I thought I was ready for this

Last night, I sent an e-mail to work saying I would not be in today (Monday) or Tuesday. I had 3 meetings, so I said I would attend those via conference call. No problem, they said, whatever you need.

After I was done with the conference calls, I took off my normal clothes and put on my Mr. Tech outfit. (Before you squeeze your eyes shut at this thought, this meant I went downstairs and picked up my Telephone/Data toolbox. Without taking off any clothes)

The apartment my wife is moving into has a high-speed Internet, TV and phone connection…to a closet near the entrance, but it doesn’t go anywhere. The owner’s friend said if I would meet him there, he would run the cables and I could set up the outlet in a more sensible location. So we got it organized by running coax and Ethernet cables … is everyone bored yet? Yes? OK, moving on …

The rest of the day was spent lugging things in the minivan to the apartment. Is it actually legal to own that many shoes??

As soon as I finished and showered, I rushed off to a Committee meeting. I even called ahead to say I was running late (and the only reason people care about this is that I’m the Chair and it’s my Committee) and arrived to discover the start time was 8pm, not the usual 7:30pm. Darn, I forgot I changed it for one of the other folks. My ‘favorite’ reporter was there and I was in a pissy mood, so I sat down afterwards and tried to find out why she keeps misrepresenting the finances of the organization in the local press. The real reason is that sensationalizing numbers gets more page views than being rational. I just don’t get how she can pretend to be a reporter and ignore fact-checking and corrections. Naturally, she can’t admit this truth, so I had a little cruel enjoyment poking holes in her inventive reasons for, well, fibbing to the local residents.

After that — my days never end anymore — it was time to pick up AmΓ©lie from her friend’s house — and let her chauffeur me around the area (until she gets her Driver License, I have to let her drive to get the experience). I had to drop off some travel bags at my friend’s house.

Finally, and this is getting very close now to the actual topic of the posting, it was off to CVS (for non-locals, a combined pharmacy and mini-supermarket) where I had a coupon for $5.

I’ve not been hungry recently so walked past the candy and food and found myself by chance in the card aisle. I decided I would buy my wife a ‘going away’ card. After all, our marriage adventure started as a penpal relationship so long ago. But she’s not going on vacation, so what kind of card would it be? I looked at the sections and Get Well seemed like it might be appropriate, although she would find it confusing. I thought the Encouragement section seemed a likely one. By the time, I had picked up the second card and read the words, I had tears streaming down my face. I don’t know if anyone was watching or saw me crumple, but I really don’t care.

Sometimes you think you’re prepared for things, but you’re not really. When I was about 22, one of my best friends and my new business partner had a heart attack. What? Right, that’s we all thought, must be some mistake. It wasn’t, it was terminal liver cancer. I was completely shocked when I found out that he had terminal cancer. Over time, I got used to it. He got worse with each month, but we still hung out a lot. Eventually, when he couldn’t walk anymore, I would push his wheelchair around the shopping mall. I knew he was going to die. Still, I wasn’t prepared for it. The message on the answering machine was a blurted “Simon is dead” because his brother wasn’t prepared for the machine. It was at least a year before I really got used to not seeing him (my friend) around the area when I was out and about.

I’m not the kind of super-macho guy who saves tears only for serious situations, like when the beer runs out or the NFL players are locked out by the owners. I’m also not a big baby who blubbers at anything; I’ve seen too much over the years to be that person. But I’ll still drip a tear for the right moment in a movie (although I will never understand why women go on about Cast Away and why that stupid basketball was such a big deal — it’s a ball!). I just didn’t expect to break down in public like that. Oops. I’m sure it will pass, but all the memories of those good and bad times flooded my mind. Discovering each pregnancy (Note: that’s a good time), meeting for the first time at the railway station, and watching her pack her bags after some grumpy fit and wondering if she would really leave this time…

I did find a card (it’s not one of the ones below). It’s nice and conveys the message that I really have no good idea why this happening, but that I will still be her dear friend. It’s been more than 20 years, and we have 3 little buttons together, so nothing else seemed appropriate.

I saw two other cards that I need to share with you.

Card 1 - Front of Card

Card 1 - Inside

According to the first card, there is a way out of this and all of the kind people here have been giving me poor advice… πŸ™‚

The second card is different. It probably echoed my feelings a little more accurately, but it’s just a little — I don’t know — upfront? What do you think:

Card 2 - Front of Card

Card 2 - Inside

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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18 Responses to I thought I was ready for this

  1. Grey Goose, Dirty says:

    I like the 2nd card Sean. Only I would have replaced the ‘take’ from take off with another colorful term. :-X

  2. I don’t really have any words, just want you to know you aren’t alone.

    • Thanks very much, RNP (I’ll have to look to see if you have a ‘real’ name or use this).

