My beautiful girl, my Freckles, sits smiling in the autumn sunlight not knowing the alternative path her life could have taken. Eleven years ago today, I married her father. The marriage wasn’t meant to be, but she most certainly was. Some years I take note of the would-have-been anniversary date and some years I don’t. This year, I did. The look and feel in the air was so similar to the actual day of our wedding that my senses couldn’t help but be heightened in recollection. 68 degrees and sunny. The forecast was bright – both for the day and our future together.
As I look back at the wedding day, I can truly feel no regret. I remember being happy. I remember feeling totally in love. I remember thinking that I was so blessed to be getting married on the most beautiful day of the year, surrounded by friends and family. I remember thinking it would last forever and the “best was yet to come.”
The marriage lasted about 2 1/2 years – just long enough to create a beautiful child together and to develop some emotional scars, but short enough for me to recover from it, move on, and find the true love of my life.
These last 8 years since the divorce have given me time. Time to mourn the life I thought I was going to have, the life I thought our daughter was going to have. It’s given me time to grow, to forgive – both myself and him – for all of the things said and unsaid that changed our lives forever.
It was not a smooth path to divorce recovery. I was mean, I was bitter, I was angry and hurt. I wanted to erase the marriage. I wanted to erase him. I wished away that time and cursed myself for making my daughter grow up in a broken family. I was in self-preservation mode for a long time – thinking of no one but myself and my daughter and how to survive, both physically and emotionally.
They say that time heals all wounds and I know now it’s true. Today, my life has been recreated. My old marriage seems like a lifetime ago; a different version of me. Now, with two more beautiful children and a real partner as a husband, it is hard for me to feel anything but grateful for the way things have turned out. Don’t get me wrong, there are still the memories of my past marriage -both good and bad – and I know they will always be there, sitting in a quiet corner of my mind. They just don’t hurt or feel wrong anymore. It feels like all of it was for some purpose, some greater cause: our daughter. I now know that the marriage was both right and wrong at the same time and I’m perfectly at peace with that fact. The best was yet to come.