Saturday, May 28, 2011
The Sands of Time
The bride and the bridesmaids vibrantly tattooed. The groom and his men weeping. Bagpipes, a drummer, a vocalist with her own set of pipes seemingly made in heaven. My niece's (Mr. Ex's sister's daughter) wedding was a perfect and beautiful reflection of her and her beau.
Mr. Ex and I attended plenty of weddings in our days as a couple. When the vows were exchanged, he would reach for my hand and struggle to hold back his tears. I don't remember being very much moved by other people's weddings back then, so my own tears at this wedding came as a surprise to me. The serpentine journeys of both bride and groom and what they had to endure before finding each other filled me with joy for them and sadness at how breakable we humans are. When the preacher spoke of shared histories looked back upon from a future perspective for this young couple, a jagged fragment of grief over my lost marriage got caught in my throat.
It's a weird salad of ingredients that don't mesh well, this grief and the complacent loathing I feel for Mr. Ex. These feelings are like tomatoes and strawberries that would be so much tastier in their own separate bowls. Toss in Mr. Ex himself standing in the back of the chapel with his camera photographing the whole thing, and it's a meta salad of weirdness.
With two big family events almost back to back this month, I'm getting a taste for the smorgasbord of post-divorce offerings. This weekend we showed up at the table with a sort of separate but equal attitude. Drinks with me. Breakfast with him. This side of the room. Now that side of the room. I find that I feel apologetic toward these members of his family with whom we so often shared the same table over three decades. Divorce requires twice the effort from them. Not from me or Mr. Ex, really, but from them.
I'm trying not to think ahead to the weary road our children may one day find themselves on. Visit Grandma. Visit Grandpa. This holiday. That holiday. This family reunion. That vacation. Maybe if will be fun. If Mr. Ex and the Little Missus keep popping out babies, and if the daughters that Mr. Ex and I share start their own families in a few years, Mr. Ex's new children and his grandchildren can be playmates. I can be the doting grandmother who lavishes undivided grandmotherly attentions.
The best of both worlds.
Or another weird salad.
Meanwhile, I am pondering that shared history is nothing but an old story if you stop sharing the present. And the present with a new love is history forging its trail one lovely day at a time.