As Ben and I dismantle our marriage, I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents. And, this is awful, but I’m glad they’re dead. Let me rephrase, I’m glad they’re not alive to see this.
My parents were married for 39 years until my dad died at 60. While their marriage wasn’t easy, she an extreme introvert, he an extreme extrovert, she depressive, he explosive, they managed to go the distance. I know that if they were here they’d have some choice words for me about letting my marriage dissolve.
When my father died and then again, almost twenty years later when my mother followed him, as well as being devastated and heartbroken, I was also freed. There’s something about being the oldest generation in your family that’s empowering. Your choices are your own, for better or worse.
Yesterday was an incredibly difficult day. I won’t go into detail but suffice it to say, I spent a good two hours on the couch sobbing, crumpled tissue piling up on the coffee table. Last night as I was trying to go to sleep in my new bed in my new house, the day rushing around in my head, completely exhausted but unable to sleep, feeling very small in a big world, it struck me that maybe my folks wouldn’t have been as hard on me as I’m imagining, if they were here now. Laying there, under layers of quilts, I felt as unguarded and tiny as I was when I was their little girl. Back then, even if they disapproved, they still put their arms around me. I have a feeling it would be the same now.
I woke up this morning in the dark, a new day. As I was driving to my ridiculously early barre class, I watched the sun come up and I thought about my parents. I thought about them reaching out from wherever they are and somehow holding me up. It made me cry, of course, I’m crying now, but it helps. We’re allowed to fail, I suppose, and still be loved.