      Not only are there nice people online here, many have been through this and found daylight on the other side. It might not make the journey easy, but it is nice to know there’s a future…

  3. Don’t forget to take care of you while also taking care of your girls throughout all of this…
    ~~hugs~~
    Melissa

    • Hi Melissa,

      I’d love to just take care of myself for a while. But, and I’m not the first to say or notice this, keeping 3 kids moving in the right direction can be exhausting. When they go to school, they seem to learn things. When I tell them not to leave their stuff in the bathroom, to DRESS before leaving the bathroom, to start getting ready for bed before the sun rises all over again, and those kind of everyday things you’d think they’d know by now…not so much. Grr.

      I have huge pile of letters that I haven’t even opened yet. One of them must be for my car because I noticed today the tags have expired. Oops.

      My current theory is that soon I will have them organized (maybe I should see Cheaper By The Dozen?) and there will be some ‘me’ time. Your response may well be: Hahahahahaha!

  4. No, you’re definitely not alone. My first marriage ended after almost nine years, although we had actually been together for 16. I stopped considering him a friend long before the divorce and really would have nothing to do with him today if it weren’t for the fact that we have five children together. Hang in there, each day is a step forward….

    • Hey ‘Queen’ (the only downside to not knowing real names),

      Despite everything that has happened, I still consider her to be my friend. Just a different kind of friend now. I think this just might be a Good Thing. So many people break up and get irked by the other’s mere existence. (I know this was the case for my dad’s opinion of my mum when he left her). Maybe keeping things on an even keel will make it easier on me and on the kids?

      Thanks again for stopping by … LOVE your touring photos!

  5. everevie says:

    Firstly: Wilson??? You don’t understand why losing Wilson was devastating? (He was a volleyball btw, not a basketball). I mean, I know I have an unnatural attachment to inanimate objects (just ask my Princess Kneesa stuffed animal I’ve had for 26 years…she’ll tell you ALL about it)…but Wilson?? He was his FRIEND!! His only friend. 😦

    Anyhow…I like Grey’s suggestion for card #2. Lol.

    Today’s the day, I guess… I hope you are holding up okay. I’m sending you a hug from across the miles.

    • Yes, Evie, WILSON. But maybe this a was secret test to find out which of the semi-anonymous readers are actually females. I found one! πŸ™‚

      I’m not very big on sexist stereotyping, but Wilson (in Cast Away>/em>) seems to be a real litmus test, right?

      Note: OK, he was lonely, but he was just a *volleyball* … geez!

      Thanks for the kind thoughts. My next post will be how I survived but the kids didn’t 😦

  6. Surrey gal says:

    I love the Adios card! But things do get better with time. And with shopping too, even if for a minute.
    Stay strong and look after yourself. x

    • Thanks SG.

      I know you’ve been there and made your way through it. I saw that you even had SSD (new fancy) in the same room without any fireworks. Impressive; it certainly implies you’ve moved on. Good luck with SSD (although I’m not sure he’s going to be The One … maybe the next one will be).

      • Surrey gal says:

        I’m trying to move on, it’s a long process, so brace yourself! But we all will get there eventually πŸ™‚
        And I dont’ think SSD is The One (a small part of me, unfortunately, still thinks that my ex husband has been and always will be The One… 😦 )

        • SG,

          Maybe we need another term for the special someone who is eventually found after the the spousal special someone has ridden off into the sunset.

          Something like The Next One. Or The One After THE One.

          This could get complicated. πŸ™‚

  7. Oh SD…. these outbursts of emotions are very common during this time period. Its a loss… and dealing with loss is hard. But I can tell you, 3 years after my seperation, I am so much better. You will be too. Just focus on you and the kids.. not what the ex is doing (or not doing).. If you have any questions let me know – i’m happy to share my experiences with you in hopes they help you move forward.

    • Hey Paula,

      Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate it. You said you’re doing well after 3 years … but do I have to wait that long? 😦 Can you tell you were doing Just Fine after, I don’t know, 3 months, and Wow! after 6 months?

  8. Hi there. Stumbled in to your blog by way of goyagrrl. I can feel your pain through your writing and I just wanted to tell you I’m so sorry. Keeping you in my thoughts.
    -SG

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