Monday, August 30, 2010

Yes, I'm still talking about my divorce.

You'd think after two whole weeks (during which I really did nothing more than work and read) I'd have whole posts just spewing forth from my fingertips. Yeah. You'd think. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Don't get me wrong. There are things to be said, but I've waited too long and now find it impossible to turn each into its own post.

I tried. Numerous times. But, you see, my mother dropped a bomb on me and I crumpled under the pressure. She said, "Don't worry, you'll come up with a clever way of telling everyone that The Husband wants another chance." What? I will? BUT WHAT IF I DON'T? Naturally, every sentence I wrote thereafter made me wonder why I ever thought I could be a blogger in the first place. (Thanks, mom.)

Then I almost gave up forever. (No, not really.) (But it was close.) For a few days, each post I started was worse than the last. I told myself to post a picture. Something! Anything! Except, oh yeah, I stopped taking pictures. And, frankly, I'm too busy reading to pick up my camera. So, I did the only thing that made sense. I gave up. I buried my nose in a book and rode out the wave of (wannabe) writer's block.

Sometimes I go through these intense reading phases where it's all I want to do. I'm never sure how long they'll last, but hopefully this one won't continue too much longer because I've already exceeded this month's book budget by DOUBLE. (Possibly more, but I'm afraid to look.) (Someday, I hope to learn from my mistakes.)

Speaking of mistakes. The Husband... The Husband wants to work things out.

(How's that for clever?)

I really don't have much to say on the subject. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting that one day he'd realize he'd made a mistake. I was, just not this soon. (And by "soon" I mean two weeks ago. Yeah. I'm really behind.) He talks a good talk, but I think... (insert dramatic pause and many deep breaths here) ...I think it's over. A lot of people might ask what's there to think about? But he's my husband and this is my marriage, my life, we're talking about so I haven't completely shut the door on the possibility of working things out.

Unfortunately, too much has happened. I have, like, negative percent trust in him. And for more reasons than one. He says he's finally realized his mistakes and wants to get help to work out his issues. I can appreciate that. But every time I hear from him, I fear he's calling to tell me he really does want a divorce. (Because, seriously, that would be just like him. Freaking waffler.)

Opening myself up to the kind of pain I've already experienced too many times to count doesn't make a whole lot of sense and I think I've finally reached a point where I'm okay- disappointed, but okay- with the idea of a divorce. And, despite the struggles (things haven't exactly been easy), I think I'm even a bit excited. The possibilities for my future are endless.

Of course, as soon as I think I've finally made a decision, as soon as I think I'm ready to tell him, I immediately start doubting myself. It was much easier when I believed a divorce was what he wanted.

Call me an idiot if you'd like, but this divorce is not something I've ever wanted and walking away from a man I love, one I've been married to for seven years, one I've built a life with for the past ten, is incredibly difficult. Sure, maybe it is the right thing to do. Maybe I do deserve better. Maybe I will find someone with whom I'm actually compatible, who will love and cherish and respect me, but, damn it, this is hard. It's really fucking hard to walk away, knowing it's the right thing to do, and yet constantly wondering what if.

(I guess I had more to say on the subject than I realized.)

On top of all this, my birthday is quickly approaching. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My birthday is something I've always looked forward to, but this year? I wouldn't mind if everyone just forgot. I wouldn't mind if I forgot. Not because I'm depressed or anything, but because I'm just not in a very celebratory happy birthday kind of mood. However, I'm going to make cake balls. All by my glorious lonesome. And it will be awesome.

(And, in case you were wondering, there is absolutely nothing pathetic about preparing your own birthday cake and eating it alone.) (If there is, I don't want to know.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In the most lovingest memory...

Dearest Luke,

I remember the first time I saw you. You were just a baby, maybe a week old, hiding behind a sofa in your attempt to get away from two terrorist children. I scooped you up, took a split second look at you and knew. "I want him."

Then we got in my truck and made our way home. I didn't have a carrier for you then, or even a name... I just set you down gently in the the passenger seat and started the car. And there, in the middle of the drive home, you crawled over the center console and curled your tiny body into my lap and slept the whole way. And my heart was lost forever.

I named you Luke. I have no idea why. it wasn't after Perry or Skywalker or any other lesser Luke. It just came to me that first day as I was waiting for Jon to come home and meet you... and I'm so glad I never thought twice.

I came home to you day after day for several lucky years. I'd call out your name and you always, always, replied. I loved your meows. I heard them often enough, buddy. Gosh, you talked a lot. Sometimes sitting in the center of the room, you'd randomly meow as if to make sure we hadn't forgotten your were there.

We never forgot, buddy. If we even thought about forgetting- MEOW.

