Tuesday, April 10, 2007

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

**WARNING: This post is super long. It's been a long time coming and I wanted to do it justice.**

Today marks the date of my long awaited freedom. As of 3:00 today, the final hearing will begin in Ohio to dissolve my first marriage.

Oddly, I find myself getting more and more sad. Not sad because I have some deep harbored feelings for my ex, but sad that a major chapter of my life is officially about to come to a close. Scott and I have been separated for almost seven years. So, I guess, unofficially, this chapter has been closed for quite some time. However, I have found that I am just now finding peace with those feelings. No longer do I hold him accountable for our relationship turning sour. I can freely admit that I had a part in that as well. I’m no longer angry with him for the things he did. Now, all I’m interested in is building a true friendship with him for the sake of our child. No longer are the whys, the hows, and the what-ifs important. Now all that matters is our dear Bob. It’s so easy to remember how we got to this point - - The battles that were fought, the words that were said. What are hard to remember are the pleasant memories we shared, for the many years prior. The times that take up a huge part of my high school years, and therefore the majority of our relationship. The times that will evoke stories I’ll share with my son one day about the crazy things his father and I did in our earlier years. The good times. Those are the times I will choose to remember.

Like the roller hockey tournaments, where his parents and I stood out in the scorching heat on the freshly paved black-top in some parking lot (usually k-mart) battling a full body sunburn as Scott, intensely invested in his own battle, would move like lightning on the sectioned off rink, completely unaware of the intense sun everyone on the sidelines was feeling.

Or the dances, the wonderful dances. I still remember our first dance together - homecoming. Both of us so shy, so awkward, yet so in love. Even after all of the dances we went to together, that very first dance still stands out the most in my mind. I remember going with my mom to Columbus to pick out my dress. Being so worried about not finding something cool enough. Coming home after that trip and flipping through hundreds of magazines, looking for a perfect hair style to compliment my dress, And, on the night of the dance, making sure I had breath mints in my purse, just in case he decided to kiss me for the first time that night. All the excitement, the rush of (as the song goes) being a teenager in love.

Speaking of kisses, there was our very first kiss. It came on Christmas night. We had been dating for four months by then. Both of us had been too shy to make the first move up to that point. Scott and his mom had just dropped me off after I had spent Christmas over at his house. He walked me to the door, and kissed me. It was so unexpected. So . . . perfect. Not my first kiss ever, but the first kiss I still remember so vividly.

As our relationship progressed, we celebrated more and more firsts together. He was the person I lost my virginity to, and I him. It was everything I ever hoped it would be. I am truly lucky in that way. So many of my friends have horrible stories about how they lost their virginity. Me, on the other hand, it was perfect. Scott was romantic and sweet and caring. We were at his home, in his bedroom, with Boys II Men playing in the background. Making love for the first time is something you can’t redo. And, I don’t regret that my first time was with him. I’ll never regret that.

Three words spring to mind next - - Fort Island Park. We spent almost every Wednesday night there, while our parents thought we were at church. That place, a beautiful place full of history with a boardwalk snaking through the woods is where we let our teenage hormones fly. Gone was our teenage romance, replaced by something much more adult. Probably a little too adult for our young selves, but our passion was true.

By that point in our relationship we were inseparable. We made pacts to see each other every day. On the days that we couldn’t, we made up for it at night. While everyone was sleeping, Scott would sneak out of his house and rollerblade to see me. He lived a town away from me but that didn’t stop him from getting to me. And, he’d travel the entire way by himself. He’d never let me meet him half way because he didn’t want anything to happen to me.

We soon became permanent fixtures in each other's families. I went on family vacations with him. To the family holiday parties every year. (Even his extended family got used to seeing me around.) I was there the day he got his license, in the car for his first ticket, and again for his first accident. I was sitting beside his parents on the day he graduated from high school. And there for his first day of college.

He was there with me when I got my license. In fact, one of my favorite memories from our past together was the day he worked with me on the parking portion of my driving test. For whatever reason, I just could NOT get it. We must have sat out in that parking lot for hours, with me in the car, going forward and back, forward and back, all the while making little progress. Scott stood there, like my rock, coaching me, giving me tips. And never, not even once showing even the tiniest bit of frustration. I’ll never forget that day.

