Extended Warranty

There is not any sort of warranty of the heart, of love. I know of a woman who after three bad failed marriages, finally found her dear one and moved into his stunning beach house, and was so excited for her last chapters of life to be finally filled with laughter and travel and cooking together with this man who swept her off her feet only to, less than two years later, find out that her fatigue was not just mid-life tiredness, but ovarian cancer and within a year she was not of this earth. I know of a young woman who married her dear one and had their baby nine months later and before that baby was one year old that husband died, right next to her, in his sleep, leaving the baby fatherless and her dreams broken. I know of a woman who married her dear one who she had loved from high school and they worked so hard to pay for their wedding, then build their dream house, and before they had lived in it a year, she decided she didn’t love the house or him really at all. I know of a woman who had been picking out engagement rings with her dear one the day before she got a phone call informing her that she was dating someone else’s boyfriend and did she know he had another whole life on the side, and was expecting a baby?? Despite their hopes and intentions, there was no guarantee that anything any of these women planned for was going to go as planned. We all get these spam phone calls day after day, that our car’s extended warranty is about to expire and we will suffer the expense of unknown and unexpected repair costs…but what about the warranty on love, on people, on relationships, on our hearts…is there any way to help defray the cost, or the suffering, from those repairs???

I poured my heart out last summer when I was going through an upsetting situation and experience with the man I loved. I was confused and sad and completely blindsided by some things that happened with him, and to us, and I kept thinking to myself, “I didn’t sign up for this” but, I did, in a way, didn’t I?? WE have no warranty in relationships. We jump or slowly fall into them, but it’s with these wide open hearts and big dreams and giddy tickles in our spines…We dive into a pool that has no sign warning us if it’s deep enough to jump, or should we just slowly step in, one toe at a time…We simply have no way to know what might happen, what will happen, what could happen, what might work, what could go wrong…NOTHING IS CERTAIN and there is nothing we can do about it.

We get into our vehicles every day, planning to go to work or the grocery store, and that day could be THE day, and there is nothing we can do about it…we can plan our days & our futures, but all we can honestly do is live for today, each day, right here and right now. NOTHING WE TRY TO DO, no scheduled maintenance, no best intentions, no hard work, no precise planning, can stop what is going to happen that is beyond our control. Period.

I had planned on a way to solve my problem this summer and nothing, at all, went the way I planned. So I had to roll with it, rather than fighting what was out of my control. Guess what?? That’s all any of us can do every day…there is ultimately nothing that we control, despite our best intentions. I asked people for help last summer, people I thought I could trust and on whom I should have been able to depend, and they looked the other way, so I just plowed ahead with what needed to be done. This scenario of last summer can be replayed over and over in my head, but to what point?? Things went wrong and I did my best to handle them, and no matter how much I might wish otherwise, what is done is done. My last summer is not much different than those women’s ovaries, husband, house, or boyfriend…meaning, they all had plans, and those plans didn’t work out, period. We only can respond the best way we know how, to what happens in, and to, our lives, because otherwise, we beat ourselves up to death with wishing for what could have been different or should have been different, but it’s pointless… because what happened did, and is now over…all that can be controlled is how we respond to these repairs that have no warranty…

We might do proper scheduled maintenance on our trucks but end up smashed into a telephone pole…because things happen, no matter the efforts we take. It sounds so elementary to compare a truck to life, but…you might tend with so much care to your marriage, or to your house, but an unexpected cancer diagnosis or a faulty circuit breaker box can take away your spouse and your house, no matter how faithfully your performed the maintenance. BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN to our trucks, our houses, and our relationships, despite our efforts to care for them. That’s it. There is no warranty that any of our plans will go as planned. There is nothing that we can do about anything except to try to live within the understanding that we want to be good people, and happy, and functioning members of a civil society, but that’s it…all we can do is the work to be the best versions of ourselves that we wish to be. My dad has always said it best, tomorrow you could be run over by a pie wagon. Period.

Giving thanks where thanks is due can be every day of the year, not just on a Thursday in November with turkey and pies. Despite all of your efforts to work hard, pay your bills on time, get yearly physicals, not participate in habits that damage your health, this year could still be your year to go from this earth…you don’t know and nobody else knows either…there is no extended warranty for us. None of us gets a phone call telling us that we can have another five years for this low today only price…you could answer your phone or look down at a text in your car today and those would be your last five seconds on this earth…things happen…you don’t know and can’t plan for it. All we can do is try to do what feels right to our spirit and hope for the best. Literally, nothing else can be done. This week of Thanksgiving, do that dear readers. GIVE THANKS. If anything in your plan, has gone as planned, give thanks. If you have a dear one and things are nice & lovely, give thanks. If you have a safe home and food on your table and in the cupboard, give thanks. If you have good health in your body and good relationships in your circle, give thanks. There is no extended warranty, find thanks for whatever is…now…

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