Thursday, March 16, 2006

10 Years Ago Today

Dear You,

Today would have been our 10th anniversary. Instead it has been almost 8 years since our separation and eventual divorce. You may wonder if I still think about you. I am reluctant to admit that I do. But I don't remember you when one might think I would. I have trouble recalling your birthday and most years our anniversary passes without notice. All the other little dates I used to cherish are long forgotten. When I do happen to remember, it's the most unlikely of times. When I remember it's because something in the back of my mind, something in the dark corners of my heart, sneaks out. For instance, when I notice someone from a distance who has your same build or your same profile or when Trey gets a new haircut and rubbing the back of his head brings back the familiar feathery feeling of the #2 clippers. And then there are the moments, in the dark, when Trey reaches for me and I flinch, not knowing what to expect, and then I realize, thankfully, that it's not you.

What really irritates me is that after all this time you still haven't let go of me. I still occasionally grad my ring finger fearing I've lost my wedding band. I then have to remember that it is gone. Even writing this letter I can't, won't, name you. Somehow using your name will give you a power and presence I no longer wish for you to have. Maybe when someone has had great meaning for you you're not suppose to forget so easily. I don't know. I do know that for the first couple of years after our divorce I still referred to you as my husband. Someone finally pointed out that you were no longer my husband; you were my EX-husband. And of course people still avoid talking about you and your family in my presence. When the topic comes up I see the averted eyes and the uncomfortable shifting of weight from one foot to the other. It doesn't hurt the way it used to. I can handle the news. When I found out you had remarried, and divorced again, I took it quite well. In fact I'm a little curious to know what's become of you. For the most part it seems like a long time ago--a different life, a different me.

I still dream about you every once in awhile. In most of these dreams you're pursuing me, attempting to grab a hold, and I'm running for my life, trying desperately to escape. I wake shaken and sweaty, my heart pounding. I scoot closer to Trey in order to remind myself that I am safe and loved. Once, just months after our divorce was final, I dreamed that I didn't marry you. I was at the church, waiting in the dressing room, the special room by the chapel set aside for brides. I was dressed in my gown and veil. It suddenly hit me that I shouldn't, couldn't, marry you. The guests had already gathered in the auditorium for the ceremony so I sent my mom to break the news. I wanted to see what the reactions would be like so I sneaked into the back and hid under the pews. My mom walked on stage, told everyone that there would be no wedding today, that I had decided against proceeding any further, but because we already had a cake and other refreshments the reception would still be held for anyone wanting to attend. Slowly the guests left as I watched from my secret hiding place. There was some grumbling and whispering but nothing I couldn't live with. A white passenger van drove me to the reception. I was the only occupant in the vehicle other than the driver, whose face I never saw. We meandered our way through curving roads cut into the side of a mountain. To my right was a beautiful ocean and I sat quietly watching the sun set over the water. As we approached the location of the reception I noticed tiny lights everywhere. When I exited the van I was taken aback by what I found: all my friends and family were gathered, awaiting my arrival, each person holding a candle which represented their approval and support of my decision. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

Now, years later, when I question life's unexpected twists and turns and sudden endings, which often give way to loss and stumbling and eventually new life, I remember this dream. I remember how the divinity which is my soul whispered approval while I slumbered. I remember that all of life's choices can be redeemed, even the ones that seem so terrible at the time. And most of all, I remember that the courage I displayed in my dream is real.

I haven't forgotten what happened 10 years ago today. I also haven't forgotten everything I've survived and accomplished since that day. And I certainly haven't forgotten the woman I've become.

And your name is Nick. I haven't forgotten that either.


Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

The fence set up to protect, set boundaries, and to guard, yet there a branch forges its way through and blooms.
The image is powerful!
That which we want out of our lives, that we set fences up to protect can come back...memories do at least...but they can be healed, forgiven, and bloom.
I like what you wrote about your dream...
"To my right was a beautiful ocean and I sat quietly watching the sun set over the water"
You are at peace with yourself, time heals all wounds.

11:48 PM  
Blogger megg said...

oh, i am so SO proud of you. this was powerful and strong. you have come through so much to become the woman you are - and that woman is AMAZING.

1:31 AM  
Blogger blackbird said...

a perfect photograph for the post.

I hope you are well and happy today -
I am thinking about you.

3:34 AM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

Wow, wow, wow. This is incredible and I hope, gives your soul some peace.

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This, this I have tucked away in my hearts pocket...

"I remember that all of life's choices can be redeemed"

Thank you.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Charmaine said...

I think it is healthy to celebrate your past, even if that celebration brings up emotions and feelings we're not sure about. I hope you feel better and have a wonderful spring day!

6:23 AM  
Blogger dpsinger said...

I love this writing. Each time I come back to visit your site your writing gets stronger. Your courage kicks me in the butt and reminds me to keep writing... Thank you for sharing. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for writing. ~dps

6:52 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

How wonderful that you are able to articulate this, to bring it into the light of day, and to demonstrate so beautifully how you have courageously carried on with your life, and made of it a good life. You are an inspiration to me. Maybe in 8 years time I will be writing a letter like that.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Sarah e.Smith said...

You are such a strong spirit. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. This post, as all your other are as well, is so eloquently written and so honest.

7:11 AM  
Blogger melba said...

