The Beauty of Doodling
When I was a young girl I used to doodle. The door to my deepest dreams presented itself as loopy letters, hearts instead of the proverbial, and the correct dot above the small “i”. It is pretty obvious what young girls are thinking about by the meaningless fodder that acts as the map into the soul of the youth. As we grow older, the habitual overextended cursive notes would always give us away. I used to write “Mrs. Lee Majors” (the Six Million Dollar Man) all over my notebooks, along with the occasional “Mrs. Michael Landon”. The heart was and always is a fickle organ.
Then, along came my first real boyfriend. My little drawings became more realistic seeing as the last name that would follow “Mrs.” was someone I actually knew. I found this extremely exciting. I was actually starting to live a life, a real adult life! This was what being a grown-up felt like. I have to admit, after a while, I was slightly underwhelmed. But I kept illustrating: that in and of itself should have been my clue that grown women at some point close to adolescence. Drawing one’s feelings in picture form eventually loses favor.
This morning, hours before the sun would awake, I sat where I work and I rendered my thoughts on paper. I did this for the first time in 20+ years. It wasn’t attractive calligraphy, but it was raw and directly from my heart. It read like this: The children of Doctor Walter Hunt are proud to announce the impending nuptials of their father and Linda. They will marry and she will become the new occupant of the large house that my late mom designed specifically for the ending years of their lives. Only thing is, it was supposed to be for my mom and my dad. The feeling is foreign and raw, my throat parched from crying silent sobs. I realized her dream is no longer a possibility.
My brother stopped in for a moment yesterday on his way out of town. I asked if he had heard about Dad and Linda’s engagement and he replied that he had but wasn’t sure what to think about it. My brother isn’t the touchy-feely type, but his pain was easily seen. “Roy, I know you aren’t here much, but he is really lonely. That is a big house for him and that little poodle.” Sure, I walk with him every morning, I sit in church when he is alone and we watch movies on Thursday nights. He laughs and has always been a gracious man, but all the tact and poise in the universe can’t cover the pain that is derived from deep inside his heart.
Last Thanksgiving I was having a really hard time without my mom, so I wrote my dear friend Anna. She asked if I preferred to see him alone on the holidays, or whether Linda’s presence made him happier. As I gave her words their proper weight, I realized she was correct. Getting married at 83 is not the goal for everyone. But for this man in my life, I believe being with her will keep him around for longer than had his life been filled only with morning walks and weekly movie nights.
Today, I sketched into the waking hours of the day. I announced the wedding, and then in my private words, I thanked my mom for reminding me that this would happen - that this NEEDED to happen if we wanted to keep my dad around for any length of time. Maybe, had she shared this with the other four, they would understand that this is good. Our walks will become an additive to his life, not the only moment he has to look forward to. Doesn’t everybody deserve a second chance at love? A first, a third, or even a fifth chance? My friends, if you have a wonderful man or woman that has given you their heart for safe keeping, give yours in return. These moments, as we learn at a very young age, give us the beauty of doodling.
My Dad is getting married. He is happy and so am I. It won’t see my mom in her chair anymore, but it won’t be empty either. That is exactly what she wanted to happen and I am proud to have been the encouragement. He announced the good news to his fellow walkers this morning. He was given a few high-fives, and his smile didn’t stop the entire walk. Congratulations, Dad! I’m so very happy for you! Welcome to the family, Linda! And lastly, thank you Mom for warning me about this and letting me know it was going to be okay. You are my hero!
I hope everybody has a great day! We’ll talk tomorrow, I’ll bring the coffee. -Ruth
#motherhood #engagement #announcement #love #life