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together and apart

Life is up and down these days. My birthday and this school vacation week both hit me in an unexpected way and had me dialing back plans and just surrendering to the truth of where I am. So many things are constantly sneaking up on me this way. One moment I'm cruising along, and the next moment some memory or mundane thing or object crosses my path, and boom, I'm puddled. 

This is exactly what happened on the day I went to hand in the preliminary paperwork for our separation. After collecting the requisite records and statements, which felt seemingly innocuous enough, I found myself hesitating outside the front door of the mediators office. I was paralyzed by the moment as it hit me all at once, that I was relinquishing our marriage license (our marriage, really), and how irrevocable this was. One piece of paper, a million thoughts of our wedding day... like how my father-in-law married us and forgot his tuxedo shirt the morning of, and had to run to the mall in a crazy panic right before the ceremony, which would be remembered as a laughable event even though it wasn't funny at all in the moment... his name staring back at me on our official document. It's a tiny miracle I made it through the door and the waves of doubt that followed. There are so many thresholds like this along the way, and I never see them coming. I immediately wanted to call Alex and weep together through the aftermath, but I didn't. It's sometimes hard to know where we begin and end through all of this rearranging. We're still connected together in so many intricate ways even though we're apart.

Some days I feel so crystal clear on why we aren't staying together. Other days the grief rips straight through and I just miss our old life with such ferocity I can't put my finger on any rational reason at all why this is what we chose. Especially when my kids are sad. Their grief is even trickier to navigate. 

What I do know is, this is simply the weather right now. Unpredictable. Unimaginable. Intense. And that it moves through and leaves behind grace and something that might become wisdom someday. So I hang on to this notion, and soak up the sweet things as much as I can. Like my afternoon in this window watching the squirrels and people go by, where for a just little while I knew it was exactly where I belonged.