I am a firm believer that God sends us messages. Sometimes we are so busy in our lives, that they just fly past us and get lost. Sometimes, when we are lucky, they land upon us and soak into our skin, changing us forever.
One moment like this can make you look at life in a completely different way. And, that always amazes me.
Tonight, I was sorting through a closet that I filled when I first moved into my home. I am having shelves built and I needed to clear the space for the work to be done.
At the time I filled this closet, I was overwhelmed. I was weeks from my divorce being final. I had just survived the milestone of turning forty in a somewhat shell-shocked state, thanks to the split. As I poured through things, aside from being traumatized by the amount of this scrapbooking stuff that I actually have that I did not realize, this closet held other surprises for me.
I came across several special cards and things I made in my marriage that I did not realize that I even had. I’ll be honest. It was difficult reading them.
In just 2006, I told my ex-husband that I was happy he loved me just as I was, and how I would always be there for him. This brought tears to my eyes, not because of what was lost, actually. But, because it was such a reminder to me that I spent so many years reciting things like that to myself, because it was what I wanted to believe so desperately. That my husband loved me just for me.
Sadly, in the end, I figured out that he never did and that was a huge part of the problem for us. Some I started realizing in the marriage…and much I have learned in the years that followed our split.
It’s hard to see these things and face that just four years after this, we were nothing.
It makes me question myself, but then mostly it just makes me sad. It is a forever reminder to me that I did want “US” to be an “US,” for so very long.
I guess maybe God knew that I needed see this after this time of being single. It validates that I did give everything in my marriage. I truly wanted to be married forever, and the realization that I would not be to this man took me years to accept. For a time, it nearly swallowed me whole in despair, quite honestly.
Now, I sit and ponder over what to do with these things. Clearly, they mean something more than just a reminder that when I love, I do so with my whole heart. Perhaps it has been so many years since I have felt real romantic love, that I needed to be reminded of that.
And, while this chapter of my life is long over, I think I will save these with the wedding photos and other mementos that I have for my children. This may cause tension later in my life, should I meet someone else to love who stumbles across this. But, I think it is important that my kids know that their parents did love one other at one point—or at least that their mother loved their father and tried.
The fact that I have all of these things also made me realize that it means that he has nothing left of me. It actually does not surprise me. Part of the emotional luggage I carry with me into any future relationship is the understanding that, while I was the one who ultimately said our marriage can’t continue on, he was the one who very seamlessly erased and replaced me within a year of our split. I know I need to let that go too, but that one may take me awhile.
So, for now, I will tuck these items into a box that will go into the highest shelf of the corner of my closet, not to be opened again for many years or maybe ever again by me. Maybe one day my son or daughter will find them and realize that there was love. And, that’s something worth remembering, I guess. I guess maybe that’s what God was trying to tell me all along.
Don’t you forget.
There was love.