You're not acting like a fool. You gave her space, you're talking to her now and she stills seems flaky as to what she wants from you. For the time being, take it slow. If possible, try to solicit from her what is it that she expects from a relationship both short and long term. Saying that she needs space for herself is not very indicative of what she wants. Is she needing the time to figure out if she wants a long term serious relationship, does she want to date but nothing serious, etc.
Try to find out if your goals are congruent with hers. After 8 months of mutually invested time. It would be fair that you ask her to be open with you. Saying things like "need time.." seem like an excuse. Even if she is dating you, she does not have to avoid you for 2 months to figure what she wants or to take care of her needs. That almost implies that you're somehow interfering in her life.
At the moment, follow her lead. If she cancels on you, do not personalize it. Try to remain objective and let her know what you're seeking in a relationship/partner. If you feel compatible with her, let her know, talk about the time you've invested already and be flexible in case you've got to move on. Her becoming an empty nester does not have to mean she wants to remain single.