These past few weeks, I have been celebrating a lot of anniversaries. Not the good ones. No happy wedding or baptism or home ownership. Nope. Those anniversary dates have passed but those aren't the ones I am talking about. To be honest? I remember very little about Parley's baptism. There are a few fleeting moments I remember. But most of it is foggy. Which isn't fair in and of itself. But then there was the moment I found that the wasband had checked a beer called "Clever Girl" in from his girlfriend's apartment the day before the baptism. As if the knife couldn't go deeper. Surprise. But not remembering that day is probably a post for another time.
These anniversaries are of discovering the texting and the instagramming and the football game. Two out of three are over and I survived. I didn't read the messages again. The Nope album stayed closed. Truth be told, I don't need to look to remember them. I could recite them verbatim. That's the thing about devastating news, it etches itself onto you. In places people can't necessarily see. But you can. And sometimes you don't even have to close your eyes. Ever present. And though the red and angry might fade. They will always be there, whisper white with an ability to be recalled with even the most gentle thought. But scars make you beautiful. Whether the world sees them or not. You can and you can say, it scarred me but it didn't end me. These aren't memories of lost battles. These are the war wounds of victory.
But I digress. The anniversaries. I have texted him on some of those days. As a reminder to him that while I made the decision to stop trying, he made the decision to throw it all away. In a way, it validates how the kids and I have thrived this past year while reminding him that I gave him more chances. US more chances. Until I had nothing left to give. The most awful day, I didn't send screenshots or forward emails or voicemails. I simply asked - "Do you know what this day is?". He indicated that he did and all I replied was to thank him for remembering.
There are two left. One being the day I visited the girlfriend at work. The other being the day they went to a football game together. (Ironically the very next day! Totally took some wind out of my visited-her-at-work sails.) I didn't know at the time that they had carpooled with her sister and husband. Why would I? He told me he didn't even know she would be there and he had stayed far away from her. I guess as far as sharing the backseat of a car would allow. There were other lies about that game, too, financial, etc. which I had already figured out. But the double date threw me. Not gonna lie.
So there are two left. And I can't wait. As hard as they are to relive, it is encouraging to know I made it. We made it. It is encouraging to see how far we have come. It is encouraging to know that when I hit these anniversaries next year, there will be less hurt and more celebration of all we have accomplished. My amazing friend, Luvena, sent me a bottle of Malbec to celebrate the first anniversary of knowing it was over. Isn't that extraordinary? That next year, I get to remember that gesture! That outreach of love and support and pride.
To be completely honest? There has been a lot to celebrate this past year. I have gained far more than I have lost. Which is saying a lot. I have lost friends, family, my nuclear family, labels, financial growth, daily help and even parts of myself. The list is long and comprehensive. But the list of what I have gained is even more so. I am thankful. Thankful that I was forced to re-evaluate my worth. Thankful that I have reconnected with friends I had let go of. Thankful that I have created, for my kids, a home and childhood I am proud of. Thankful that I am not going to rewrite those sentences that end in "of" even though it kinda hurts to leave them. Thankful that the gifts, so soon out from the pain, are more plentiful than the grief. Thankful that the fundamental me remains and is waking the eff up and, once again, inhabiting all the parts of me.
Still, I will be glad when those anniversaries are over. Mourn for the year like the good Greek girl I am. Then ditch the mourning black and ashes for color and my wings. From the ashes, I rise. Watch me.
Gifts are in the giving. Give this a share. Karma loves people that share. But not as much as I do. ;)