So here I am. 41. Twice divorced. I was pretty devastated when this marriage fell apart. I would curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep, mourning the loss.
2015 hasn’t been a banner year for me. My dear, sweat grandmother who was touchstone in life passed away in January. Somehow, I managed to survive it. I wasn’t sure I would. She was sick, it was expected…..no, I can’t say that. People always say that. Death is never expected. You can plan for it, but when it finally comes, that shock and sadness and grief overcome you like a tidal wave. The sudden empty space in your heart, never hearing that voice, or feeling that touch. It doesn’t matter if someone is sick or for how long, your soul still shatters when they finally leave.
In February, my first grandchild was born. She came early, but was healthy and my daughter did an amazing job. Was it planned this way? No. I would have liked her to have waited until she was older to have kids and hopefully avoid some of the hardships I faced having children so young (20). But, she brought that beautiful baby girl into this world and I love her with every single beat of my heart. The fierce protectiveness you feel for you own children is somehow magnified with your grandchildren. You not only are mamma bear for your own, but their own. They are my tribe and the fierceness of the love and the need to protect them is all at once amazing and overwhelming.
Less than a week later, while still adjusting to being a grandmother and having a newborn in the house, my marriage fell out from beneath me. My world seemed to shatter. Or so it seemed at the time. But now, that I am looking back at that time in my rear view mirror, it wasn’t really a shock, or it shouldn’t have been. The writing had been on the wall for a long time, I just didn’t take the time to read it.
So I moved out, leaving my daughter, granddaughter and son in the house I was married in. They chose to stay in the house grew up in. I could not begrudge them that.
Living alone was an adjustment. I continues to be an adjustment. I still find myself crying, late at night, alone in my bed.
But now I am not crying over a person. I am crying over a life I had, a life I built so carefully with wonderful holidays and birthdays. The comfort of knowing what each day would bring. A life that I built with my grandmother in it. When I walked away, I felt like such an unbelievable failure. More of a disappointment to the woman I so desperately miss. The women who I could have cried to and she would have had some sage words of how to move on.
Then my son graduated high school in June. I could not have been more proud. It had been a struggle from him, emotionally. His senior year was supposed to be so great, instead his great-grandmother (whom he was extremely close with) died and his parents split up. For all the joy I felt watching him walk across that stage, my heart still broke for him. For the pain I knew he carried each and every day. For how he felt seeing his parents sitting together, knowing that it was just the two of us there as his parents, not as a married couple, the parents he had known all his life. Different. Separate.
My new life is different. It’s good. I’m considering dating again, have even dabbled a little bit here and there. But in all honesty, I’m not interested in anything serious. And I may never be again. I like my space. I like that I can come up, crank the radio as loud as I want (sorry, neighbors!) and do what I want without restriction. Law and Order SVU marathon all day? Yes, please! Dunkin Donuts coffee on the weekend? I’m there.
I’m finally becoming the person I am supposed to be. I’m figuring out me. What makes me tick. Things that have always been buried beneath the role of wife and mother. I will always wear my mother and grandmother badge with pride. But being a wife? Yeah, been there and done that and it turns out, it’s not something I’m good at.
So I carry on, taking it as it comes. The dark times come, but they are fewer and far between. And I’m gonna be OK.