Well, I can't tell you how many posts I have written this past weekend. Whether they will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. I don't tend to write things for later publication - it is all spur of the moment stuff. And often I go back and read the drafts and wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time. Hmmm.
Something I read this morning triggered a line of thought and consigned another half written post to the drafts folder. It was over at A Widow's Voice and the line was something about grieving for lost innocence.
The words "lost innocence" at first seem rather ludicrous when applied to someone my age, don't they. They conjure up visions of little children dancing through daisies, although I know that is an outrageously simplistic thing to say. But you know what I mean.
Losing innocence also sets you apart. You are different. The cliched words which tripped off your tongue so easily before, now have meanings way too deep and dark for innocents to understand. Innocents of any age. Innocents being people who have never walked in your shoes through your particular minefield.
Once upon a time - well, 4 years ago really, I didn't realise just how innocent I was. And here is an example - I had been with my Dad when he died. But being with your Dad when he dies is NOTHING like being with the man you were married to when HE died. The father of your children. In my innocence, I thought I was prepared for anything. Right. I was an idiot.
Innocence and the losing of it is not to be confused with naivete. Naivete is not knowing or considering the possibility of something and innocence is knowing and considering but not understanding the depth or complexity. (I just made that up. It fits with what I am trying to say. So please don't go quoting Linds to experts.)
The loss of innocence comes when, as a Mum, and being the healer of the world with kisses, you realise that "You will be just fine" is not happening. "It will be ok" is not happening. "It will be better in the morning" is not happening.
Mums make things better. Fix things. And in the life before the loss of innocence, I truly believed I could make things better, fix things and that I was a 21st C version of superwoman. Problems quailed before me. And in my innocence, I believed that if I made enough waves, fought hard enough, I would win.
With the loss of innocence, and the discovery that seriously bad things do happen to us, your perspective changes. Everything now has a risk assessment coupled to it in your mind. Because the unthinkable does happen, and you found that out. Trying to barricade yourself into a fortress to protect yourself or your family is futile. It can also become an obsession. I was completely swamped by the thought that I was the only parent my children had left. And that I needed to be careful. I needed to "take precautions" to make sure I didn't do anything to leave my kids orphans. (And yes, that matters even if they are all grown up.) This can last for a long time before reason prevails and you dare to hope or dream again. Or simply to live.
With the loss of innocence comes a measure of resignation, and this is also not entirely helpful. Why keep trying? Why bother? Is it all pointless?
Ah well. Many times, over the past 4 years, I have said that I am way older and wiser. That wisdom is born of the loss of innocence, and the knowledge (now) that the world does indeed keep turning, and life does indeed march on. No matter how awful things have been.
You, however, are forever changed. You - well, I - look at life through old eyes. Eyes which have survived. I smile at the image of Missy dancing through daisies in my mind, and I CAN smile at the thought - but I treasure the memory of the time when I too danced through the daisies of life, without a care or sorrow in the world.
Back then, before I lost my innocence.