Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

When You Don’t Feel Whole

on August 22, 2014

Book & Colorado 065This is Buddee. Buddee has three legs. He used to have 3½ but the half had to be removed for health reasons. He has limped his whole life. That’s all he’s ever known. He hops around the house, including up and down the stairs. He knows when the human who feeds him, Andrea, is finally home and meets her at the door with a “feed me” cry.

As far as I can tell, without actually asking him, he’s happy and content as a three-legged cat having never experienced what life might be like with four limbs.

My faceMy name is Sharyn. I have always been single. In fact, I’ve never been in love. I thought I was once but I was wrong. Being unmarried is the only life I’ve known. As a result, I kill spiders, move—and even assemble—furniture, and open all my own doors.

Yet for years I struggled with the whole happy and content aspect of my life. Because, unlike Buddee, I can imagine sharing my home with someone. I can imagine a lot of things. Some days, I have to make a physical effort not to imagine all the “could bes” of marriage.

I do feel like something is missing. Sometimes that feeling is so strong it wakes me up in the middle of the night to search for … whatever it is. I’ve moved my nightstand and my bed, looking. There have been a few times I took pictures off the wall. And some nights, it’s so upsetting, I wake up to find myself standing in the middle of the room, desperately trying to remember what it is I can’t find.

Unlike an amputation, though, it’s not something I once had but lost. Like I said, I’ve always lived a single life. So how can you miss what you’ve never had?

They say amputees sometimes feel like the missing limb is still there. Phantom sensations, I’ve heard it called. That might be the best way to describe what I feel—phantom sensations of something out of reach physically but close enough emotionally to tease my heart and jolt me awake.

Though I realize a lot of that longing comes from my desire to know God better and the separation a world of sin has put between us, there’s also the phantom of him, the someone I haven’t met but can still imagine I someday will.

My name is Sharyn. I have always been single.

But that’s not the end of my story.

What about you? What’s the phantom sensation in your life?

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2 responses to “When You Don’t Feel Whole

  1. Carole Brown says:

    Such a poignant, lovely post. Yes, we all have those phantom sensations, only in different ways. Good post.

  2. sharynkopf says:

    I just noticed I hadn’t responded yet so — thank you, Carole!

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