Last night, I had a dream about my former spouse, and he was old. In my imagination, I had aged him perfectly. The skin, the hair, the body, all perfectly fast forwarded about twenty-five years. Somehow in my dream, I managed to stop and stare, looking at him in a way I will not be able to in real life because he's not mine to look at any more. I won't watch him go through the subtle changes that will get him to that point. By leaving him, I gave up that right--the right to follow him along on his path. The right to see what happens.
Certainly, I will see him again in the years to come. But after being away from him for so long, I will have missed things, forgotten things, and in twenty-five years, more time will have passed than the time we spent together. He will be a whole new person, and so will I.
The part about leaving someone that is the hardest is the part that remembers the good things, the things that bound you to each other in ways that were deep and strong and true. Because my marriage involved no horror or abuse or complete dysfunction, there was a strong core of good that I had to throw away along with the part I no longer wanted. The hardest part now is knowing there is no place for the good part. It's like a wonderful relic, a fabulous antique that no one wants to put on the mantel. Out of date, old fashioned, un usable in the real world.
My sons like to see the relic now and again, but they are away and gone, and it's painful to bring it out for viewings. So it's mine to keep, mine to think about. But it's hard for me to look at it, too, so in the closet it goes. Except, some times it comes out in my dreams, like last night in the affection and concern in my dream.
There is no place for the affection that went along with the difficulty.
This, then, is what poetry is for and, in daily living, moving on is for. I have to carry that old good part, that old relic, with me until I die, knowing that the view of my former spouse will be with me for a long time, forever.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org