Last week Tempest turned 5. 5 years old, and I remember the moment she was born - seeing her beautiful top lip, knowing it was exactly like her mother's, and feeling so blessed to be at her birth. I've been blessed to be a part of her life, she was one of my biggest cheerleaders as I went through my cancer journey, and we have tons of fun together. But - this post isn't about darling Tempest.
This post is about my ex. Our divorce was final 12 years ago, right around this time of August. We were married 25.5 years (almost a marathon!). We had a troubled marriage, and I blame a lot of that on being too young to marry, living too close to a controlling father (his), and growing apart rather than together.
We've both remarried, we live in the same valley. We have rarely spoken since our divorce, coming together, congenially, for children's marriages, grandchildren's births and birthdays, a couple of funerals, that's it. And we've greeted each other with a civil buddy hug, then quickly separated and tried to not make eye contact with each other.
I tried, once, at Tempest's blessing (similar to a christening), to have a conversation, just to tell him how grateful I was that we were able to rear such beautiful children, but I think I scared him, and that conversation didn't happen.
Last week his wife did not come with him to the celebration. Scott and I, and my mother, arrived, I said hi and hugged other family, then walked to him, seated on the couch, he stood, we hugged, and then I sat down, next to him, just to see what would happen.
We visited! It was mostly a catch up on the latest news we'd heard about each other's lives and family, through our children, but we conversed. It was interesting to visit with him. In some ways I could have probably finished his sentences, and in others I was speaking to someone I'd met in the elevator. Small talk with absolutely no commitment. We were comfortable, and the conversation was good, and I had so many questions for him, so many things I wanted to share. I wanted to say to him, "Good to see you my friend, good to see you again, my friend," and as Scott and I left that evening (so glad it was Scott I was going home with), I wondered if we'd ever have a chance to do more than lightly catch up. I wonder if he'd even care to.
Several years ago, and I was single, I had a friend who became more than a friend. And we talked, long distance, for several months, making plans for a long-term visit. We shared, played 50 questions via telephone and email, and these conversations allowed both of us to look at our lives, our dreams, our motivations. In the end, we separated, and we have not seen each other since. He lives on the East Coast, I'm deep in the West, and yet there are times I yearn for a conversation with him, even in an elevator - just to catch up. I want to say the same, "Good to see you," to him. But it will never happen, ever.
I find it extraordinarily interesting that I can hear a song, read a blogpost, smell a particular scent, see a waxing moon, feel humidity in the air, and I am in a place where I want to share with an ex, and I can't. So I send out a little beam of gratitude - for the good times, the bad times, but mostly, for today and for the memories that surround my todays.
And - Scott is not one tiny bit jealous. (Fist bump.)