Today is one of those awkward dates in a recently separated/divorced person’s life. You know…
The Wedding Anniversary.
14 years ago today, my ex and I said our vows in front of God, family and friends. It was a lovely ceremony; we’d rolled the dice and crossed our fingers, picking an outdoor wedding at Maymont Park, and the weather was gorgeous. The humidity was low, a nice breeze in the air, warm but not too warm. Birds were chirping. The very next day, the weather turned cold and rainy, but by then we were in the air flying to Cancun.
It’s certainly a bit sad now for me to think back to the man I was then, filled with all the hopes and dreams for our future together, and then ponder where we end up. For many people, there’s probably a lot more emotion tied up in the Wedding Anniversary than a little bit of sadness, but that’s all there really is for me.
I recently had a nice conversation with Cdn Stormweather — who writes the awesome Life in the Dash Lane blog — regarding my previous post on a Reverse Bucket List, and she asked me if I died tomorrow, would I go feeling fulfilled and happy? Certainly an interesting notion to ponder. Yes, it would be easy to get caught up in regrets and other negative emotions regarding how the marriage turned out, but I have to say that I think I’d be fine on that front.
It’s fascinating the sort of changes in perspective having children gives you. Before the kids came along, I had a lot of regrets in my life. I wish I’d been more assertive in high school and early college and dated more rather than giving in to my shyness. I wish I’d used my smarts and tried to get into some big-time colleges, and be bold enough to perhaps move out of state to pursue my dreams, rather than play it safe and go to a University right here in my home town. I wish I’d buckled down and really worked hard my freshman year, instead of blowing my grades and losing my scholarships and being forced to return home, take out a bunch of loans and commute to school. I sometimes wished I’d never fallen in love with someone who turned out to be far from my forever after.
And yet… so much that I at one time regretted, I now see were things I had to do to bring me these two amazing and wonderful children. If I’d done a single thing differently, they wouldn’t be here… and I can’t imagine my life without them in it. I can’t imagine this world without them in it. They are my love letters to the future, and I’m happy to have lived the hard, sometimes frustrating story that brought them here. I have zero doubt that the world is a better place with them in it.
So I decided tonight, dropping the kids off, I told the ex that today is the day to be glad we came together and made these awesome children. To not dwell on the failure of the relationship, but rather be glad for what came of it. To reclaim April 26th as a big date on the path that brought us these kids.