You were the lappiest of all lap cats, jumping up to our laps as soon as you realized one was available. I loved having you in mine. You were so sweet, so trusting. You'd stretch out and get comfortable. You kept me warm. And, if I let you, you'd stay there for hours.

I wish I had you in my lap right now.

You were a lover of treats, a taker of naps, an incessant digger of cat litter and a friend to all... even if they didn't exactly feel the same. Like your adopted sister who would sometimes swat at you in good ole sibling irritation. You'd just sit there and take it, unaware that anything had happened until she was already in another room.

She loved you. For the first week Mercedes was with us, just a couple short weeks after we brought you home, she hid under the dining room table. Then, finally, she came out and, although she was just a year older than you, she took you under her wing and watched over you from the beginning. You two were inseparable after that.

Cat treats. Holy excitement, Batman! You loved your treats. Man, as soon as I entered the kitchen you'd start talkin' as if your life depended on it. As soon as I had that bag in my hand you'd stand up on your hind legs and beg. Sometimes, just to tease you, I'd hold the bag down to your height and laugh as you buried your head in it, trying your damnedest to get to those treats. As soon as they were on the floor, you'd hoover. And if she wasn't quick enough, you'd go after your sisters, too.

No wonder you got so chubby.

You were the most beautiful, loving, friendly cat I've ever known. Everyone who met you loved you. And they weren't just saying that. You had the best personality of any cat ever. End of story.

Luke... you were awesome. Jon and I believed you'd be around when we had kids. We never expected any different. You were supposed to be around for a good, long, treat-filled life.

Buddy, you were taken from us way too soon. And, God, its not fair. I wasn't ready. I was mad at Jon and focused on me, myself, and I. I hadn't seen you for two weeks when Jon sent me the message. "Luke is sick. I'm at work. Can you take him to the vet?"

I went right over. I lay there on the living room carpet next to you, smoothing my hand over your fur, bringing out the treats to try and coax a response from you. You were so lethargic. So different from the way you usually are. So quiet and obviously uncomfortable.

I called the vet. I gave them your symptoms. They said it could wait 24 hours if we wanted to see how you progressed. Nothing had changed the next morning. (God, was it really just yesterday?) So, we scooped you up to take you to the doctor. They drew blood, took X-rays, and found... nothing.

Finally, they referred us to the animal hospital. They said you'd need 24 hour monitoring and an ultrasound right away. So we gathered you up, knocked out on pain meds, and made the drive.

It was a possible tumor, possible abdominal infection, possible possible possible. They were running tests. We waited. They ran more tests. We waited longer. Then they gave us opinions, more possibilities, and zero guarantees.

And we had to make a decision. An impossible decision. But I couldn't let you live in pain for one more second. They told me I made the right choice. But as I held you in my arms, bundled in a blanket, and watched them put you to sleep forever, I wondered. I'll wonder for the rest of my life.

I love you. I love you so much more than words can say. You were my best friend, my favorite friend, my buddy. My Luke. I will love you and miss you forever. I will be forever grateful to have had you apart of my life for as long as I did.

I hope, wherever you are, the streets are treat-lined. I hope you have a lap to climb into, one that'll never have to move or adjust or get up. You can shed all over it, buddy, for as long as you want.

Be happy, my friend. Know that there are people here who will remember and love you forever.

You will be incredibly, horribly, missed. And, I can't help it, many tears will be shed over you.

I love you. So, so much.

And I'm sorry. More than I can say.

Love you forever, Luke.

Forever and ever,

2003 - 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Always learning the hard way.

This morning my mother called my husband an imbecile, which, first, made me want to laugh (imbecile? really?) and, second, made me want to cry. The conversation went like this.

Her: Are you ever going to tell me what he said?
Me: Didn't you read my blog?
Her: Yes, but what did he say?
Me: He said nothing had changed and he still isn't sure if he wants to be married. I don't want to talk about this.
Her: Okay. (Pause.) He is an imbecile.
Me: Mom! Please!
Her: Sorry! (Pause) But he is.

It didn't occur to me until later that I'm not the only one affected by this divorce. My mom, my siblings... they all had built relationships with my husband. My brother lived with us for nearly two years. My husband, naturally, played a father-figure-ish role in his life. My kid sister spent more time in our apartment than anyone and we have dragged her along on more than one excursion. The two of them have spent hours upon hours laughing, playing video games, going places, doing things, bonding. And now what? We're over so... they're over?

I wish I would have realized it sooner. If I had, I wouldn't have involved my family in our getting-divorced-but-still-married-and-sorta-dating relationshit of the last three months. But I did. Because I thought, I ASSumed, that things would end differently. As in, not at all.

My mom came out and played pool with us one night. (Well, with him.) (Me? Not much of a pool player.) (Not really coordinated at all, as a matter of fact.) Throughout the evening, she kept saying, "You guys can't get divorced! You're too right for each other!" Probably because we were teasing and touching each other and laughing as if we had just fallen in love. I'd have thought the same thing. Oh, wait. I did.

