Slice of Life 28:
By all means get married. If you get a good one, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
Ten years ago today she made a promise, a vow. Two years, 6 months, and 12 days ago, it was broken. Ten years ago she walked in to a chapel, carrying the abundant white waves of her gown off the pavement as she dashed up the curved walkway to avoid the rain, with her dad holding an umbrella over her head, her sisters close in tow behind them. Two years, 6 months, and 12 days ago, she received a text message from her mom as she got out of the car, “I just want you to know I’m thinking about you. I love you.” It was a Tuesday. She walked up to the courthouse, through the parking lot, the revolving doors, the security check, and into the courtroom, alone.
She retraces the course often, from the point of filing papers for a marriage license to filing papers at a lawyer’s office, the dissolution of a marriage. Going against her values of commitment, and perseverance. There is saying, “Maybe God doesn’t give us marriage to be happy. He gives us marriage to be holy.” Like this, she wondered if her suffering was a test of her will, her strength. She wonders how she failed. She thinks of her son’s suffering, all the questions, all the tears. All the times he sat in the back seat and began crying, “I want dad to come home.” All the times she pulled over on a dark road and climbed in the back seat to hold him, and assure him it will be ok, wiping away the tears. Her heart breaking.
Two years, 6 months, and 12 days later, she accepts the choices she has made, understanding they have not been easy; for anyone. She finds forgiveness. She forgives those whom have caused pain. She forgives herself. She makes peace with the moral conflict within her, tolerating the preconceived stigma of being a single mother, of having a failed marriage. She realizes that the journey is so much more than enduring pain, saving face, or keeping a promise that no longer held value. She desires peace, hoping the best for the father of her son. Accepting that it is ok to want the best for herself. She releases resentment and accepts the present, knowing that now the shared value is a commitment to a child’s well-being. The vow between them is to nurture and love a nine year old boy. Now she understands this. She understands that every day they will continue to move forward in this love, and with this they will persevere.
Ten years ago, she said, “I do.” Today she says I will. I am.