He was also there with me during my senior year. More importantly, he was there through the struggles I encountered about half way through. Struggles, due to the secret child growing in my belly. At the time, neither one of us even knew why I was experiencing the migraines or the nauseousness. We wouldn’t find out for another five or so months down the road.

Then came the day we found out. I was about six months along by that time, and had managed to hide my pregnancy completely. By this point, I was in a complete state of denial, not wanting to believe for a minute that I was actually pregnant, to the point of refusing to even take a test until that day. I was a good kid. Never did a single drug, never smoked a single cigarette, how in the world could I be pregnant. But, the minute the nurse walked in the room, I knew it was true, the expression on her face said it all. There I was, seventeen and pregnant.

Three months later Bob was born. Scott and I, being the scared teenagers we were, didn’t tell anyone about our little secret. Luckily, my mom found out about two weeks before I went into labor. Scott’s parents didn’t find out until the day my water broke. Our families were gathered around my hospital bed as my labor pains began, and they stayed through my 22 hours of labor, and long after the birth of my dear Bob. My mom and Scott were by my side when Bob came into this world, with everyone else anxiously waiting outside.

Almost a year later came the day of our wedding. A day that was full of family and friends. Scott all dressed up in his tails and me in my wedding dress, complete with a six-foot train. I was the happiest girl in the world that day. I was now marrying, not only my high school sweetheart, but also the father of the thing I loved most in the world, my dear child.

Who would have guessed that a little over a year later, a few days after the date marking the first anniversary to my life partner, I would move a thousand miles away. It came as a complete surprise to me, as well as him. There were many events that led up to my decision, most of which are not important now. Needless to say, it was the most painful decision I’ve ever had to make, but also the best.

Scott has remained a constant presence in Jacob’s life, never wavering in his devotion to his son. While we have had many difficulties throughout the past seven years, Bob has been unfazed by it all. Which is the way it should be. The way it will always be.

So, on this day, the day that will bring to close a major chapter of my life, I vow to always remember the good times Scott and I shared. . Especially when I’m talking with our son.

It amazes me how much pain and anger can cloud your judgment of people. Most of the time I spent with Scott, was a joyous and happy time, two young people in love. In reality, only a few real months were full of the of deceit, lies, hurt, and anger, that eventually led to our separation. Yet, instead of holding on to the good times, it seems so much easier to hold on to the hurt.

I’ve come to learn that letting go of that kind of pain is never easy, but it really is for the best. And, especially in this case, it is what’s right.

2 comments:

kingdom hearts 3 said...

OH APRIL I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOU AND SCOTT :( I REMEMBER THE GOODTIMES BETWEEN YOU GUYS TOO AND IT BREAKS MY HEART TO HEAR THAT YOU TWO ARE OVER :( I AM GLAD YOU ARE REMEMBERING THE GOODTIMES YOU TWO HAD. THE FOUR OF US HAD ALOT OF GREAT TIMES TOGETHER AND I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE LAUGHS WE HAD. HOPE ALL ELSE IS WELL BEST TO YOU ON YOUR NEW START. AN OLD FRIEND FROM NORTON OHIO.

Amber said...

Oh wow. This really hit home and made me remember my own first marriage. We met when I was 14 and he was 16. We were also each other's "firsts". And there were many sweet moments in the many years we were married.

As you say, it's so easy to blot out the good times and only concentrate on the bad. I think it makes us feel better about ending it plus it's easier to distance yourself when you convince yourself that they were completely in the wrong and you were totally in the right.

Even though that's hardly ever true.

Good for you for facing up to your own mistakes and realizing it was a two-way street. I did that too and it's very empowering.

And thanks for such a lovely, bittersweet remembrance of your previous marriage.

I read once that every marriage is a success because you got married. If it fails later, well...sometimes that happens but it doesn't erase the positive times. :)

Thanks for sharing this. :) It was good for me to read.