I sit across from ex-husband number 2 at breakfast.
The waiter says ” It’s really cool that you guys get along so well”.
My ex laughs and says: ” It wasn’t always like this, there was a time we couldn’t be in the same state as each other”.
I say: ” And that is when we were married”. BADA BING
Back in May I moved back to “our” town. The town I moved to with him six months after we met. I moved back hoping this town would be big enough for the both of us to live in. When I moved back we were on the once a month speaking terms. Once a month when either I or him had a ping of a memory and texted it to the other. Or once a month when I would take his number off BLOCK on my phone.
And here we are three months later having breakfast together , talking about each other’s dates coming up in the future. It’s surreal and a place I never thought we would be. In the past there was so much anger, regret, sadness, blame. I had so many feelings where he was concerned I was a never-ending mess of splattered colors on a piece of paper.
What? What the hell does that mean?
Here is a tutorial :
Within a space of 30 minutes at any given time in the last 4 years, my emotions where he was concerned went something like this over spilling cup of colors.
They slurped over each other in a matter of minutes, and at the end of a memory of him I was a messy blob , a puddle on the floor, unable to decipher any color, shape or form of the solid color I used to be.
Now, we are having breakfast together. We are laughing , and telling each other our deepest darkest secrets, just like we did when we first met. I don’t know when this happened. I know it was gradual, him coming over to hang a picture, him stopping over after work for a beer, us going somewhere together, us visiting old friends together.
It’s the same as it used to be : but totally different.
We are not married. We don’t own a home together. We don’t live together. We don’t sleep together. ( really we don’t) We are not intimate.
We have a past. We struggle with trusting each other. We have both hurt each other beyond explanation.
We have nothing solid that holds us together. We have no life ties that force us to communicate, no kids, no home still mutually owned, no shared bills.
I still love this man
I love the way he makes me laugh. I love the way he makes me think outside of the box I usually trap myself in. I love how still, after all this hurt , all these scars , all those years I thought I never wanted to see his face again… that he still brings me comfort.
I love him not as my spouse, but as my dear dear friend. And I am so thankful I have this place in my heart where he resides the way it is now.
I still struggle
I struggle when we talk about the past. I struggle when we are somewhere in a room together, and I look over at him and I remind myself he is not my husband anymore. I still struggle when we talk about dating other people. But suprisingly able to let go of it quicker, to look at the whole picture, instead of the simple frame we are in right now.
Most of it is gone
The Anger, the resentments, the worry, the hurt.
The other night we were sitting on my patio drinking a beer. We both commented about how happy we are that we can be friends,( actually we were honestly just giving each other dating advice, which to most people would be all sorts of weird, but for us it’s who we are and we wouldn’t have it any other way) ….and I said to him…..
“This. This is all I have wanted for the past four years, somehow to get back to a place where we liked each other again. Where we trusted each other again. Where we laughed together again. As bad as it all got, and it got bad! I always remembered why we fell in love, even when the ugliest of our personalities came out over the past four years, I still remembered how beautiful we used to be. I can still hear people say we brought out the best in each other. I wanted us to remember ourselves, the way we used to be as individuals when we felt worthy and good.
And then a cardinal flew by us. The cardinal that shows up every time he is over and flutters past us, singing…. a sign of his Mother who passed the year after we met.
And we smile and say” Hi Lynn”…..and I sigh. I think about the lessons this man has taught me, the changes our marriage and the loss of our marriage have made in me. I think about how we will never be the same, how I will never be the same.
And then the lesson all comes together, all my colors previously splattered all over the floor,all my life lessons up to this point in my life.
Fifty years of wondering what it all means, what it will all look like when it all finally teaches me what it was supposed to. How something so torn and broken and separated can heal, and repair and put itself back together…not the same, because it’s not supposed to be the same, life is supposed to change us.
And I realize
My messy colors
The branches of my life
Have come together
And I see this picture
A rainbow sitting over a tree. The weathered and torn branches that still somehow hang on. Each branch representing a time when I was broken, frayed, split.
Where the branch stops, that was the end of that particular lesson in my life.
And a new branch forms, supported now by the foundation of the past ones that have stopped growing. My past takes the brunt of the weight, it allows the new branch to reach for the rainbow, to grow upward and onward. Almost Weightless it reaches out for the sky.
And part of my life lesson comes in to view
The pot of gold doesn’t lie at the end of the rainbow, it lies within every color it took to form it.