Friday, June 29, 2012

Finding Forty: Unraveling

Yesterday A and I met to talk about the details of our divorce.   Despite hurt feelings and anger that boils to the surface every so often, we can sit across from one another at the kitchen table for two hours and discuss the logistics related to the unraveling of our more than two decades together.

When the doorbell rang, I opened the door to find him standing there in flat front khakis and a blue, plaid button up shirt that matched his eyes perfectly.   My heart skipped a beat.  Before me stood the boy of 18 I'd fallen in love with so many lifetimes ago.

I offered him some ice water and we sat down to get to the business at hand.  The more we can agree on together, the less money we will spend having the attorney prepare the legal documents.   Talking through everything is mostly easy enough, but I think it's because it seems so abstract, so completely foreign to me.

We can agree on how we want to divide our time with the boys,  right down to divvying up holidays and weekly switch offs from one house to the other.   Our assets, while a bit more complicated, are also fairly cut and dry.   They are just numbers on paper that add up to this and that which will be sorted through the years as situations change.   Easy enough, in most regards, to follow.

What's not on any divorce decree is how to fight the loneliness you feel as you make a frozen dinner for yourself on a night that you don't have the kids or the helplessness you feel as the washing machine overflows from the laundry room into the kitchen.   No where in the decree is there a place to list your sins and the remorse you feel for them or pledge that you will always be friends once the divorce is finalized.

Will the judge want to know who gave up first (me) or who tried harder to make things work (him)?   How can over twenty years of weaving a life, a family together be dismantled and then sorted again by one single legal document?

In my heart, I know this is for the best.  But that thought gives little comfort when you look into the hurt eyes of someone you promised to love and cherish forever.

The ice in our cups melted as we talked through the details.   When he got up to leave, I walked him out the door.  Standing in the street as the sun was setting behind him, I apologized again and told him that while I knew this was for the best,  there would always be a small part of me that regretted how I'd let things get out of control.   As tears silently streamed down my face, I told him that I couldn't imagine him not being in my life in some way, as the father of our children but also as a friend.

He smiled and replied, "The funny thing is, you just never know how life will turn out."

Friends believe things like that...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Finding Forty: Beginning Again

Last September I wrote about my attention span.   And almost as if to prove a point,  I stepped away and turned my mind elsewhere.

I wish I could say that my comings, goings, ins and outs were all wonderful and that I've been so happy that I haven't had time to be here.   Some of it has, but the rest of it has been what most would call pretty crappy.

So much lies between then and now, I scarcely know where to begin.

I can say with 100% certainty that S is completely out of my life and my mind.   I suppose somewhere, in a dusty little corner of my heart, thoughts of him are lying, dormant and discarded.   I don't think I want to forget him forever.  I need to remember everything I lived through with him, because of him,  and after him to know that who and where I am today is a gift.  I never dreamed there would come a day when I could look back on that time in my life and feel thankful.   But, today, I do.

A is also more and more out of my life.   He filed for divorce in May and everything should be settled in less than a month's time.   For years I've struggled with our relationship, what to do, how to do it, wondering if I was making the right choice, fearing a regret unlike any I've ever known.  And now I sit on the brink of the end of our marriage and still hold the slightest bit of fear.  I also feel a blanket of sadness that covers me like a thin veil.  

We share our children and the memories of what we once were, the hopes for what we thought we could become and the realization that life holds unexpected twists and turns along the way.   He will forever be a part of me and I give thanks untold for his presence in my life and the beautiful and amazing children we created.

And yet, the heart remains full of surprises.   Despite being broken, confused,  and scared to death, it has found love again.  J and I have been friends for many years, but the relationship we share now is definitely a new beginning.  We are exploring unchartered territory and it's an adventure that is breathtaking, exhilarating, and terrifying all at once.

 I don't think he fully knows the love I feel for him.  Does he know the way my heart flips and dips when he's near, the way my body quivers at his touch, the way I can see the lines on his face, his piercing eyes, his half smile as I lay in bed at night with eyes closed?  Surely not.  Even I am amazed by the depth of emotion he brings forth in me.

I am being as careful and cautious as my reckless heart can be.  I know going slow is best.   I know I've got much healing to do.   We all do.   I also know that he makes me feel unlike anyone has ever been able to do before, both good and bad,  and I think that truly means something.   He already makes me a better person.   He's my best friend and I do love him.

So, with one foot in the past and my other firmly in the here and now, moving into the future, I boldly step forward and set forth.

Beginning again is nice.

It's finally time...