“Thank Life For Happening,
Thank Every Twist And Turn,
There Is A Reason For Every Single Thing,
There Is A Reason For Every Worry And Concern.”
– Dante Jannicelli
Divorce is difficult. As I wrote about in Ripped Apart, no matter what the reason – anyone dealing with it goes through a myriad of emotions. One of the hardest things I had to deal with was allowing myself to fall out of love with the man I’d pledged my life to. I didn’t want to do it. It made me feel like a liar and a failure. So many things had happened and I had so much anger toward this person, it was so incredibly confusing. One day I hated him, and the next day, I just wanted to pretend everything was fine and start all over again. Because that was no longer an option, I had to somehow let my heart heal and stop loving him.
I actually begged and pleaded with God every day to take the love I had for him away. Loving him was only hurting me more every single day. I needed to pour my love into my children who still needed to love their Dad, but the hurt just wouldn’t stop. It was overwhelming.
I spent a lot of time just being angry. I had people around me who would constantly remind me of things that had happened so that I wouldn’t give in and go back to him. Being angry didn’t help, but it helped me stay strong enough to keep from repeating an unhealthy cycle.
He moved on to someone else very quickly, which caused my anger to turn to hatred that was really just my heart aching even more. There were certain songs, certain movies, and certain places that I had to avoid because it hurt so much that I couldn’t breathe being reminded of happier times, and sometimes not so happy times.
Almost a year after we split up, I had a moment where I realized that my feelings were finally changing, it didn’t hurt so badly, and that I wasn’t angry ALL of the time. I knew that I could be thankful for the relationship because I learned from it, and it brought me my 3 awesome kiddos. And yes . . . I finally knew that it was okay to not love him anymore.
Except for one day.
My ex and I were married in August of 2001. Less than a month after we were married, something happened that tore the fabric of our nation and anyone who was alive and old enough to remember it was forever changed. I was at work in Customer Service when my manager told me her husband had called and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My best friend who worked at the desk next to mine turned on her radio and we listened in horror as the events unfolded that morning. At lunch time, I met my new husband at his mother’s house and we sat on the floor of the living room watching the news. We said little, but held each other as we wondered what it all meant. And that day, I was so very thankful that I had him to go through that with.
Every September 11th, I remember those moments. It is the one day that I allow myself to love him and be appreciative that I had him in my life when the entire world was falling apart. And that is enough.
“You cannot close the acorn
Once the oak begins to grow
And you cannot close your heart
To what it fears and needs to know
That the hardest part of love
And the rarest part of love
And the truest is part of love
Is the letting go . . .”
[lyrics from Steven Schwartz’s Children of Eden]