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April 13, 2010

The morning rose around us as the truth began to spin out into the room. I felt like I had sand in my eyes from not getting any sleep the night before. The kids, of course, were all energy and bounding lightness, flitting from room to room to front yard. Talking to themselves, each other, and us, their parents. Not yet having the experience to be able to read the messages written across our exhausted faces.

I sat across from my husband in the bedroom, our baby girl rolling on a blanket and smiling up at us, and listened to the ripping sound that was my life unraveling.

My husband hadn’t been alone the night before.

The feeling that rose up through me when I learned the whole truth was not unlike the momentary weightlessness of an airplane dropping through turbulence. One moment, I felt heavy and rooted to the earth, deeply conscious of the weight of every cell in my body. In the next moment, all the wind rushed out of me and I felt something expand inside my chest. My heart beat loudly in my ears as the earth fell away from me. It was the first tides of grief that would roll over me through the spring, past the summer, and into the fall.

But on April 13, 2001, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know how it would all play out. All I knew was that the man I loved had stepped away from the promises he had made to me, and was entering a fractured new world of chaos. And that he was dragging me right along with him.


I could write volumes about this unraveling of my life…and I have…and will continue to do so. But here, and for now, it is enough to offer back what I learned by living through that rollercoaster springsummerfall…the seasons that ran together and into each other, just as they rolled over me and threshed my soul. Nine years ago.
What I learned not only saw me through those agonizing days, but also helped shape the life I live today as a wife to my second husband, as a mother, as a person…as me.

I learned that I only have me…that I will only ever have me…and that everyone else in my life is a bonus. A gift.
I learned that everything that was happening to me needed to happen…and that I couldn’t do anything but keep moving into it and through it.
I learned that it’s okay and necessary to keep holding on to at least one dream. At least one goal.
I learned that it’s okay to lose track of time.
I learned that it’s okay to lie on the couch and sob.
I learned as well that it’s okay to feel like an empty shell. At least for a little while.
I learned that staring into the night sky after the kids are in bed is good therapy.
I learned that I have so much more to learn…and always will.

I could look back and be angry or sad or hurt. I could feel spiteful toward my now ex-husband, or that person he was with on that long, restless night so many years ago. But what’s the point?

And anyway…he gave me a gift. A gift of freedom from our marriage, which was deeply, irrevocably flawed. Since then, I’ve found a passion, a new career, a new husband, a beautiful son, and a new life that is so amazing that adequate words to describe it elude me right at this very moment. Mostly, though, because I’m tired.

Time for sleep.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2010 8:02 am

    I know you know that this is so eerily familiar. xo

  2. ana june permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:12 am

    Oh yes…eerie is right. 🙂

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