Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Can't Go Back

You can't go back.

This is a fairly obvious and logical statement, but its amazing how much we as humans think we can relive experiences and find duplicates of the loves of our lives in an effort to keep the illusion of a high that can only last for a little while.

I found it rather fascinating how much Paul McCartney's second wife, Heather Mills, looked like his first wife and love of his life, Linda. Now I don't follow Paul or the Beatles that much, but it was widely known that Paul and Linda were very much in love and had some kind of fairy tale marriage (if that exists). While I'm sure they had their ups and downs, and Paul was probably understandably hard to live with (being a rock star and a musical genius), their love is the stuff dreams are made of.

Or so I've read.

Paul and Heather's marriage was apparently full of vitriol, and their divorce even more so, with Paul admitting the whole marriage was a mistake from the beginning.  Well, duh, Paul.

Now I don't know if the reason he fell for and married Heather Mills was because she looks like Linda, or if that was just a big happy coincidence for a grieving man who had just lost the love of his life.  After all Linda died in 1998 and he met Heather in 1999.  But either way, sorry, Paul. You can't go back.

Incidentally, the third wife looks nothing like Linda or Heather.  Hopefully he's happy with the third wife. But at any rate, that's not really the point.  Or maybe it is, especially if he is happy with her.

After my three-legged cat died, but before I adopted Percy, I had another cat for about five months. Micky died about six months after I adopted Tess.  That was when I decided to get serious about adopting the black cat I always wanted.  This personal wish has been going on since I was a kid. Actually when I adopted Mindi, my Himalayan, my parents had given me permission to adopt another cat, and I was looking at a little black cat at the animal shelter.  I happened to get sidetracked by Mindi, at first because she was so beautiful, but then mostly because she had one of the best kitty personalities I've ever experienced.

But I digress.  Mindi sidetracked me from my true desire, a black cat.  But I didn't care, because she turned out to be my soul mate.

After Micky it happened again.  I went to the animal shelter to find a black kitty and this time got sidetracked with Mindi's doppleganger.  The cat looked exactly like Mindi, if maybe a bit darker, her fur more silvery.  Same face, same blue-point color scheme.  I was dazzled, so I took her home and named her Angel.  She did kind of resemble an angel, and she was sweet in her own way.

Unfortunately she was completely terrified by dogs and hated Tess on sight.  She had a chronic cough and sneeze, and she spent most of her days in the living room hiding under the couch. While she looked like Mindi, she was nothing like Mindi. Mindi loved dogs (she lived with a German shepherd too), and she was a snuggler who followed me everywhere and liked to sit on laps.  Angel liked to hide, hated dogs, and while she didn't mind me petting her, she wasn't exactly a lap cat. To be honest I adopted Angel because she looked like Mindi.

But you can't go back.

We are naturally drawn to that which reminds us of what we love most.  We watch movies with our favorite actors, buy all the albums of our favorite musicians whether the albums are good or not.  I'll buy anything Bryan Adams records even if the album will never be as good as Waking Up the Neighbors, and I'll watch Clash of the Titans and Avatar for the sole purpose of watching Sam Worthington even though they are probably two of the worst movies ever.

It was a bit of a wake up call for me when I showed a picture of the Drug Dealing Felon to a mutual friend of mine and August's and my friend said, "He looks like (August)!"  I stared at him in horror and asked, "You see it too?"  I thought it was just me and I was being silly, but there was always something about August that I couldn't quite put my finger on. He didn't exactly look like a younger version of the Drug Dealing Felon, but there were mannerisms, certain facial expressions, and the fact that he called me "Cutie" just like the Drug Dealing Felon.

There is, of course, the difference that August is still a nice, decent person who I think fondly of while the Drug Dealing Felon can fall into a volcano for all I care. August still has the desire and inclination to make something of his life (something legal), while the Drug Dealing Felon is a lost cause.

Five months didn't help Angel to get used to the dog or to ever come out from her hiding place in the living room.  I had to keep her litter box and all her bowls down there, and she never ventured upstairs, not once in five months.  Her condition worsened too. I took her to the vet several times and she was finally diagnosed with both kennel cough and feline herpes, two upper respiratory infections that were inhibiting her ability to breathe.  The kennel cough could be treated, the herpes was chronic. One morning she went into such a violent fit of coughing, that she started struggling to breathe.  I got her kitty carrier to rush her to the vet and she died in my arms.  I think her tiny little body just gave out.  She wasn't a big cat, after all, just skin and bones and fur.  Sadly, this reminded me of Mindi as well, as she died of lung cancer of all things.  By the time she passed on, she too was all skin and bones and fur.  Lung cancer made no sense as no one in my family smokes, and I'm pretty sure the house was free of radon or air pollution.

As I said, you can't go back, and you can't recreate the love of your life.  You can appreciate what you had, reflect fondly on memories, never stop loving them, but you have to move on to something new.

After Angel died I got seriously serious about getting my black cat, and this time I took my time to find exactly what I wanted.  I found Percy a few months later, and he checked every box I had except for being male.  I wanted a black, shorthaired, young female cat with green eyes.  Percy had it all, he just happened to be male, and when he jumped in my arms and started purring, I didn't care that he was male. He'd chosen me, and I took him home.

Several years later when I met my second cat soul mate, Puckett, I realized that Mindi is gone forever and she can't ever be replaced.  You can't replace a loved one, you can only bid them farewell with a tear and some dignity and hope there is another love waiting for you.  It won't be what you expect, and it won't look like you thought it would, but it'll be just what you need when you need it.  Puckett doesn't look like Mindi, not even close.  She doesn't have the same  personality. Neither does Percy. California Guy doesn't look or behave like the Drug Dealing Felon (thank God).

That's the thing about love. It doesn't get used up like a bowl of sugar, with only a finite amount to give out. There's enough to go around, but it's our choice not to be stingy with it. We don't have to protect an old love so fiercely that we blind ourselves to a new love.

You can't go back.  But you can go forward, and you may find something just as special, or maybe even better.

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