at 7 months, how much more at 50 years?
Marriage just changes the way you live. There's no getting around it. Independence and singlehood are great in their seasons and are there for a purpose. I think some of us are single for longer so as to have a measuring stick with which to compare. My single years were an absolute blessing, although for the majority of the time not seen as such while in the midst of them. I look back and think of them as a gift. God's timing is all over it. To everything there is a season.
So here I am. I think I will try to get some sleep. Still missing the person who filled both the void in my heart and the other side of the bed.