This post made me think about him and our past and how it seems so long ago like it happened to someone else, but I did have a life very different then the one I lead today and the girl was me ...different and insecure and scared and sad. I often wonder what happened to him, but I don't know and it almost feels like I am dishonoring what I have now when I think of him, but I know that is not true. Thank you for sharing and doing so in a way that helps me understand that my past is mine and remembering sort of enables us to celebrate the strong women we are today.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

I love how you recognize that the divinity of you in your secrect self, the one of your dreams, came to you in a time of great uncertainty and softly spun a story about how it was okay.

That is the rescue I'm talking about. That is just beautiful.

And, don't worry. Sometimes, it is best for your heart if you do forget someone you loved, except for sometimes.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow wow wow

Yes-- the fence posting/mending/setting boundaries-- great image. I love the dream with the "tiny white lights" and how that image is real and you can carry it into your waking life.


7:55 AM  
Blogger Glamorous Jo said...

This is amazing and wonderful and brave and strong. I think these words can certainly resonate with many of us - I know they resonate with me. Thanks for sharing....

7:56 AM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

Your courage and wise soul shine through. I am so glad that you see this - that you recognize your courage. The idea that the divinity in your soul spoke to you through a dream. This is incredible. And should be the first chapter of your book (yes, you, a writer, the woman who should write a book).
Thank you for this brave post - this post full of truth and energy - I am blessed to start my day with this, learning from you again. Thank you.

8:12 AM  
Blogger ecm said...

very beautiful and full of hope...

8:31 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

La Vie,

Just wanted to also say that, some thoughts like this came across my mind yesterday as well, and like you, I have written about it today.

Isn't it weird how memories come and go, sometimes, with complete autonomy?

8:38 AM  
Anonymous samantha said...

That dream? Made me want to cry. I love how dreams can reassureu us, point us towards truth, how they heal us. And yes, every choice can be redeemed. Thank you for a beautiful, truthful post.

9:23 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

what to say...

i fear that
we may share shreds of a story
that are similiar
so that reading
what you wrote
was a little
like pushing on an old bruise for me
but still a little painful...

and at the same time
i love what you have written,
i love your wording,
i catch glimpses of myself
in your determination
to learn from a past life
move on...

and eerily,
the name for me

9:39 AM  
Blogger Yummyteece said...

The 3 years i spent with my ex-fiance were some of the most painful of my life(yet had their 'most beautiful' moments). SOmetimes i look back and think "What the hell was I thinking?" But i know that who I am today is stronger, more vibrant, more empowered and more real than that woman who fell in love so long ago.

So just when i want to kick myself for being so "easily fooled", I look at a mirror, know the fires that i have walked through, and hug myself for being strong enough to walk away.

I applaud you. This is a beautiful post that pays tribute, not to him or what was, but to the amazing woman that has evolved from the experience. You have gotten beyond it, but not run from (or forgotten) the memories that helped you create the La Vie that is today.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

The last few lines left me with chills.


10:50 AM  
Blogger ESB said...


and i do this, too--think about my ex-husband, wonder if he thinks of or even remembers me, and track certain dates. you got married 10 years ago this month--i left my husband 10 years ago this month. One thing I've learned is that these people never go away--and that part of grieving is accepting this. scary, yet also kind of comforting.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Ally Bean said...

i enjoy reading your blog and liked what you had to say in this post.

i especially like the line all of life's choices can be redeemed. would that i would remember that more often.


2:22 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

reading this, my heart welled up with respect for you, for your choices for your growth and your awareness of self.

i honor you and all you have been through in regards to this.

warrior woman.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous yolie said...

wow. powerful post. i can relate. i have an exhusband that invaded my dreams for years and years. not so much anymore but still. it's amazing to think about the power we have over one another.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Alexandra S said...

Your courage and honesty astound me. It truly is your ex's loss, and i celebrate with you that you exited from a life that wasn't working and found someone who makes you so fulfilled. Keep shining on!

7:11 PM  
Anonymous rani said...

Amazing-you are a re strong, amazing woman. Thanks you so much for writing this and sharing all that you are! I'm so honored and touched by your voice in these words. Inspiring, true, honest, real....amazing!

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Shannon (sentimental) said...

What an amazingly strong woman you are. Admitting some really intimate feelings in the blog world about failed marriages and the truth about how your heart still breaks on. That takes strength and a comfort within yourself. Sending you a hug!

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Oh, Michelle, this post just took my breath away. So brave and honest and gut-wrenching and revelatory...and most of all, redemptive. HUGE hugs to you, my friend. Hope writing this 'letter' is one more step in your healing process.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Kitty Kitty Peacock said...

Your drug of choice was a Nick? And you've been Nick-less for 10 years? Mine was a Rob. I've been without him or his abusive sex or words for nearly 6 years...and, you're right, it's easier every year to forget dates and places that were once so significant. It's okay to forget the dates and the places...but the people will always be the same. My mother always said, "little assholes will only grow up to be big assholes." :) I bet Nick was a little asshole when he was a kid. :)
Love ya.
Sending you lots of love and support.

4:28 PM  
Blogger dani said...

i'm just happy for you that you aren't allowing yourself to be treated badly anymore. and you definitely now listen with your heart wide open.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

I can't think of anything new to say except that I'm so grateful to be another one of your fans and admirers.

6:33 PM  

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