Today is/would be my fiftieth wedding anniversary if I hadn’t been divorced after the “standard” seven years of marriage.
Still, that divorce was probably the most painful and devastating thing that ever occurred in my young life. Well, it’s “young” from my vantage point now. I was twenty-nine at the time and my former husband was killed the next year when he was thirty. All in all, such young people, we were, he, forever young, me, not so much.
The thing is, for most of the years in between that divorce and this anniversary I couldn’t release all of the pain and anguish it cause me. It felt like if I did, it would tear me apart in such a horrendous way that I’d never recover, if I didn’t actually die. Suicide was not an option but if some careless driver took me out, it sounded fine to me. Of course, when something like that is buried it festers and any “explosions” have a chance to grow in something even huger than they seemed at first.
And so, over the years I stuffed and pushed and couldn’t rise to the level needed to let whatever was to happen, happen. But when I crashed and burned about twenty years ago, now, I began to journal and to write personal essays and such. That turned out to be a way to sort of “lance the boil” of pain so that it could drain out without exploding. Even so, it took most of that twenty years to ooze its way out in various forms. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you might have read some of that pain.
Then this anniversary came around yet again, as it has every year, and I discovered that I still have the memories but I no longer have the pain. It’s not as if there’s no residual scarring or leftover deformity, but the acute pain that was there for most of my life is now just an occasional ache of sadness. Not a pleasant ache but not such a pain that I feel the need to ameliorate it by writing about it. Now it’s just a reminder of what once was that is long gone and with it – finally – the agonizing pain. Now the ache signifies a healing process and for that I’m grateful.
So, on this anniversary I finally say good-bye to the unfaithful husband and welcome the special man who has stood by me for over thirty-seven years – without the “requirements” of marriage – who has accepted me for who and what I am, a flawed person but someone who’s loveable. For many, many years, for most of my life, for that matter, and long before the divorce slammed home what I’d long accepted as the truth, I’d believed that I was unlovable.
He proved my belief wrong.
Thank you, babe.