i’m on the brute squad.

One of my favorite stories, in both book and video form, is The Princess Bride.  In the classic tale of high adventure, for those who haven’t read or seen it, Buttercup gets the shattering news that her one true love, Westley, has died.

She mourns, but eventually puts on her practical face and sits down to breakfast and the shadows of a normal life again.  In the book, the okay-ness makes her parents uneasy and they ask, “Are you… okay… now?”  And she says, “Yes. But I will never love again.”

She does, of course, but she’s lucky enough to be able to love the same man.


I don’t say of course to mock her pain.  I say of course because in the fight between the Pits of Despair and True Love, I’ll always put my money on true love.

In literature, yes– but also in life.   We are humans.  We are love.  Despair is just something we pass through.

Buttercup’s fatalistic, childlike mind is the reason I never really identified with her.  When I enter the story, I am not the farmgirl who could be princess who might be queen…

No, I’m the stumbling but strong giant.


He’s childlike, too–but piercingly realistic, fiercely determined, and always hopeful.  He craves the companionship of those he loves.

Which is why, when I am asked if I think I will ever love again, I am surprised. Isn’t it obvious?

I’m not wearing a coronet.  I’m basically a dinosaur.
I’m on the brute squad.

Of course I will.


I don’t say of course to mock my pain.  I don’t say of course to undermine the truly wonderful relationship Dave and I forged together.  I say of course because I am a creature of love.

Despair is just something I have to pass through every once in awhile.  My journey is a classic tale of true love and high adventure, and that sort of story almost always guarantees a few fiery hells.

And, much like fiery hells, true love takes many forms.  I personally believe in many types.  I believe people encounter multiple true loves in the same lifetime.  I believe people can harvest multiple types of true love with the same person.

I believe in my capacity for loving, endlessly, more than I believe in anything else about myself.

Which is why, when my claim that I will love again folds into the next question– am I ready?

— I hesitate.

I don’t know how to answer in a way that doesn’t sound heartless. Dave would understand. If he were here, he’d say it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, because letting someone else dictate how or who or when you love is an insult to your soul.  And we dismiss insults to our soul, no matter how weird that makes us look to the neighbors.


But Dave is gone and I’ve been walking these pits of despair by myself, trying to navigate where he once led, trying to see the path he could always see.

I was lucky enough to love one man in many different ways, but that also meant I had to grieve the loss of each type, each loss its own fiery hell. The simplest way I can phrase it is:

I am ready for some types of love again.

There is one space where I am still very much grieving.  You can hear it in the cracks of my voice, and the stories about my husband that go on for just a few sentences more than are needed.  In visual form, it is this:


The loss of this still breaks my heart.  Some days, it crumbles me, and looking at this image makes my stomach hurt a little bit because it captures it all so well.  I don’t know if other people see what I see here, because I know it’s not a common type of love.  The mismatched friendship, the earned trust, the dedication to the same ideals despite opposing motivations.  For people who were so very different– for people who were, for 438 days, so very far apart– there was never any space between us.

Because, bump.  Or as we might have said it: thud.

But love is many things, and love is many forms, and my marriage was made up of pieces that I miss in my life already.  Pieces I am confident I could create with someone else, in a different but still wonderful way.

For instance, I am ready to be welcome in someone’s family, just because that person loves me.  I’m ready to meet strange and wonderful people who might consider me their cousin forever, and I am ready to share my crazy troll family with others.


And I am ready for cozy moments, where I am dazzled by someone, or where I have the opportunity to see if I can still dazzle someone.


And I’m ready for romantic, picturesque moments, because even though I’ve always been more giant than farmgirl– I am still a princess.  All girls are.  Even dinogirls.


And I am ready for playful chitchat when the moon is out, because I have a playful heart, and I love when the brightest stars can be found in someone’s eyes.


And I’m ready for hand-holding and hugs and kisses because I believe in expression through touch as much as I believe in expression through writing.


