“I can say for certain that I want a divorce,” I divulged verbatim to David on that heavy, early mid-summer morning cruising northbound on the 101. On July 29th, it will be a year since I uttered those words and made one of the single best decisions of my life thus altering the continuously self-damaging path that I was on. It’s a lovely thought that the majority of people whom vow holy matrimony are making one of the single best decisions of their lives, however statistics would prove otherwise. Many would also assume that along with those poor decisions comes regret and this isn’t necessarily true.
I am confronted often as to why my “poor” decision to wed David on July 9th, 2012 wasn’t wholly a poor decision in that I have grown and matured into someone that I sincerely love without him. He is, in part, responsible for this sobering revelation in that he did a hell of a job showing me what I do not want and who I do not want to become thus adding fuel to my fire of strength. How unfair of me, right, to state that David only took part in the above? This is certainly not all that he had a hand in and I think I have made that clear throughout my 99 blogs before this but for the sake of this particular blog, that unintentional contribution of his will suffice.
I’d be lying to myself and to my readers if I were not to recognize that there is still lingering, sometimes surfacing anger that reveals itself at some of the most inconvenient though understandable times – so much so that I have decided to write a letter, thoughts or perhaps it’s a poem of sorts that releases some of this wrath, bringing to light some of the most vulnerable and human aspects of my inner cognizance…
I hope there comes a time when you’re more lonely than the night I first shook your hand, kissed your lips, tasted your embrace…I hope when that time comes you realize how much love I had for you, how unconditional and priceless was its strength and how I would have done anything for you and how you wouldn’t have done anything for me – How you’d given up on you and therefore given up on me.
I hope when that disparaging time comes you see that my introduction was your chance to be free, free from all that past pain, insecurity and debris – all of that you could have released upon me, not at me but know and understand that I was always listening, never controlling – only caring. I do hope there comes a time when you hear “our song,” are reminded of how we are not “better together” and understand the pain you caused me, the depths of what you’ve lost and remember, with me, you could have had a family. I hope that pain reflects back tenfold and you see all I have gained because I was once with you but now I am without you.
I do hope a time comes when your selfishness subsides, you remember me standing in front of our family and friends in that white dress, both of us saying “I do” and you desperately wish you hadn’t fucked it all up. I hope when that time comes you experience the hopeless fits of anxiety I used to when you would deliberately and knowingly leave me all alone. I hope those experiences inflict such sorrow you can barely breathe and in that moment when you’ve lost what you think is your last breath, you wish you would have just been there for me, your wife, because I was the single love of your now perpetually lonely life.
Sincerely & I know better than forever and a day,
I know the above sounds as if I have not forgiven and in many ways, truthfully, I have not. I’ve written a couple of unsent letters in the past year since our separation and each one is noticeably different. Give me a few more months or maybe another year, who knows, and the next letter could potentially read of significant forgiveness. I want to forgive. I really do – and not for his sake but for my own. I am well aware that all of the above anger and strife only harms one person and that is I. I also believe I am entitled to this anger and in no way is it misplaced.
I often think of my dear Mother when I think of this anger and I wonder how much time it took for her to find forgiveness in her heart in regards to my Father. I would imagine awhile considering her marriage lasted almost twenty-five years but my mama did have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known – there was endless, though priceless room in that beautiful vessel of hers. I like to think that her and my dad telling each other they loved each other shortly before his passing was one of the most substantial showings of forgiveness.
Love is such an interesting concept and I’ve honestly never bought into that whole “that’s not love,” or “love doesn’t make you cry” or “love doesn’t hurt when it’s real” bullshit. Everyone who has ever been completely and madly in love or simply loved someone with all of his or her being knows that it can fucking hurt and hurt bad at that. It’s all perspective, you see. Love is a basic human instinct and need, however, we all learn what love is and how to love based off of our personal experiences and sometimes, those experiences are less than subpar. Again, subpar being a matter of perspective as everyone’s standards greatly vary.
I’ve written a couple of times in the past year since my separation from David about “the one that got away,” my “skinny love,” and in since doing so, I’ve come to a great revelation which is so overwhelmingly kick ass, for lack of better terms. It solidifies exactly one of the main reasons why I began this blog – to gratefully serve as a crystal clear mirror in which to reflect my actions, thoughts and words right back at me.