And then, just a week before The Talk, we spent the day with my sister. We went to the fair, barbecued for dinner, jumped in the pool. That, more than anything else, made me feel as if The Husband and I were on the right track. We had both already declared, albeit hesitantly, maybe a little nervously, that we wanted our marriage to last, but now it felt like it was actually going to. We would come out on the other side of this a stronger, more united, couple. (Gag me.)

I know, ultimately, it was my family, my responsibility, and no matter what I thought or assumed or hoped, I shouldn't have involved them again until I was sure. But I wish he hadn't suggested that my mom come out and join us. I really wish he wouldn't have encouraged J to come to the fair. And I wish he'd never bought her that season pass that implied more than that one visit.

Consider this lesson learned. A divorce is so much more than the end to one failed relationship. I didn't expect that. And it's really freaking heartbreaking.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My little brother used to drive me nuts. Really, really nuts. He was irritating and always in the way. (They're specifically programmed this way, I know it.) I just wanted him to leave me alone. When he was fifteen, he moved up to Monterey and in with me and The Husband. I didn't want him to. I admit it. I was twenty and mad at my parents. I had gotten away from them and now I had to take responsibility for this pest of a little brother? This is a joke, right?!

Turns out, it wasn't that bad. Well, except for that one time when he clogged the toilet and The Husband and I came home from dinner to find water pouring down the walls, dripping through the ceiling and flooding the upstairs hallway. Yeah. It was awesome. And I've never let him live it down.

He moved back home after little more than a year. And, not too long after that, we followed. Even though we found ourselves living in the same area again, I didn't see my brother much. He turned eighteen, got a job, a girlfriend, and an apartment. I had my own job, a husband, a life of my own. We saw each other on holidays. Some holidays. To be honest, I worried that we didn't have anything in common, that, sure, I'd always love him (I mean, he is my kid brother after all), but that we'd never really be, you know, friends.

And then we both moved in with our mother. (Insert Psycho theme music here.) And we started spending more time together. We started going to the gym and he'd tag along when I'd go run errands and I started to realize something. He's... he's an... adult. And, more than that, he's funny. Sure, sometimes he laughs a little too hard at his own joke, but that just makes it better!

And then it happened. I didn't just love my brother because I had to, because he's my brother, but I started liking him, too. He's my buddy. My friend! When he's not home, it bums me out. And he totally stepped in and saved me when I started to buckle under the pressure of a sleazy tire salesman and my own inability to say "no" while we were in Utah filling up on gas before the drive home last week. He just stepped up and handled it and I was like who are you? and then I let him drive us home while I slept in the passenger's seat. Because I trusted him.

And now the turd is going to up and join the Navy. And yeah, sure, I suppose I'm proud of him... but, damn it, I'm going to miss him! Even though I am still kind of mad at him for turning twenty-three on Sunday which made me painfully aware that my own birthday is just around the corner and, damn it again, I'm just not ready to face that yet. That or him leaving for God only knows how long. The jerk.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Take Twelve

The anger was sadly short-lived.

Had I been able to hold onto it, I probably could have breezed through the next few months.

(Yeah, probably not.)

But that would have been awesome.

Unfortunately, the grief has returned.

And, with it, a sense that I'm hanging onto my sanity, myself, by a rapidly unraveling thread.

I (still) have a very strong feeling that this is a mistake.

But, also, a sense of resolve.

I can't help him figure out what he wants.

(Insert me washing my hands of him here.)

I need to get on with my life.

I deserve to get on with my life.

But I also want to run away. There. I said it.

At least until I can return without being reminded of him with every step I take.

But I know better.

The reminders will be there no matter what. No matter when.

I want to start dating.

But only so I'll have someone else to think about.

I realize I'm not in the right frame of mind to start dating.

Nowhere near, in fact.

I dread the loneliness returning.

Those unbearably strong urges to reach out.

I still want to yell, to demand to know what the hell happened.

So, I guess the anger isn't totally gone.

Just buried.

Temporarily? I wonder.

I hate that I still have so many unanswered questions.

What changed?

What went wrong?

Because something had to.

Things were going so well.

Did I do something?

Did he just change his mind?

Did someone say something? Do something?

Did someone better come along?

So many of our friends and family believed a reconciliation was in our future.

I believed it.

As I walked away from him last Monday night, I was in a state of shock.

Wasn't expecting that at all.

But I've changed my mind.

I don't regret the last three months. Not a bit.

I needed the last three months.

I wouldn't have been able to move on had I not done everything I could.

And now I feel as though I have.

I tried. God, did I try.

You think that'd help me sleep at night.

No such luck.