And because I know I am loved here, and love can create worries, I will add that I am not looking for any of this.

I am not searching.  I am not indiscriminate or desperate or thoughtless.  I am neither naive to the world nor oblivious to the nature of hearts.


I am just a slow-moving creature of hope.  I am sportsmanlike and strong– even when crippled with fear, even when climbing insane and terrifying challenges.

I am someone who knows love, no matter what mask it wears or if it dies.  I have griefs and fears, and pain so incredible that crying is impossible– of course — but that’s the cost of high adventure and true love.

I lost my navigator, but I try to see with his eyes, and follow the path he’d have forged for me– and I know it’s one toward the possibility of more love.

I trust the bumps, I follow the thud, and I know.

I am strong enough to love again, so I will.  Of course I will.


I’m on the brute squad.


NanoPoblano, NaBloPoMo


So this post was probably never going to be posted because of the many thousands of ways the replies could go wrong– but I’ve been staring at a blank screen for two hours.  I don’t want to be writing, I want to be reading.  I’m going to go do that, but I want to say thank you first.

Thank you.

53 thoughts on “i’m on the brute squad.

    1. My friends are one thing I always remember… which really makes it difficult to get a good sad going, 😉 because you all are basically miracles. Have you seen all the happy on the internet lately?! It’s amazing, my dear bear, it’s amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh sweet Ra. Of course you will love again. It’s your nature to love, to have someone in your life to connect with on an intimate and personal level. Dave knew that. He’d no more deny you that than he’d deny you the moon. I don’t think anyone would deny you the freedom to love again, just because you have loved once already.

    All in good time, when you are ready, that’s all.

    I wish we could have you over for dinner! *hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One day, chica, and I just might take you up on that dinner offer. It’s funny because I’ve never liked traveling, but ever since I was told I couldn’t leave a 50 mile radius… that I couldn’t leave this county… well, now I want to go everywhere. So, when I can, I will.. and then maybe there’ll still be a place at your table for me? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never watched the Princess Bride even though I’ve been in the house when my kids watched it a bazillion years ago. I guess I should sit and watch it. This is the fourth or fifth reference to this movie that I’ve come across this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You will love again because that’s perfectly, wonderfully natural. It won’t be the same or better than your love with Dave, it will just be different and that’s OK. He will always live in your heart.

    There is no ‘too soon’ – don’t worry about what other people think – when it feels right, it’s right. It will be piecemeal: finding and opening up to different kinds of love a little at a time, and that’s OK too. You deserve love and make the world a better place by sharing your love❤️

    And snap, I forgot about international label day. Looking forward to seeing the Magnificent Seven😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dan. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to. To enjoy love as I find it rather than worry about the shoulds. Love makes the world a better place. All types. All day. Everyday.

      And if you want, you still have time to be the magnificent 8th. 😀 ❤


  4. Sparkly One, you are right – you are a creature of love. You are geared for love and of *course* you will love again. You love NOW! You love in a multitude of ways, each within its context, and will continue to gather new ways and new contexts as time goes by. I hope no-one would try to deny you that. I rather think that anyone who knows you will be perfectly understanding and hopefully supportive.

    I’ve never read the Princess Bride. I’ve heard so many times that it’s good, but just haven’t managed it. I think I have a copy on my computer somewhere to try and read (we had this conversation once before, I think) but I’ve somehow never gotten around to it.

    And love. Love is wonderful…and very tricksy. I’ve found that the highest form of love might be that which I share with a best friend – my Person – and from that secure base of acknowledgement, affirmation, and acceptance, the more complicated loves are more easily dipped into. Doesn’t stop it being complicated though.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is so well said, and in reference to yes one of the greatest stories. I have not gone through what you’ve gone through but I have had to grieve over the death of a marriage. I have also felt like I might possibly be ready for love again. And like you said, Some kinds of love. You conveyed what I have been feeling too but with much more clarity and eloquence! I love your truth, Rara.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Dave you carry with you still is right. You are right. Of course you will love again, not searching for it but while telling stories about the stars with someone and–thusly distracted–falling right into its fumbling loveliness.