Time and time again, I’ve toyed with this unconventional idea that I’m meant to love more than one man in this lifetime and this, I have done. I’m meant to love each one in the way my experiences have taught me to love, until he cannot handle or accept anymore of what I’ve deemed as my endless reservoir, all while holding on to the hope that one man, one day, will be strong enough to want my love for the rest of his life thus loving me for the rest of his. I am not holding my breath. My point, however, is that there is no such thing as “the one that got away.” I couldn’t force that man to desire my love nor would I ever want to. He walked away and I moved on because that is what we, as humans, must do – move on. This disclosure is incredibly freeing.
I like to believe I live in such a way that I could die at any given moment but on more than one occasion this past week, I have awoke questioning myself, “If I were to die today, would everyone I love know that I love them?” and “If I were to die today is there anything I would regret if it is possible to regret after our untimely departure?” These are two extremely important questions, in my opinion, and yet again, they both boil down to love. Love. Love. Love.
I’ve been deemed a hippie, an idealist, what have you but love truly is all that we need. It is the meaning of life. And to answer my above questions, I think everyone would know that I love them but not because I vocalized it, which is just as important as our actions as long as they are parallel. I would regret not verbally revealing my true feelings to certain people in my life. As I write, I reflect in that mirror I briefly spoke of and it appears I’ve got my work cut out for me.
I think fear drives so many people thus inhibiting our true selves, the beautiful, bright parts of our unpolluted souls that speak freely of love, longing, want and need. Everyone wants and deserves to feel loved, longed for, wanted and needed. Some can never quite overcome the fear and my dad was one of those folk, unfortunately. I understand that he did the best he could with the experiences that he lived and the love that he was shown, though it was never enough to know he loved me or I loved him simply because “he’s my dad.” I know we all hear variations of this expression all the time – “Of course she loves you, she’s your mother after all.”
If actions and words don’t seamlessly correspond, therein lies perpetual doubt and perhaps what we fear the most, an ounce or two of sobering truth. There is nothing in the Universe that states that one is incapable of loving a friend as if he/she shared the same blood pumping through each other’s veins just as nothing in the Universe states that love is inevitable and altruistic because one is born of his/her genetic makeup.
My brother comes to mind when I think of obligatory love, however, I do absolutely love my brother and I wouldn’t necessarily deem it obligatory. The best way I can describe it since I can remember the dynamics of my up and down relationship with him is that there is this giant brick wall he’s built and I’m the big, bad wolf. I’ve tried numerous times, in the past, to huff and puff that shit down to no avail. I’ve since placed myself on the road to acceptance – acceptance that we most certainly love each other but we don’t talk about it nor do we have much opportunity to show it and I would blame him for this but part of true acceptance is letting go of juvenile behavior such as pointing fingers, dwelling on fault and placing blame.
It’s incredibly, eerily fascinating when parallels can be drawn some twenty plus years later, when the misery that was being alone with my dad and my brother at the age of four manifests itself into my adulthood. Due to financial strain, my mother had to work nights and I was often left alone with my alcoholic father and disinterested older brother. I would lay awake, eagerly, at night until 2:00 in the morning when I would thankfully hear the familiar clanging of my mother’s key in the apartment door. I would hastily, but quietly so not to wake my dad, crawl out of bed to greet my mother and she would allow me to stay awake with her and watch her VHS recorded soap operas, cuddled together on the couch.
Twenty-two years later, I found myself seeking solitude from my brother and dad’s uncomfortable company just days before my dad’s death, my mother hundreds of miles away. I would have given just about anything to be sleeping under her roof that particular evening. Interesting how previous moments that have seemingly disappeared from one’s memory are conjured up and sometimes, one doesn’t even recognize the significance of this full circle until years later.
There are some moments I have planned, without solid dates in mind as of yet, that I imagine will be quite noteworthy in providing needed closure and enlightenment. Two of those planned gestures include conducting a burning of my wedding dress and a trip to New York City where I will masochistically visit the site of my wedding reception as well as a few other places reminiscent of stored away memories. I do not view this as masochistic as it may appear to outsiders – it is more of something I see as a means of fully healing, gaining complete closure and untainting a city I once dreamt about with great fervor in my heart – a city that awoke my every sense with its vibrant multi-cultural energy and a city that I once loved. I want to make new memories – happy ones – that enable me to grow to love that city that I called home once upon a time. After all, it wasn’t New York’s fault that I happened to reside in its greatest borough during the worst couple years of my life.
