It is 1:30 am. I should be exhausted. I am exhausted, having driven to Columbia, SC and back by myself in the same day. Neither my fibromyalgia nor sciatica were appreciative.
I went to meet a wonderful man I have been chatting with after being contacted by him on Catholic Match. My friends encouraged me not to despair over the Fisherman. One suggested that were she still single, she couldn’t be on any dating site that didn’t ensure she would meet a man of our faith. (Which the Fisherman allegedly also was.)
It all sounded very pragmatic at the time. Good sound advice a sensible person would follow. When I was “chatting” with the Fisherman, it was because I had recognized at Christmas the longing I had to still find a true love hadn’t left me even at my age as I was telling myself. I couldn’t lie to me or God any more. And I know it was in a way his “job” to say such things, but the Fisherman made me believe I might have finally found it.
So, right now I am wiping mascara out of my eyes because I am doing what I generally do when I can’t sleep – watching an old movie on TCM.
This one was “Stella Dallas” with Barbara Stanwyck. It is the story of a girl growing up in a factory town. She marries “up” but cannot make herself over enough to “fit in.” She and her more refined spouse separate and Stella devotes herself to and dotes on her daughter, watching “Lolly” grow into the natural grace shared by her father, love Stella though Lolly does.
As Laurel (Lolly’s more formal name) grows older, Stella realizes she will always be a social embarrassment who keeps her daughter from the life both would wish her to have. In a sacrificial act, Stella goes to great lengths to convince Lolly she has done her motherly duty as far as she cares to and Lolly is now cramping her style.
Lolly goes on to live with her more patrician father and his new wife in enriched and entitled surroundings, eventually marrying the scion of a wealthy family of which he is third of his name.
The last scene shows a rain bedraggled Stella watching through a window as her daughter is wed to the man of her dreams.
Which brings me back to the Fisherman. I wish I weren’t, but I have been thinking of him all evening, looking at the pictures he shared, reading the things he said. Even if they weren’t true, I felt truly loved – for a time at least.
Should my love for him have been more sacrificial, like Stella’s was for Lolly? Even if it meant skipping a mortgage payment only never to hear from him again because he caught the money he was after?
It would have been a stupid thing to do, I know. But love is a stupid, crazy thing some say.
Or as St. Paul put it, something greater even than faith and the hope I thought I had lost.
And it remains…