Seven years ago while on sabbatical, I realized in the space of time around me, that my marriage wasn't working out too well. In the busyness of life, I saw things that I'd been too busy to see before--or, I'd kept too busy in order to not see them. I didn't act on my vision right away, but in the years that followed, I managed to leave my marriage. Leave isn't the right verb. Wrest, pull, yank, tear, shred would work more aptly. In any case, I left.
As I was cleaning out my closet recently, thinking of what I have and what I could give away, I noticed that much of what I do still have are things new to my life, part of my new life. The clothes that I own are clothes that my ex husband would not recognize. There are some backpacks and bags and sweaters and coats from the before time, but as the years go by, the things that identified me as me to him disappear. The evidence of that life is going away. The furniture we owned together is now in the hands of children. The knickknacks, the art--all just sort of gone now, distributed into the universe.
And even my body has reproduced itself by now. All new skin and bone cells. The person who was married to him is no longer around.
In a few years--17--neither of us will rank our marriage as our longest relationship. In a few years after that if we aren't dead by then, our marriage will be a dream.
I never liked Ronald Reagan, and once I heard him talk about his marriage to his first wife, Jane Wyman. He said something to the effect of, "I don't even really remember that marriage."
At the time, I thought, of course you don't, you big dummy (insert a worse word here). But now, I sort of understand him. Time takes all sorts of things we think of as crucial and erases them. By the time time is done with everything, only an outline remains.
"My first marriage," we say, as if talking about a far off land, something that is hidden by mists. "Back then."
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org