Moving Forward

Posted on | August 4, 2011 | 7 Comments

Today I left work early because the tears became too much. It was around ten after four and I cranked up the engine and drove north, though daycare is south.

I took the ramp onto the highway and headed towards Forsyth, thinking about what would happen if I just kept driving and never turned back.  I thought about what my life would be like if I just left it all behind.

But of course, I was not leaving anything behind.  I was simply heading up to Forsyth to try a new pizza place and bring it back for dinner.  I just needed something different.

I drove north, past the trucks and trailers and slow moving cars, seeing the horizon laid out before me, a pattern of asphalt, gravel, Georgia pine trees.  And suddenly, I felt free.  I felt free of sadness.  I felt free of despair.  I felt free of him.

But this state is full of him, exploding memories of his face, his words, simultaneously tender, sweet and devastatingly deadly.  And as I turned a corner there on that highway, he was suddenly there.

I was a second year law student.  He had been to visit for the weekend and had left to go back home.  I had a lot of trouble sleeping in law school so, as I often did, I kissed him goodbye at the door and then took a sleeping pill to help me rest.  About thirty minutes after he left, my phone rang… it was him.  His voice was thin and shaky; he had been in a car accident.

I felt my heart drop into the pit of my stomach and the tears build up in my eyes.  A deer had run out in front of him and totaled his car.  I was too shaky to drive so my roommate drove me to him, heading north to Forsyth until we saw him there in the median, his car totaled, the road splattered with blood.  All I could think as I wrapped my arms around him was that I could have lost him that night.  I could have lost him before I even truly had him. It was the first time I realized I loved him… it was the first time I realized that losing him would be my worst nightmare.

And today, I drove past that spot on the highway, forever burned into my memory, and I realized that what I thought was my greatest fear had come to pass… what I thought I could never survive has somehow come and gone and I am inexplicably still breathing.

And though I am tired of feeling this way, I will stop being ashamed and stop apologizing for grieving the end of my marriage.

I should not be ashamed by my tears.

I should not be ashamed by my love for my husband because it brought me my son.

I should not be ashamed for being broken and sad; for being shaky and scared.

I cried over the memory of that not-so-long ago night, tears robbing me of my ability to speak or breathe or see… but then, through my tears, I saw the median pass by on my left and then appear in my rear view mirror, slowly fading into just another spot behind me.

And I realized if I can keep moving forward, even if it means barely seeing the road ahead through my tears, eventually this, too, will fade into a point in my past, a moment… remembered… but faded.  If I can keep moving forward. If I can just keep moving forward.

I picked up the pizza and got back on the highway.  I turned on the radio and before I knew it, I was back in Macon… never even looking twice at that stretch of road in no-mans land between Macon and Forsyth.  It was just another place, just another mile marker on the road that took me back to my home…

Back to my son.

Back to the people and the things that really matter.

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  • http://janasthinkingplace.com Jana A

    Beautiful. You just keep moving forward. You’re doing a great job and should never be ashamed of your tears or grief. Gotta ask, was it Jonah’s you had? YUMMY!

  • Law Momma

    Yes!!! I had been meaning to try it and oh my gosh it was yummy.

  • Janet

    Amen. Baby steps lead to big leaps. Keep moving forward and eventually looking back will be painless. New Pizza place run- perfect excuse to regroup and I hope it was great.

  • http://planbeach.wordpress.com/ beachmum

    keep moving. keep moving forward. If you stop, you’ll backslide. You have every right to mourn the loss of your marriage. You have every right to be sad, upset, mad,frustrated, depressed,angry etc… you have every right to be those things, but you have to keep moving forward. Not to diminish your situation, but sort of like how I felt getting out of ppd. I had to keep moving. I couldn’t let it eat me. Sort of like I feel now with my current situation. Please know I am treading water right along side of you, encouraging you from afar to keep moving forward. You are stronger than you know.

  • Elizabeth

    Good job! Doing something different to keep your mind off the familiar is the best remedy! And if you ever drive more north (atlanta), i’ll suggest a great place here too! :)

  • Judy

    I just read your blog entry for Aug 4th. Wow, it took me back 30+ years remembering those intense feelings! Today is my sweet daughters birthday. I can honestly say that I truly loved her father will all of my being and a part of me always will. I can also say that had we stayed together in our marriage my daughter would not be the beautiful young woman she is today. Our toxic relationship was not a good environment for her to grow up in! I know without a doubt that she would be a shy, timid little creature had she endured her entire childhood of parents that loved each other but brought out the absolute worst qualities in each other. It is an “unselfish” decision that a mother must make for her child. “But I love him” doesn’t cut it when children are involved. I absolutely LOVE pork BBQ but it makes me sick as a dog to eat it! Everything we love is not necessarily good for us. Not that any of this will help your pain today, but it does get better and the pain does in fact go away. After some years I remarried and have been happily married for almost 25 years. It is a calm, steady sort of love built on friendship and respect, a total 180. My daughter just turned 36 and loves her step-father dearly as he does her. I never expected as close a relationship for them but that is just the icing on the cake! If I were to have the chance to do it all over, it’d all be the same. Love your blog, you are stronger than you think, life is good, live it!

    • Law Momma

      This is just perfect. Honestly. What a wonderful analogy and somehow it makes me feel so much better. You are right… my son deserves the best out of both of his parents and if we can not be our best together then we move on from each other to make his life better. Thank you!!!

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.



  • I'm a divorced, single mom to a pre-schooler, a full-time attorney, and a semi-reluctant vegetarian. I work hard and when given the chance, I play hard... but I'm almost never given the chance.

    It's possible that I never outgrew 7th grade mentality, as I still laugh when anyone says anything that can be remotely construed as sexual. Let's face it, if you're not down with "That's what s/he said" at the end of almost any sentence, we're probably not going to get along all that well.

    I drink more than I should, I run more than I should, and I laugh as much as I can. So I'm pretty much winning at life.

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