October of 2000, we got the keys to this house I live in. There was a lot we wanted to do to make it worthy, but we were OWNERS, so we packed up clothes for our 4 and 5 year-olds and we blew up our camping mattresses. We took the keys we were given, lit a fire in the fireplace, and camped out in the family room of our new family home.
Tonight my son answered a call from his dad seconds after I got a text. “I finally got the keys at 6:30 tonight.” “Congrats” I said. “Thank you.” he said.
“Dad, you remember camping out in the family room with the fire?” I could hear him through the speakers of the phone. “Yeah.” He said.
That was all it took. Tears poured out of my eyes. I couldn’t have stopped them if I tried. I was sitting in the spot where we had the mattress 12 years ago. When I chastised him for trying to tell a ghost story to our small children and making them scared. The exact spot. I quickly looked around and in a split second there was the fireplace irons we justified buying cause they were on sale. The Amour we couldn’t afford but has housed every television we’ve ever had. Memories of decisions, of togetherness, came flooding back, and tears were pouring down my face as my son talked to his dad.
I don’t want that life back. But it was the perfect scenario. It was two high school sweethearts who had kids and raised them to love each other, and God, and to do good in the world. That was my dream. MY DREAM. The one I had to give up, that was so hard.
Laying on a blow up mattress in late 2000 I prayed, “LORD protect this house. Help me to do your will. Bless my family.” Seriously and honestly. I remember clutching the blanket and seeing my kids cuddled up on the floor and wishing for purity, goodness, holiness, and all that was good for all of us.
It was a moment for me and it was a prayer that was answered, but with a resounding, “No.”
My ex is so excited and full of promise with his new house. He’s got the colors picked out for my son’s room. He has already asked for furniture from my house. I don’t know why these things mean so much to me. He’s obviously let go the attachment we had all those years. I want him to have a good, new life. It’s just that I wanted a strong Christian family. I wanted a success story. Not the one where people pat you on the back and say, “Sorry.”
I wanted to be a good example. Not a failure. So, okay. All that just hit me again tonight.
And. This morning I got an email from Mercenary Guy. He asked me for forgiveness for bringing heartache into my life. I accepted it, gave it, and wished him well. Such a crazy life I have.
I am wholly and completely in love with a man who knows me, My Harry. But, in his weakest moments is still afraid that maybe I expect miracles. My Harry and I spent the early evening talking and laughing and arguing over a drink tonight. And after three hours, he said, “I figure I have until February before you end this.” It was his fear talking. He couldn’t be more wrong.
I hate time alone. I hate days and days apart. But, Harry is my new life. He’s my night camping on a blow-up mattress and my prayer. I had no control over the failure that was supposed to be my life. I wanted it. I cherished it. He walked away. And I’m better for it. That’s ok. But Harry is my chance for a new start. And I’d be a fool not to take it. A fool.
I don’t want my old life. I don’t want a travesty of a life I conjured up with a guy I barely knew. I want forever with my best friend. That is really all I’ve ever wanted.
So, I’ll keep meeting him when he can, on my couch, at a restaurant, in the middle of night. And one day before too long, we’ll just know, that day is gonna play out like the rest and hopefully we’ll both get what we want. TIME. Forever. At least a few good years. Please. please. please.
I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
I’ve never been one that is good at saying good-bye. Yesterday I was at the gym and I was running my last leg on the tread mill when this one came on. This old guy beside me heard my lungs heave in a big breath. The girl on the other side glanced over and saw the tear drop. But it was perfectly sad. And perfectly stated. I’m ready to embrace whatever pain I need to. Because I know what’s best for me now. Teardrops on my cheeks, and chest say it all.
I guess it’s gonna have to hurt,
I guess I’m gonna have to cry,
And let go of some things I’ve loved,
To get to the other side,
I guess it’s gonna break me down,
Like falling when you try to fly,
It’s sad, but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life,
Starts with goodbye.