Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Ending of a Marriage is a Strange Thing

The ending of a marriage is a strange thing. One would think it is a relief, a celebration, an event to look forward to after months or even years of turmoil…….but when the time comes, it is a bittersweet moment. The moment when my pen touched the first paper to start the process, I had to stop and put the pen down - - “is this really what I want?”

Your soon to be X-spouse is part of your family - albeit a family member that you don’t want to see often and talk much to - but a family member all the same. Somehow putting pen to paper to end the relationship seems almost like the reverse process - instead of the pen writing, it is erasing - erasing all of the good memories of a life shared. It seems as if divorce has a way of stealing those precious memories away.

My friend, Michelle, wrote this beautiful note on facebook about her memories of her marriage……I felt compelled to share it…..and she has graciously consented….

For those of you that know me well, you will know that what I am about to share is VERY much out of character for me...yet, I feel compelled to share anyway....

Today I received a draft version of my final divorce papers. And, as I was sitting and reading these papers, it occurred to me how much life can change with just a couple of signatures. Flashes of the last 8 1/2 years of my life started to go through my head and I began to am I ever supposed to sign these? It seems like signing these papers are like saying that the last 8 1/2 years of my life that I have worked so hard to build mean nothing and this thought makes me sad beyond belief.

Don't get me wrong, my soon to be ex and I have had our share of rough times. We have screamed at each other and both done things that I am sure we could take back. But there have been so many good times too...

1. The time that he sent me flowers for no reason at all after only 2 weeks of dating (so out of character for my ex).
2. The time that he surprised me for valentines day and bought tickets to a fancy dinner at the zoo, along with all of the fancy clothes we both needed to wear to the event.
3. When he used to make me breakfast in bed every morning, because he knew I was not a morning person, but thought I needed to eat breakfast anyway.
4. How excited we were when we decided that we were ready to start trying to have kids.
5. The birth of both of our beautiful children.
6. Crying together when his grandmother died.
7. Crying together when my grandfather died.
8. Trying not to kill each other when Owen had acid reflux and cried non-stop for the first 4 months of his life.

These are big and small moments that make up a life. They are a history and a family that two people build together. How am I supposed to sign papers that seem to minimalize these events down to who pays for what and who gets what items in the house? Does life really just come down packed boxes and broken promises? It all just seems so sad.

Her note inspired me to share some of my favorite memories - - as a reminder of the beautiful friendship that the X and I shared……..once upon a time

1. Playing cards…..canasta, hearts, spades, speed…until the wee hours of the night
2. body surfing in the ocean with waves that were less than spectacular…..but laughing for hours about it all
3. The time he wore a goofy hat (with the ears hanging down) at Disney and following Lauren around the park talking to her in his goofy voice
4. lying on the couch for hours eating popcorn and watching movies
5. All the times he made no-bake cookies for me when I was stressed
6. sitting for hours listening to him play guitar
7. the hours spent in the tractor together while plowing, planting, or harvesting our crops in the fields
8. shoe shopping with him - when I would try to decide between two pairs….he would grin….look at me slyly, and say, “buy both!” (Trust me - I miss that terribly!!!!)

After contemplating the memories of my marriage for a few days……I have decided that the memories give me hope…..hope that someday I will be making new memories with someone special…….adding to the gallery of happy times. I will not take the old memories off that gallery wall - I will cherish them for what they are……and continue to paint on the canvas that is my new life.


Scrapper Dad said...

Enjoyed your post. I could feel the raw emotion in your words. Don't be afraid to grow. Not bad writing for a girl from Sheridan!!!

Scrapper Dad said...

Very good read. I can feel the emotion in your words. Don't be afraid to grow. Nice writing for a girl from Sheridan.

Becky P said...

Why thank you! I am glad that you enjoyed it!