2001. The Tuesday following Memorial Day weekend. I decided to take an extra day off from work after a long couple of days.
My phone hadn’t been working so I borrowed an old fashioned cell from my brother to get my voicemail messages and make a few calls.
On that Friday, I drove by a friend’s house after work as he was lugging beer from his car. He invited me in as he got things set up for a backyard shindig. People began to filter in and, soon enough, his yard was full of his friends – people I didn’t really know.
He and I had been close but didn’t really hang with the same crowd. Our lives were completely separate and our friendship never developed into an actual relationship. But we both thought fondly of and cared for one another.
I had gotten cold and he gave me a flannel to wear. We hugged and somehow I knew that would be the last time. I left shortly after. That was our “closure”.
On Saturday, I received a voicemail from my ex boyfriend. We had been together for 3 years and then hadn’t spoken for about 3 more. I still missed him a lot and was shocked to receive such an out of the blue call. A lonely part of me still believed we were meant to be together.
We decided to hang out that night while I was housesitting for a friend. We innocently played Scrabble while catching up before falling asleep on the couch. When we woke up a couple of hours later, he left and we said our goodbyes. I didn’t know at the time, but that would be the “closure” on that relationship. I never spoke to him again after that night.
On Sunday, I received a phone call from another guy friend who I had strong feelings about for years. He lived in Madison (me, in Racine) and our lives couldn’t have been more different. We only saw each other in person about five times. But our connection was always strong. Many long phone conversations and emails over the years.
He was calling that night to let me know that he had moved in with his girlfriend. I was so hurt but not angry. He was very kind and thoughtful in the way he told me and I always appreciated that. I called a girlfriend in tears after because I knew that was our “closure”.
Three goodbyes in one weekend. All so coincidentally. And all so necessary for accepting the path I was about to take.
On Tuesday morning, there was a knock on my apartment door. I remembered that the phone company was scheduled to fix my line that day. I crawled out of bed with raccoon mascara eyes and with an unlit cigarette between my lips, I answered the door.
“Oh, shit.” I blurted out as I realized the telephone guy was a dude I dated very briefly about a year and a half prior. I stopped returning his calls when he told me that he just found out that his ex was pregnant.
He came in, set some things up and did his work – mostly outside. In the meantime, I attempted to make myself more presentable.
Before he left, he told me he was getting a divorce and he had a one year old daughter. As he was leaving, I mentioned that he had my number if he wanted to give me a call.
He did. And we have spoken to each other every single day for the last 17+ years. We also married in 2003 and raised two kids. And no one has ever loved me as genuinely. And I love him.
It has definitely not been a seamless journey. We’ve had our challenges to say the least. But we keep making it work and seem to be getting the hang of this weird marriage thing.
Life is strange. Our paths are unpredictable. I look back at the past with gratitude and affection. I look towards my future with hope and enthusiasm. And I look upon today with love and grace.