I had the best night! The best day. Well okay, maybe I’m overstating it a bit. I had a really nice day and evening. There. I worked. I did all kinds of stuff. Got shots for the dog, planted plants, did 6 loads of laundry, cleaned my room, cleaned out my car, and ton of other little things. Knocked stuff off my list for sure! And it felt good. Then the neighbors called and asked me and the kids to dinner. So we had a nice night of socializing too. It kind of hit me while I was telling them about Martin and filling them in on some details about my ex that here I am sitting here like I have done so many times before. But I’m alone and it’s okay.
I have this white board/cork board thing in my closet. I bought it years ago to help us stay “organized”. But for some reason in 2001 I ended up writing “Welcome Home” and drawing a picture of my husband. I was known to do that. For some reason I could really draw a very good likeness of him. And then I ended it with a signature as I signed all my drawings and paintings and then my rendition of kissing lips with the word “SMACK”. That is how I ended every single letter I ever wrote him. Off to the side of that was a note from my son that said, “I love you Dad!” and a note from my daughter that said, “Dad you rock!” In the corner was a reminder to call the piano teacher. On the cork board was his business card and a receipt for something we had purchased years ago.
I don’t know why I have left that up in my closet all this time. But it’s been there for 10 years and maybe I just didn’t see it. I was talking to Martin on the phone tonight and he said how good it is to look at your house differently and find new places for things that you haven’t thought of before. And I’m always in wonder when he says things like that not knowing how profound they are related to other things.
I was sitting on the couch in my room holding this white board and my daughter came in and I was crying and she knelt down and said, “Mom, I’ll help you erase this.” And I started crying even harder. And I told her it has been on there so long it would never come off and we should just throw it away. But she said, “No, I know a trick you have to write over the top of it with white board pens.” So she disappeared to her room and came back with about 6 pens. And we proceeded to write over the top of everything. We would write and then wipe and sure enough she was right. Slowly but surely it all just got erased.
No more face. No more welcome home. No more Dad you rock. No more any of it. It’s just all gone. And it was sad. Really, really sad.
But I wiped away the tears and I walked down the street, like I had done as a couple so many times before. And I sat and talked and laughed and drank and ate with my friends and my neighbors. And I told them how much better I am and how good things are and I meant it. It was a good, good night. The kids had friends and were happy and laughing and I had friends and I knew that when I went home my house would be clean and I would be getting a phone call from the greatest guy I have ever known. And I would be alone but it’s okay. Cause even though it’s sad, it’s just simply okay. And I’m okay.
I’m writing over the top in a sense. What happened has happened but there’s a new story now. And the old story is fading. Every now and then I look at something like the white board and I’m back…full stop…and I have to shake myself out of it. I loved him. With all my heart I loved him. I can go back to that place and it hurts really bad to be utterly rejected. I can still kind of see what used to be on the white board too. The trick works but only so good. It’s like a ghost, barely there. But it’s still there and I know it and I know it will always be there. It’s part of me. But over the top of that I wrote: FIX and my list and BUY and stuff I needed to get. And I drew some colorful circles across the top next to the title THINGS TO DO. The board is no longer a memorial to what is gone forever but a plan for the future.
And seriously as sad as I was for about ten minutes remembering the pain and the broken promise and what I wanted for the kids….well…I told my neighbor tonight. “As sad as it is, and as much as I wish it never happened; I am grateful for all of it. Because I spent a year and a half looking really deep and hard at myself. And I made changes and didn’t let myself off any hook. And I know I’m better for it. ” And she got it.
It’s almost 1 AM and I was supposed to go to bed an hour ago but I got caught up writing this. But I’m glad I did. I am alone and it is okay. Good night.