The Big D-

28 Aug

“The two of you need to agree on when the relationship started,” the mediator tells us both. She and Kelly and I are sitting at a small round table in her office.

In order to dismantle this life we built together, we have to agree on when we began.

Our first date. The day I moved in. Her first business trip, when young Grace and I sat at the kitchen table playing cards, entirely unsure of one another and both of us – I think – trying not to cry.

Our first Christmas together. Meeting Miss E for the first time, all three of us holding her in our arms, marveling over her.

Grace’s prom. Our year in London. Moving houses. Moving houses again. Changing jobs. Not working. Working part-time. Leaping from the corporate world to real estate. Not moving to Texas. Getting legally married in front of family and friends.

Our family narrative is rich with milestones. Beginnings. Endings. Change.

Bringing the girls to college and Kindergarten on the same day.

Now this.

Now: Divorce.

Is it only people from broken homes who understand?

You need to be intentional about keeping your home intact. You change the oil in your car. You oil your wooden counters. You replace old furnace filters. If you don’t, there comes a point in your marriage, too, where simple maintenance won’t help. Oiling won’t help. New filters won’t help because you’ve allowed the damage to permeate so deeply it’s beyond repair.

How do people not know this? Does no one listen? Why do people believe they’re exempt from the hard work of keeping love alive? Why do people think their lives, their hearts, their love, their families are different?

Hey! Hello! Whoever you are, you have to nurture love every single solitary day.

At the grocery store, I pay special attention to the middle-aged women. I’m drawn to the women who move with confidence and decisiveness, whose faces tell me they’ve weathered some storm and come out the other side.

I am who I am because of the life we shared. She is who she is, too.

Like our dogs yesterday, I am always listening for her car door, the beep of her car alarm engaging, or the rev of her motorcycle arriving home again, her steps on our front porch, the squeak of our kitchen door.

I am listening for her.

She is not coming.

I am still listening.

“Tell him how you feel,” I tell my friend.

“But he doesn’t mean it like that,” she says, shaking her head.

“I know. That’s why you have to tell him how it makes you feel: He doesn’t know.

I want love to last. I want love given a fighting chance.

I do not let people off the hook easily these days.

She sent me a small sweet gift a few days later – after she told him how she felt, after he changed his behavior. Her relief was palpable. My gratitude was deep, is deep.

We are all here for each other, here on this planet. We forget, but it’s true. I am grateful to be reminded.

Someday, there will be a study on our generation of queers, to see how marriage equality unbalanced the long-term relationships we carefully built outside the legal system.

Meanwhile, my grief is every day.

I don’t blame marriage equality. We just sequenced things badly, Kelly and I.

When did we begin? When did we end?

There is no great entry point for this story — the story of my family, the story of my marriage, the story of my divorce. It’s why I’m telling it in pieces.

Every morning when I let the dogs out, I make a point to notice the weight of the sun on my porch – the slant of its light, the intensity of its heat. My morning communion with the sun is what carries me through the day.

In my twenties, I had whole days without people – waking when I wanted, moving from sleep to coffee to… whatever whenever the spirit moved me. I could stay in my pajamas all day long. I could write, nap, talk on the phone, turn off the phone – whole days where nothing was expected of me, days where the only expectations were those I had for myself. I had forgotten the simplicity and the beauty of this kind of unfettered time just billowing out in front of me like a sheet lifting in the wind, anchored by one corner in each of my hands, gently tugging me forward.

The sun. My daughters. Friends. The wind.

Pulls me forward.

Even when I am in the house alone for

Hours. Nights. Days.

My gratitude for friends who simply take me as I am goes far beyond words.

My gratitude for friends

We are all here for each other, here on this planet. We forget, but it’s true.

I am grateful to be reminded.


14 Responses to “The Big D-”

  1. Molly August 28, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    Love you.

    • RoiAnn August 28, 2016 at 9:13 am #

      Thank you, Molly. It’s rough, but we’re moving through it as kindly as we can.

  2. Hilary Marsh August 28, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    RoiAnn, I’ve read your posts for years, but haven’t taken the time to comment. My heart goes out to you. It’s so hard to really see that your life needs to take a huge turn and to start that process. So many parallels to coming out. Family, friends, and your blog readers are here for you and with you.

    • RoiAnn August 28, 2016 at 11:14 am #

      Thank you, Hilary. Sending love out to you and your whole beautiful blended family. ❤ I appreciate the support.

  3. Sharmili August 28, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Beautiful, heartbreaking. Be who you are, and remember who you are is loved.

    • RoiAnn August 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      Love you, too, Sharmili. Thank you.

  4. Kathy Fondow August 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Dear RoiAnn,
    It was with tears that I read your heartbreaking words. I am so sorry for all your going through. You will always be in my prayers, in my heart and soul.
    Hope to have you continue being part of my life as I love you!

  5. filinthegap August 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    So heartfelt and beautiful… Thanks for sharing. Hang in there… Here for you. 😿😻❤️💛💚💜💙

  6. goodfamiliesdo September 2, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    I’m sorry to hear you are going through this and grieving. Thinking of you.

  7. May September 4, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    Reading this hurts. I can only imaging how living it must feel. You’re in my thoughts.

    • RoiAnn September 4, 2016 at 8:49 am #

      Thank you. I’m finding my way. It’s what people do in the face of grief, yes? We find our way through. For me, that means sharing along the way. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your kind thoughts. May your day be lovely and may you be kind and good to yourself, too.

  8. Stephanie Bailey October 11, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Very late in responding, here. I am so sorry, RoiAnn. You and Kelly and the girls are all in my thoughts and prayers as you head into this new, changed life. I hope you feel the hugs being sent to you from all over the world!

    • RoiAnn October 11, 2016 at 11:27 am #

      Thank you, Stephanie. ❤

Your Words

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: