…again,” she said firmly, eyes flashing. “I mean never. I am not doing this again. Going through all this stuff. The end, after twenty-two years. Mark my words. It’s not worth it.”
The discussion dashed out, dancing angrily in the air, walking with us on the park path. She said it with such conviction. Not a shred of doubt in her voice. I had to look at her face to see the hardness in her eyes and the set of her mouth.
I sighed inside. It’s not what I wanted for her. Me, who divorced twice. Me, who knew the journey she was choosing included a darker path than the one we walked toward the woods. Destination agony. The light as far away as it was now, and just as hard to reach. The bitter battle boiling as she marched towards the front lines – divorce.
The trail became somber and dark. The only sound, a whispering of our foot scraps, a slight huff of our breath. I silently pondered what to say – how to say – I’m sorry…….
Or I’m happy for you…..
No words seem right in these situations. Especially when you are talking with someone you love.
I am responsible for this. Wasn’t she following my lead? Didn’t I make this divorced life seem fun and interesting? Hadn’t I given her all my books on self-help? Was it the novel, Eat, Love, and Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert, infecting her need to find herself? Journey off to Italy to banish the demons, meditate with a guru in India, and be whatever it took, to finally find her happiness. But would she? Would she really? Because it would be mighty easy to just be bitter.
To hate men for the rest of her life. She wanted a lover in her future with no strings attached. HER. Mrs. Goody two-shoes of all time. A so-called life of fling with someone who wouldn’t commit, couldn’t commit, nor love her. Is that what she thought she deserved? To be smacked with inconsideration, and heartlessness. This was her freedom?
She was certain this is what she wanted. “I’m not getting married again – ever” her speech stabbed the air sharply and just as quickly lost its punch.
“It’s too painful.”
Like knocking back a shot of suffering, she went on with a little too much cheer. She explained the joys of a single apartment. The endless trips to IKEA. The privacy. She would live right next to the hospital she worked at. The security guards she knew could keep an eye on her, and tell her which apartments had the lowest crime. She couldn’t WAIT. But still….it was so different. She had always been caretaker, and home keeper. She was brilliant at it. Entertaining, nourishing children, tables over flowing with guests, country crafts being made, and calendars full of nonstop events. To go from Susie Homemaker to the spinster aunt? It just didn’t seem right.
My heart broke for her decision. Not because I didn’t want her to not marry again, but because even though I was fresh from divorce, I didn’t feel hate towards marriage. I knew it could be a glorious thing with people who jointly wanted to work at it. That sought God above all else – without selfishness, without blame, or worthlessness. That chose to sacrifice for a love that fills every hole. But she was tender. A fresh shoot, so fragile and she needed me to listen and to understand her angst.
I felt it was my fault. She admired my strength and felt weak in that towering shadow. But no, it wasn’t me. It was her life. Her choice. All I could do was support her through what she was going through. Be there with her, through every stinging barb, and every cry. Eventually the darkness would fade away. Eventually the pathway would brighten. Eventually the wounds would heal and there, on the other side, we would meet. In the bright light of sweet peace with arms wide open to welcome her new life.
My dear sister….you glow today and I haven’t even seen you yet. I am standing in that ring of light – so happy for you. I knew you would find your way to your true heart path. I knew, you’d be here as hard as it was. Today, you marry your best friend and soul mate. Today, a man opens his heart to you after being scared and widowed for long, long time. Today, you become step mom to young Leighann and beautiful Chelsea; a critically ill special needs child that only someone like you would accept and love as your own. Today, we celebrate the light in you both, that found its way from the gloom of despair and devastation – from loss and divorce – to the wonders of amazing love. Today, we celebrate………………………again!
“Success in marriage is much more than finding the right person; it is a matter of being the right person”
Congratulations Roger and Deedy. June 12th, 2010. Stay tuned for photographs through the tears. You might even recognize the flower girls.