Done with this day…
Last week a friend posted a celebration of her eighth anniversary with her husband. Eight years ago, I stood trembling, microphone in hand, to deliver the very best, most positive, sincere toast I could muster under the circumstances. My marriage had ended just about 5 days before. The dream she would begin inconveniently coincided with the end of mine. I can’t express how happy I am for her and how much I adore her husband for making her such a happy wife… as she is incredibly deserving.
Somehow today I realized it would have been my 10th anniversary. I had to actually calculate it backward including such factors as my daughter’s age, the date our best man died in a car wreck (technically 3 days after), and the fact that I recalled it being a Tuesday. All of this to say for the last 8 years, I haven’t really thought about it. Oddly, I’ve called my friend on my own anniversary, only to hear that I was 5 days late for hers… so when a barrage of emotion came barging through like bulls through the streets of Pamplona, you could say I was a bit surprised… to the point that I found my office intolerably stuffy. After a couple of hours of trying to stuff it, I decided to take off a little early and head to the beach to clear my head.
I didn’t hit my usual beach. I went to the beach with the pier where I married my ex husband. I stared from a bench on the cliff and wondered if I would find more healing on the sand or on the pier. I eventually found my way to the pier and walked along the planks of wood, as my high heels fell heavily with each step. The breeze blew gently. I remembered the little arch we brought, and the small group of friends and family assembled, standing on the pier for this very brief and impromptu wedding I had surprised the groom with… in response to his continued requests to elope. For being arranged in 2 days… it was perfect. Surfers hung out below the pier in the waves, just like they did that day, cheering for us after the ceremony.
I pondered what a huge mistake that marriage was. I mourned the loss of what seemed to be a beautiful, perfect, surreal dream, starting on such a beautiful day, 10 years ago. I allowed the anger of his mistakes that ruined us, and anger at myself for choosing him, for not choosing a better father for my daughter. I prayed to heal, to let go again. I remembered our friend and his joy, and how we mourned losing him just a few days later.
After some deep thoughts and allowing emotion to wash over, here’s where I got…
Today and what happened 10 years ago are kind of insignificant. Whether I had married him or not, the outcome would have been the same… we were not set up to last from the beginning. My actions that day were in line with my heart, even though my heart wasn’t in line with my good sense. There is no more reason to mourn this day than to celebrate the day the divorce was final (and I have celebrated that one a few times). Those days are just anniversaries of ceremony and paperwork.
The truth is, the stuff between us before that day was far more impactful on my life, but a beautiful, life saving, personality altering child came out of that… and the stuff after is water under the bridge (or pier) that I have survived and has made me stronger. I made mistakes, he made mistakes… I’ve paid for both and I’ve been loved and lifted through both.
I remembered there does not need to be any shame in this piece of my story… Just learning and gratitude. It hurts to remember a dream that was shattered, but I don’t have to let it keep me from dreaming. It stings to face the foolishness with which I approached the relationship, but this day, that period of my life, does not define me and it’s not relevant to my worth.
The tide dragged the would-be significance of this day back out to sea, and the warmth of the sun shined Grace before the sunset closed this chapter again, and the breeze carried my whispers of gratitude.
Moments later, the following was posted by a friend… which couldn’t have been more relevant if it tried…
I’ve added it to a picture I took today of the pier, and the perfect day today, which was as perfect as the day 10 years ago… then to begin a new chapter, and today to close it.