**Please note, this was written in 2015, at the end of last summer!**
I love Labor Day, because it is the end of summer. I despise summer. I hate the heat, the humidity, the languid weekend days spent staring at the fan hoping that someone else will come trim the shrubs and weed the flowerbed and run for me because honestly it is just too damn hot.
This summer, particularly, is one I am not sad to say goodbye to.
My husband and I, you may have seen elsewhere, separated on Memorial Day. I believe, at the end of the process, we will both be happier. But this first three months or so have been emotional. I have faced things about myself that aren’t particularly pretty. I have watched our children struggle, a little, with knowing this is just how it is now. I have spent some time taking stock of what happened, what I needed that I didn’t get and what I gave that wasn’t needed and what was needed that I never had to give and why, oh why, couldn’t I just suck it up again, this time, and smooth it over and make everything ok and ignore the glaring problems. There was a part of me that wanted to. But there was a small voice in my head that said “absolutely not.” So I didn’t. I let the thing happen that I was always most afraid would happen, and I am still alive, still breathing, still here.
So we are adjusting. Since he has been living in another state for awhile now, the adjustment is more mental than physical. The kids aren’t going to come home from school and notice that the couch and the 2nd nightstand and all dad’s clothes are gone. We didn’t have to change the school drop-off schedule or the dinner plan, because we did that long ago. Mostly it’s just knowing that it’s inappropriate to text him the small, funny things that happen each day. We had so many inside jokes, so many artifacts of a shared history, it’s hard to accept, sometimes, that he will never again call me and say “She got off the plane!”
But it also means I don’t have endless lonely days and nights stretching in front of me, a lifetime of texting someone else’s words to him or hoping that this birthday, this mother’s day, this Wednesday would be different. I know they will be different – and that what they look like will be up to me. No surprises, but no disappointment either.
What I have now is the opportunity to heal. I have the opportunity to figure out who I am now, at 43. I’m a single mom. I never imagined this would be my life. But no one imagines being divorced. No one wears a white dress and does their hair and takes vows in front of friends and family and God and imagines that one day, they will sit in a conference room on the eleventh floor of a swanky downtown building and tell a stranger all the reasons why they need to be released from those vows, absolved of those responsibilities, relieved of those burdens. When we had the conversation, and came to the conclusion…even though I knew something bad was coming, no one was more surprised than I was that it was me sitting in that conference room.
Every man who has ever loved me, has left me. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that only the right one has to stay. And I also know, in my heart of hearts, that one day, he will.