Hi ladies, I just had one of those Cinderella moments that my life has been full of these last 20 years - you know, that moment when her coach turns back into a pumpkin....
Does staying in a bad marriage do this to people, I can't help but wonder, as I look back over one of the precious few times in my life with SAWH when he and I truly had a good Thanksgiving with my now-deceased father (in-laws overseas, my mother long-deceased, siblings all divorced/across the country). My father was usually extremely moody and negative around holidays, but very occasionally, he would be willing to join my "family events." For example, the year we bought the farm - in the same county he'd moved to! - he begged off joining us to go out to dinner for Thanksgiving!? The following year, I had to try again; we invited him to Thanksgiving dinner at a local Inn, and he got dressed up nicely and joined us.
So that day in 2003 was a perfect time and place, with excellent food, and everyone truly on their best behavior...Sadly, the following year or so, that fancy Inn closed due to fire, and nobody has heard about it for over 14 years...until today, when I discovered it has just gone on the market! It was beyond any other local "buffet" option around here, so its closing represented the end of our chance to start a new annual tradition with my father.
Looking at the real estate website, I thought I recognized something about it. Started looking through the photos, and my gosh, all of a sudden, I see the lobby where my father, SAWH and I had come in, hung up our coats, and admired the buffet table on our way to our Thanksgiving feast! Then I clicked on the now-empty room where our table had been, saw the window we'd looked out of on that happy day....now without any furniture, yet otherwise, the grand place still identical to how I remembered it back in 2003. I was there, again, almost!
In 2011 I lost my only sister to cancer; she was halfway across the country and we never had holidays together. In 2013, my father died, 4 years after a stroke that caused cererovascular dementia. Lots of grief. By the time of his stroke in '09, my father had distanced himself further from me/SAWH, due to my endless tales of marital pain (so he told my brother, who never brought him the 5 miles out of his way to see us); then SAWH got laid off and months later in early 2014, D-Day 2 came with his arrest for soliciting...ugh, ugh, ugh.
Well - so here I sit today, 69 years old, and I'm only able to count a very few "happy" times that ever took place around here with any of my loved ones in setting I can revisit so vividly as I did today. Ouch. It's no wonder I started sobbing, right?
But you know what? I just can't shake the thought that somehow, my staying stuck here is why this all hurts so much! Although it's all mingled in with the loss of family, too. I suspect that if I'd left this marriage and this place, I'd have made other memories, good or otherwise, but at least things I'd see every day wouldn't always trigger "what could have been." A lesson in this is....?
(To tell the truth, if my father hadn't been so difficult throughout his life, I would have had many more happy holiday memories, too, but this one represented my/our joint efforts to make good family memories just once in my adult life.)
Guess I should just print the photos off and accept my grief.
Thanks for listening, y'all. Hope everybody else is doing okay.
PS it is gloomy and rainy here again...can't deal with dark days any more, as I guess y'all can tell!