July 12, 2015
Dates are funny reminders of the past. Every now and then one becomes significant in our memories; births, deaths, marriages, anniversaries. They are just dates on a calendar, and yet they become so momentous in our minds, and they become placeholders of moments in time. I have my own placeholders of my past. Of course my birth, that of my parents wedding – my mother’s death; the day Steve and I started going together; our marriage. Somehow the date of our divorce escapes my memory, but I think that is more of a lack of desire of celebration than anything. There is a day in February that I remember that goes back to college; a day of remembrance that is important, not in the grand scheme of my life, but just a minor life-changing moment I choose to remember.
I am a keeper of objects. Little things that remind me of important moments. Photos, papers, notes, etc. On the vanity mirror on my dresser there is a ticket stub tucked in the bottom on the right corner. Tab Benoit, Skippers Smoke House, January 17, 2014 – admit one. That was really the day of my own personal independence, or freedom day. Insignificant in the overall picture of my life; just a blip on the radar screen, and yet there it is. It ends up the memory associated brings on mirth, rather than tears, although earlier in the day it could have gone either way. I don’t celebrate the end of my marriage. I just don’t. I am sad it ended, but I also recognize that I have moved on, moved up, that my life has become so much more than it probably ever would have with Steve in my life. That said, I also recognize that I was happy; I was content. I meant to stay married; I meant to have a 30th or a 50th anniversary. I meant it when I said for better or worse. So the loss of that in my life was never cause for celebration.
On January 14, 2014; that was a day that did reduce me to tears. Tears of loss, feelings of inadequacy, rage, frustration, almost a bitterness, and very much a bittersweet look at the past. That was the day that Steve deposited his very last alimony payment. For him I think it was liberating, and I guess, for me, it was too. It had already gone on longer than the court papers specified. He had been sick the year before and was out of a work some, so; we worked out a deal to make the payments last longer for me, and ease his financial burden. We also admitted to each other that we knew once that last payment was made that was officially our last legal tie. It was sad and scary and so final. I did cry. I felt that loss keenly, even though he had been gone officially so very long. I almost did not go to the concert. I was afraid I would bring down the mood of my friends, that I would drink too much and be too sad. I remember sitting outside in my car giving myself a pep talk. I remember thinking, ok, Kim. You can go in and be sad and have a terrible time. Or, you can suck this up like you have every other bad thing. You can take a deep breath, go in, enjoy yourself, let your hair down and show the world that you are ok; that you are a survivor. So that is what I did. I did tell my friends about the day, and I did share my decision to have a good time, regardless. And I had a great time. I was flirty, attractive, cute, fun. I laughed all night, and I did drink too much, but it was all okay. My friend Tammy drove me home – the first time ever that we switched roles, and I laughed and felt good all the way home. I was not hung over the next day, and we still talk about that night and how much fun I had. Even now, the reminder of that date brings a smile to my face. It was an awful time in my life; a sad, momentously sad moment in the history of my life. But I am so proud to say that I overcame that and turned my night into so much more. That January 14, 2014 was truly a day to remember.