I have been waiting to share the postcards of our holidays and to write what has, in years past, been a Christmas letter and will be a New Year's letter, until the divorce is finalized. Today, I believe is that day.
Last September, I was horrified that we would have to return to court, would be proceeding with a trial and that there would be a four-month pause until we could be done. Then I marked anniversary after anniversary off of my calendar -- wedding, the night the crack in my marriage first appeared, the day the fissure expanded as I filed Dissolution of Marriage papers, my attempts in writing to repair what I could, After the grief and the flowers and the deep breathing, I took matters into my own hands, trying to resolve the issues still open, still threatening to pull me in deeper and deeper into the depths of divorce. It's been a lot of work and emotion, but the day is here.
Because of work, we're not actually going to trial, and will hopefully just be there to go about the business of signing piles of papers and the ritual of raising our hand in agreement that it is finally over. Because of the emotion, I am choosing to sit quietly until it is absolutely time to leave, to put on my court clothes and take the train downtown with my dad.
Then I am choosing to take my parents out for an expensive dinner (not just because steak seems the obvious choice after one marriage is legally undone) to toast all that has been and all that is yet to come. I am not pained that this is over and I've done my grieving for all it took with it when it left. I have not loved the Almost Ex for a very long time and I am much better now and being good to myself. What it will be is official and a stamp on the identity change in the works for 16 months.
There has been so much conflict that although I've been assured by all the parties and attorneys involved that there is nothing left to dispute, I am not sure what to with the idea that things may go smoothly. I am not sure what to say about the divorce that may really happen after all.
My dad says it is because I've become accustomed to always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is true. On the other side of that, though, I've had these few weeks to pull back and into myself and that has helped me be present, feel what I am feeling and be OK with not being "on" or centered or perfectly fine.
And Christmas Eve brought me something I will take with me tomorrow. As the music played in church and my favorite moment of the year unwound, I began to cry. And I cried and I cried and I cried. The tears rolled down while I sang hymns and while we prayed and while I sat in the pew with my family in the dark and quiet of the sanctuary. They weren't sad tears, though. Instead, I thought that night and still believe, I was letting go of the sadness and pain still settled in a space in me that is ready to be filled by better things. It felt good. It was cathartic. I was relieved.
So I will go today, optimistic enough and experienced enough to know that I very well may emerge a woman no longer married. I will go, ready for the next part and open to who or what may fill the space that is waiting. I will go ready to write the words in our New Year's letter and to finally tell the final part of that story.
I am tired of writing about this. I am more tired of living it. Today, let us hope and pray upon the Pearls of Believability, it will be done.