    Also, it occurs to me D still hasn’t seen The Princess Bride, and that he’d love it. I propose we make it a movie night in the very near future. Pretty please?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. RaRa,

    My name is Iago Montoya…you killed my father…prepare to die. Is the sort of line you could come up with for whatever hesitations / barriers happen in your love life. I can see some brute in you, but there’s some swashbuckler too.


    Liked by 2 people

  8. You made me cry again but it’s alright. I still love you. I still love you because *bump* *thud* *nod* I understand. Even if in the littlest way.
    I apologize that my schedule has been a little hectic & I couldn’t help or participate more. November is usually a bad month for me.
    *huge hugs*

    I love ya girl. I’ll be back around more often soon. We’ll have fun & create amazing things. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Blown away. Every time. Love emanates from you like an electrical force, love will always be part of your life, and OF COURSE you will fall in love again. Of course. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  10. As you already know, the greatest loves come to us when we ‘aren’t searching’ for them. I know you will find another great love, not to replace your first great love, but to compliment him. I think you know what I mean.

    I sent you an email for label day yesterday, I do hope you got it. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So many comments here (Vanessence, Jackie, A, Daydreams, LR, Dan) that echo my own thoughts I couldn’t possibly put it any better than they have. But just wanted to say “Thud” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Brute Squad is the way to go.

    I thought of something while reading this post… Robin Wright, who debuted as an actress in Princess Bride, was playing a role in a movie that I doubt she realized would impact so many. In her job, she must remove herself and become this role… And then the project ends and she moves on to the next. And the next. She was so young and fresh and beautiful in The Princess Bride. Well, I can’t say much on the net due to NDA, but when I was recently standing next to her and watching as she juggled two very different jobs and shifted between Robin and The Role Du Jour, I started thinking about how we do this ourselves through out our lives. Maybe not in quite the same way as an actress, but as we move through life, coming and going from activities and jobs and homes, we change and yet we also stay so much the same. In The Princess Bride, thinking her beloved was gone, she entered a new world as the title suggests. But she still loved her Wesley. Seeing her now, a thirty odd year older Robin, just as beautiful and amazing… She’s changed and yet she hasn’t.

    Life is weird. We move at our own pace. Sometimes we climb the cliffs of insanity. But we make our way, trying to adjust to the changes in our lives we have no control over.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have never doubted that you would love again. You’re young, beautiful, very smart, open, honest, and most important of all, loving and loveable. How could you possible help it?
    much love


  14. Sorry I opted out of Label Day. You know I’m not very good at putting my face out there into the webiverse. Also, the only word that made sense to me was Wally, which wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.

    As to this post. The amazing thing about love is, it’s infinite. Loving someone does not remove love from anyone else, in this life, or the next. You’ll always love, Ra and you’ll always be loved. xx


  15. Mourning and grief are levels of love. You will find someone to share your heart with again. You never stopped loving and you never will. Thank you for showing me so much about you and allowing me to share your journey. You have touched my heart and soul so deeply. You are loved. You are so loved.


  16. You are amazing and so brave. A year ago I thought I was going to be in the shoes you wear today. The Drs had found a mass on my husband’s pancreas. I’ve been thru a lot but I don’t remember ever feeling that scared. Thankfully it was not cancer and while he is still healing, he is here. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your love and memories of him. Sending you cyber hugs!


  17. You are a creature of love. You radiate love in the way you deal with others. I reckon Dave would have said he was following your path just as much as you say you are trying to see where he would have you go.

    There’s a saying: those who give love, gather love. You don’t need to love “again”, because you’re still loving. Love finds the lovely. Love is stronger than anything, including death. And love will win all the wars. (Dumbledore so had it right – it was the one thing Voldemort couldn’t stand and it’s the one thing that all these extremists cannot stand, because all they’ve been taught is hate.)



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