My closest friend, Norma, was there through it all. She will probably never quite know the impact she has had on my life and continues to have. She’s always there with an open ear, reminding me of my consistent strength and providing comforting words when and where they’re needed most. From an impromptu excursion to the beach one sunny Sunday afternoon when my heart was heavy with David’s careless words and actions, sentiments of a failed marriage in the forefront of my tired mind, she knew exactly what I needed in that moment. I had picked Norma up at eleven in the morning with the intention of our regular routine of grabbing coffee in our neighborhood and chatting for a couple of hours before parting ways. She suggested we drive to Malibu via the picturesque Topanga Canyon, knowing that I had been going through it or for lack of better terms. I hesitantly agreed to drive to the beach and I couldn’t be more grateful of her thoughtful persuasion.
Endless is her priceless friendship and support as we chatted over sangria and wine earlier this afternoon, she looked at me earnestly and told me that she feels the most sorry for David because, “The truth is, he never really took the time to get to know you. If he had, I am convinced that he wouldn’t have fucked it up.” She followed this up by agreeing to accompany me during the burning and destruction of the ceremonial gown widely known as the wedding dress and because she knows me well and knows my history of impulsive behavior, she first asked, “Are you sure you’re ready to do that?” To which I excitedly exclaimed, “Oh yea, I’m ready!” God, I love that woman.
One of the most significant and constant reflections as of late is that of the woman I have become not only since the last almost three years since my mother’s death but in the last twelve months of my life. I do believe I have matured considerably this past year as I reread some of the ninety-nine posts before this and think to myself, “Wow, that was juvenile” however without the usual self-disdain. I am more understanding and gentler with myself as I feebly attempt to give credit where credit is due.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish my mama were around to know this Lindsay, to experience the reaping of the strength, the compassion and love that she had two hands in sowing. She is in stark contrast to the woman that wrote her dear mama on August 12th, 2012 :
How are you today? I hung out with Manny tonight. He is going back to LA, though, which makes me so sad. I like spending time with him because while he may not understand my pain from losing you, he does get me. We’re very in tune with one another – maybe it’s the positive vibe he exerts and maybe that’s why you liked him so much when you met him. I do look so much like you – I hear that almost every day. Are you here, mama?
I’m beginning to ponder the person I’ve become and while I’m not too fond of her jaded self, I also remind myself not to be so hard on myself which is probably one of the most difficult things I truly need to master. I know I’m hard on myself but it’s almost natural for me. There’s so much I wish you and I could have one of our long phone conversations about where there’s not a single moment of silence except to pause for breath. I would tell you how I feel like I run into rudeness – am I attracting this negative energy? Am I expecting too much from society? I know I’m an idealist but you raised me with manners. While I may not know how to set a table to its proper placing etiquette, I do know how to say, “Excuse me.” I need you. Plain and simple. Nothing changed there. I’m not sure how I’ve survived this past year without you. I love you, mama. Goodnight, love you, see you tomorrow. I wish. I hope. We always talked about never losing hope –sometimes it’s the only thing we’ve got.
Almost two years later, this is what I would like to say to my best friend, my mama:
I began this blog last September with the intention of keeping your spirit and memory alive. I am doing my best to honor this and do your beautiful, however short, legacy justice. So much has happened in the past ninety-nine posts including receiving an unexpected and welcomed message from one of your long, lost friends, Joan, who loved you just as much as every one else I know whose life you effortlessly touched. I moved, I did some traveling, I started a new, full time job and I’ve continued honing my writing skills, something you always wished to see me do though never instilling pressure.
Perhaps most notable to speak about in the past several months since beginning A Righteous Revival are the number of incredible people I have met that have left an imprint on my life whether knowingly or not. My energy has been that of positivity thus I am attracting positivity and this is blatantly evident in the company I keep as of late.
I know you’ve heard this before, ma, but I’ve met someone I care greatly for. This time I know it’s different and I know you know, too. Not having to wonder or speculate if someone cares for you back is refreshing and something that has sadly lacked from my past relationships as you are fully aware. Unexpected and beautiful is the best way I can describe it without divulging too much personal information as I wish to keep this safe and separate from the world of social media and information. This doesn’t belong on such a platform rather it belongs in my heart. Don’t think I don’t wanna stand on a mountaintop and shout out my elation to anyone within earshot, though.
And though I may be haunted by your untimely absence every single day, I put forth great effort to focus on the wonderful memories we shared rather than the potential moments that cancer cruelly robbed us of. I show your pictures and I talk about you all the time because I want people to know the person who raised me and who loved me unconditionally. I love you, more.
In Loving Memory of this beautiful woman…