Today’s Breaking Point story is one of scope, perspective, reason, seasoned emotions, personal empowerment, grace. I hope it helps people see that what hurts now…can free you.
First, here is a lovely poem from a reader that really spoke to me. I love that she boxes up her memories rather than trying to erase them. No one can steal our memories. Or our joy. yrs. Laura
Submitted by: Renee Garner Williamson.
There was a promise made. A vow taken.
And with a couple of words. Broken.
I box up the memories.
And walk the halls of where daughters became women.
I close the door on a life of laughter.
And journey to a place where the waves whisper peace.
But in my heart there will always be him.
Submitted by: Stacia Duvall, who blogs here.
“Cashmere or Lace?”
What does one wear when she is off to meet the woman who wrecked her marriage?
Don’t get me wrong. I am hardly fashion-conscious. But when I think about being face-to-face with her for the first time, I am stymied.
We will meet at my grandson’s baptism. She will be with him. I will be with mine. We will be cordial and we will be relieved to get it over with.
I will remember meeting her once in my husband’s office. She was the technician behind the ultrasound machine when I was called back for a second look after a questionable mammogram. I was vulnerable.
I will remember the slap of awareness when I noticed something amiss on the cell phone bill. I will remember how calm I felt. I will remember my mind breaking at the moment he responded to my question. And I will remember thinking I had not prepped for this altered future.
She will seem young in comparison to me when we meet again. I will be surrounded by my loved ones while she will have only him. I will strive to make everyone comfortable and she will try her best to feel comfortable.
And we will move on to this new phase of life. We will begin anew as a family redefined by infidelity and a 30-year marriage that faltered.
And as I dress for that day I will remember that I have come to know that I no longer blame him, or her, or even infidelity, for the breakup of my marriage. There were patterns developed very early on in a marriage of very young people. I might have done it much differently if I had known what I know now.
I will remember good times, children, grandchildren, our shared history and what we still share today.
I will keep in mind that I have come to know that the total upheaval of my world turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened. How the intense anguish steadily faded and how I started feeling stronger, sooner than I might have guessed. And how free I felt. Free from the grip of an emotional disconnect that marred an otherwise excellent life. Free from a lingering unhappiness that hung on like the dull pain of a protracted headache.
I will remember how I never would have left him without stiff prompting because the known seemed far easier than the unknown. I could envision my life 20 years down the road if I stayed. Without him, I didn’t see much past next Tuesday.
About the time she and I glance at each other from across the room, I will be thinking of how I have been able to forgive him, but not her. As it is with friends and family known forever, I focus on his good qualities and not his serious faults. I accept him for who he is because we have a common history and because I know him well. I know the demons that haunt him and the goodness that is often buried. I understand him as can only develop through years together.
I do not know her like I know him. I know her from brief interactions when the marriage was failing. I know how she looked when I ran into her after I found out. She was at the video store with her husband and two small children and I was aware that her husband did not know yet. I recall looking boldly into her eyes and willing her to think of her children and carry on as she should. This is all that I really know of her.
Divorce is painful for most everyone, no matter the particulars. What happens when it’s over and done has many versions. With mine, I found a me that I never knew was there and a me that had long-since been forgotten. I discovered strength, self-esteem and a person I liked better. All from the unexpected window that popped open when a door slammed in front of me.
So while I may remain a bit apprehensive about getting over the hurdle of our first encounter, I am happy that my grandson will be surrounded that day with an extended family that still exists, if in different form and connection. It is not today what I envisioned long ago it would be, but it is still a loving family.
I will wear whatever I feel like wearing that day and not dwell on it.
All I really need wear that day is a smile.