I’m very excited to again this week (after quite an absence on my part) to join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. This week, the word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at katemotaung.com) is “unite“. My timer is set for 5 minutes; ready, set,

I have really missed participating in the 5 Minute Friday weekly writes so I was really looking forward to participating today. Until I saw the word. Unite.

Do I write honestly? From the heart? Or do I fake it and compose a post that doesn’t at all represent what this word brings to mind?

I’m going with the honest, from-the-heart post. Warning: You may want to stop reading right now. This post may contain some (well, maybe more than that) whining, griping, and complaining.

To be united to something, I believe, a person has to have some sort of meaningful connection. Oh how I long to be united — connected in a significant way — to other people who share my interests and with whom I could spend time, go out to eat, talk about writing or books or life.

In fact, my greatest sorrow — what causes me the most pain — is that, other than my connection with my son and daughter, I’m not united with anyone or any group in any real, tangible way.

At work, my colleagues and I are either in the classroom or in our offices (meeting with students, grading papers, or preparing for class) or attending this or that meeting. I occasionally go out for a quick lunch or tea/coffee with one of two ladies I teach with, but other than that — nada. They live in various parts of the city, spread out and busy with their own families and friends, and even when I lived just across the river, my female colleagues and I gathered outside work only one evening every month or two.

I attend church, but because of my current work schedule, I can’t attend a small group. I walk into our large sanctuary every weekend, alone, past families and groups of people I don’t know, groups busy chatting and laughing. I sit alone, I worship alone, I leave alone.

Don’t get me wrong. I have acquaintances. But they’re busy with their jobs, husbands, children, grandchildren. All of the connections I had — the friendships I had — faded away with my own personal “perfect storm” — a move 50 minutes away from “home” just as my youngest began her Junior year in high school (hard to make new friends in a rural area when I was commuting elsewhere to work), 2 job changes in 10 years, connections to parents through our son’s sports activities evaporated when he left for college, my husband’s passing, my move to the city — 2 hours away from home.

I’ve sought connections with other writers. No luck. I’ve attended conferences and met some fantastic ladies —— from North Carolina and South Caroline and . . . well, 1/2-way across the country.

Oh, I’ve made new acquaintances. But every person I’ve met or who I’ve reconnected with is busy . . busy with their already-friends, their husbands and children and grandchildren, their lives.

United? Connected? I’d love to be. I’m not.