As the Heart Beats

I’ve had my heart broken.

And I mean, BROKEN.

Broken to the point that when people ask if it’s possible to die of a broken heart, my response was “Duh.”  And a sort of bewilderment at how I have managed to live through mine.

In the midst of one heartbreak years ago, I drew a picture of my heart. Riddled with scars and charred black. And yet it still beat. I figured when it finally bled itself to death, I’d be done.

With age, there are few gifts. But one- if you are open to it- is perspective.

And so it is with perspective that I can tell you: The heart heals. As it continues to beat, it heals. The blood pumping through eventually washes away the pain and softens the scars and turns the black back into a healthy pink.

Maybe it’s part lizard so when the tail is snapped off as it flees, it later grows back. Or maybe it’s like a lung, once the smoke is gone, it regenerates into a healthy one, allowing for deep breaths once again. Or maybe it’s like the soil in Costa Rica that can make a fence post grow into a tree.

I have no idea.

But it does heal. For me it usually takes time, therapy ,and good friends telling me the truth. Okay, and telling me that truth over a martini never hurts. And woven in all of that- yes, even the martinis- is my faith.

And as the heart beats, it heals.

And then what?

Well, then my heart seems ready to risk itself again. I have no idea why this happens. I mean, doesn’t the lizard learn? Doesn’t the smoker quit? Doesn’t the fence post eventually give up once it’s been hacked once too many times?

I last got my heart broken when my marriage ended. It was broken by my husband and the loss of what we once had. It was broken over my failure to stay married. Broken by a great story ending so so sadly.  It was broken by Little Sir’s tears.

But on it beat. And instead of bleeding to death, it healed.

I had ankle surgery in 2008. It was to repair a tendon that had severed. As my ankle healed, it was stiff. Sore. Tender. And I was tender with it. Cautious. But then, it loosened up and now I’m ready for tennis, hiking.

Ice skating? Uh, no. Let’s not get too crazy.

THAT is how my heart has been. It healed. It was sore and I’ve been cautious. I tried dating last year and um, no. It was like trying to ice skate. The idea of it made me seize up. And the experience of it? Oh, those poor guys. It wasn’t pretty.

But then.

Well, my heart healed some more and it was ready.

Then I met someone. And he made me laugh. And think. He even made me speechless. He made me blush. He made my eyes sparkle. Handsome, funny, smart. What wasn’t to like?

Or, more precisely, what wasn’t to love? And so, my healthy healed heart fell in love.