Click here to read my previous entry: http://spilledmilksaga.blogspot.com/2009/11/diet-called-divorce.html
There is a wonderful and beautiful life even after divorce. When I was knee deep in the middle of it, I never would have guessed it. After it was all said and done there were a lot of things I wished I would have said and wish I could have changed. But, that’s the problem with life, there’s no rewind button. You just have to keep moving forward and hope that the heroin of your story finally learns from her mistakes, like the heroin in this story finally did.
It’s kind of ironic that you have to royally screw things up before you can learn anything from it. You could say, “If only I had known what I know now”, but guess what? You didn’t know and you probably never would have gotten that kick in the ass that you needed to set yourself straight.
We don’t have to pretend that it doesn’t suck when you can’t always fix the mistakes you have made. My mistake was unfixable. So was my husband’s. The damage was already done and the hurt was too deep. Eventually you get around to forgiving one another but sometimes, it’s just too late. When you put to imperfect people together to try and live as one, too often the dreams become broken.
My divorce went through and finalized that hot June day along with thousands of others. My case was one in a million to the people who buzzed around me in the crowed downtown courthouse. I sat with my sweaty hands folded in my lap, silently saying my last name over and over again in my head. After today, that name would no longer belong to me. In the back of my mind, I was reminded that within a few short months, the name would belong to the woman he chose over me. I no longer had the right to bear the name. Sure, it would take a few weeks to once again go through the motions of changing my name legal back to my maiden’s in an attempt to pretend this marriage never happened. But I knew better. This name would be the last thing I shared with him and I thought if I repeated it enough, this part of my life wouldn’t be easily forgotten.
My soon-to-be ex husband forfeited his required presence at the courthouse and I sat quietly with my lawyer in line to see the judge who would dissolve my marriage with ease in a matter of minutes. The court house was packed, filled with anxious faces ready and willing to put their past behind them. Yet, amongst the crowd were a few faces similar to mine; swollen red with puffy moist eyes trying their best to hold in their emotions until they made it back to their empty homes.
Mind you, I knew that this was how it was suppose to be. I was emotionally exhausted. At this point, I was ready to move on. But, despite knowing that finalizing this divorce was necessary, didn’t make it hurt any less. The knot in my stomach, was so painful I sat hunched over in my chair until the court attendant called my name.
Walking into the cold court room, I watched the end of a divorce proceeding for a couple who had been married for 17 years. My short three year marriage was nothing compared to what they were losing. Their years of memories would be much harder to forget than mine; I was envious of that. I was already starting to forget my husband and our time together was becoming a distant memory. I didn’t want to loose those recollections, not yet anyway.
Upon approaching the bench, I studied the man who held the power to completely change my future in his hands. I knew the judge wouldn’t remember me and my case by the next hour but I would always remember his face. He had long grey hair that he kept back in a ponytail; his eyeglasses were black rimmed and trendy. The black gown used to distinguish him as a high powered judge, hung open and loose, revealing his worn blue jeans and Hawaiian shirt he sported. He had a kind smile, crooked teeth and looked at me sympathetically as I approached the bench with my lawyer. Smiling down from his bench, at the shaking girl he looked straight into my eyes that tried with all their might to hold back the tears, and asked me if I wanted a divorce. I hesitated before I replied.
He didn’t know the truth. He didn’t know that I still didn’t know the answer to this question. That I had gone back and forth for the past several months trying to figure out whether or not my marriage could work. This man didn’t know that I had tried only weeks before to go back to my husband and beg him for forgiveness but had been turned down and rejected with the same conviction and certainty I had abandoned my husband with only a few months before. The internal struggle for the truth continued in my heart and mind and I feared it would be a question I would never get the answer to. But, regardless of it all, I knew my response had to be yes. There was no other choice, no turning back. The divorce was happening and there was nothing I could do about it.
I can’t remember exactly what was said or how it was handled but I’ll never forget the deep tone in his voice and the echo in the room when he said the request was approved. It was done. My marriage was over. For such a dramatic experience, there was no bolt of lightening or roll of thunder. Nothing in the rest of the world had change even though everything had just changed in mine.
My lawyer escorted me out of the courtroom and told me congratulations. I laughed because it was the most unfitting choice of words anyone could have chosen. It was a devastating moment in time. Maybe an “I’m sorry” or a “Best of luck” would have been more fitting but this was nothing to congratulate me on. I had ruined a marriage and paid a slime ball $5,000 to do it.
“No congratulations to you” I replied as I walked away, not looking back at the very perplexed lawyer standing with his hand extended.
Alone on the steps of the downtown courthouse I sat my tired body down and soaked in the warm sun that was beating down on my face. The courthouse lawn was crazy for a Thursday afternoon and the crowds of people rushing up and down the stairs, made my resting spot somewhat of a hazardous one. The transsexual who looked like she drove in on a Rainbow pony, dashed past me leaving behind the glitter and the faint scent of Vanilla. Her clear plastic heels knocked my purse down to the next step, spilling half of its contents.
Regaining my composure, I nestled back into my spot on the steps, this time with my purse tucked protectively behind my legs. Somehow, despite the loud voices and stirring that surrounded me, I closed my eyes and thanked God that despite it all, life goes on. Even though I felt in that moment I had the energy to do nothing, in the back of my mind I knew that eventually I would have to stand up, walk down the steps and move on with my life.
I listened as the birds chirped in the air. Although I hoped I wouldn’t end up with a big pile of bird poop caked in my hair, I smiled as their happy song echoed through the lawn and remembered the bible verse my mom would remind me of as a child, “If God takes care of the birds don’t you know he’ll take care of you, too?”
I believed that God would take care of me and that he would some how make this all fit into his plan for my life. As the tears began to fall, I knew I didn’t trust God to heal my marriage, so I took my own path, doing what I thought was the right thing because deep down, I didn’t believe God really loved meI understood that one day this would all be a distant memory. Something I would look back on and had trouble remember what I felt, how I felt and the decisions I made that forever affected my life and the lives of others. I knew there would come a day when I no longer held on to the guilt that would haunt me in my moments of weakness.
But as I sat on those steps, I knew today wasn’t that day. Today was the final reminder of my sins and of my failure. It wasn’t just the loss of my husband that made me mourn, it was the loss of that blind faith I had always had. Yes, it was horrible that I let my spouse down, but what is so much worse is I let God down. . Maybe even if I would have trust in God my marriage still would have failed. I’m not sure, but at least I wouldn’t have had to go through the pain alone. As I got up to leave, I knew that God has his hand over me. He would help me pick up the pieces, mend my heart and show me his unfettering love that I could amazingly still feel despite my disappointment to him. I knew my faith would continue to grow and I would eventually see the big picture in God’s plan for my life. The failure was a blessing in disguise because of the way it grew me as a person. .....(to be continued)