Monday, May 16, 2011

How It Might Have Happened

We might have celebrated M.'s graduation together, Mr. Ex and I--flanking her as proud parents, smiling into someone's camera, shaking hands and accepting congratulations. We didn't.

And it was fabulous.

We had a party before the ceremony. A party I let unfold with its own casual style. It began with dirty dishes in the sink and the man who loves me washed them. It began where will we put this, and where will we set that, and do we have enough plates? People drove or flew for hours to join us, and then climbed up three flights of stairs. Old people, and pregnant people, and children. There was beautiful food and mimosas served from a dusty buffet, and everyone was happy to be there. Thirty-some people toasting and sighing with the relief and joy and sweet sadness of a milestone passed, and I just had to let it all spin out of my control into its own loveliness.

I thought of Mr. Ex a bit. What was he doing while the loveliness unfolded? Room service breakfast in front of the TV? Attending to his Blackberry? Talking to the Little Missus who did not come? I couldn't hold an image of him in my head. There didn't seem to be room there on the third floor looking onto the unfurling tree tops, passing happy faces in the hallway, jockeying with a cup of coffee from conversation to conversation.

And then at the ceremony, I thought surely Fate would have us stumbling into one another. A doorway. A hallway. In the photo zone with our cameras as our daughter snared her diploma. I saw a man I thought might be him--but it wasn't.

I expected sadness, I guess. I just couldn't feel it in the midst of all the joy.


Allegra Smith said...

I am so happy for you, honestly. If anyone deserves to have her heart filled with so much joy that there is no time or space for any sadness or bad memories, I believe you do. Give time to time, the truth abut what we do right or wrong does not depend upon our version of what happened. When the time comes, his version would be as empty as his life must be filled with mendacity and shoes.

Congratulations to your daughter and to you, for what you have done for her to undo the damage the man who provides the shoes did.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You were able to enjoy and celebrate daughter's milestone and accomplishments! I know it was not easy getting to this day. Thank you for sharing and I am so happy you were able to feel joy with so many of your family and friends around you.