I was running late, but otherwise, Thursday, July 15th was a fairly ordinary day. I darted out of bed at the last possible moment after snoozing my alarm multiple times, washed my hair in the sink, didn’t think twice about the clothes I threw on, made sure Iggy was fed, and left for work.
A full day of grant budgets, travel booking, river walking, and office maintaining raced by, and once again I found myself standing at the front door to my apartment building, soon thereafter making my customary stop in our mail room that doubles as a secondary foyer and front hall to two downstairs apartments.
I check my mailbox daily. Even when I’m not waiting for pertinent news, a life-changing piece of paper hidden amidst a clutter of bills and candidate fliers and coupon waste for stores I never intend on walking into.
On this particular Thursday I stood in front of my mailbox for an unusual amount of time, my heart racing after seeing what was waiting for me inside: a standard letter-sized something resting nonchalantly next to two pieces of mail I barely noticed.
The envelope was plain, simple. The only reason I didn’t assume it was another piece of inconsequential mailbox litter was because of the “Multnomah County Circuit Court” stamped in the far left corner.
I held my breath as I opened it right there, unable to carry it upstairs with me first, as if the weight of the news waiting inside the envelope had become too heavy to carry another step.
My name. His name. Domestic Relations Dissolution: NOTICE OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT.
Such a fancy string of words for “divorce.”
A General Judgment was entered in the register of the court in the above-noted case on July 9, 2010.
I stood for a few moments staring at the end of a marriage so neatly expressed in a single sentence. Who types these? I wondered to myself, preparing for the elevator of emotion I was about to ride, preparing to revisit ups and downs in myself with which I’ve become quite familiar.
On June 24th it was a year. One year since the morning everything fell apart. Since emails were found, words exchanged, denials entertained.
My ex-husband isn’t a villain. I haven’t and won’t vilify him here. I made big mistakes. Huge ones. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t trust him. To say we were doomed from the beginning is not to be melodramatic. It also isn’t an excuse. He made huge mistakes. Unforgivable ones for a marriage. Unforgivable ones for a wife. But the girl who considered him her best friend long before “I do” was ever said has forgiven him.
I am not angry. I don’t spend precious time despairing. I just can’t. I see hope in all of this. I see purpose. I see promise. I see a woman rising from the ashes of her own life. I don’t even recognize this woman, it’s been so long since I’ve seen her. But she is me. She is strong, and confident, and capable. She is excited about all that is to come.
Breathing normally once again, I smiled, realizing that as I was reading the first and final notice of my officially finalized divorce, I was also listening to “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles, the song itself wafting to my ears from underneath a doorway of one of the two aforementioned ground floor apartments.
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun and I say
It’s all right