This past weekend we went to the wedding of one of my ex-husband's nephews.
Even though I have been divorced from my ex-husband for almost 15 years and have been remarried for 12 years, I never stopped seeing him as "my" nephew.
My ex-husband and I have come to terms with our differences from our past marriage and have for the most part mended the bridge.
We are very friendly and have no awkwardness when we are in social settings together.
His family has also come to terms with the fact that they do not have to pick sides anymore and that it is okay to be friendly with me, without feeling that they are being disloyal to my ex.
With that said I had a really weird surrealistic experience during this wedding.
I felt a lot like Rip Van Winkle. A lot of these people, who at one time had been our friends and my family, I had not seen for almost 15 years.
Just like Rip Van Winkle woke after a twenty year slumber, I too felt like I had been dead asleep for 15 years when it came to this part of my past.
To say it was bizarre to see "kids" who were small when I got divorced and moved away; fully grown now, was a small understatement.
Even though I am happy with my life now, there was still this weird feeling of the what if?
As I looked around the room and saw all the families that used to be part of my life, there was a sense of loss and wonderment about what had I missed?
I was also surprised at times by the couples that "made" it and even more surprised by the ones that did not.
I felt a sense of sadness at the memories that I was not a part of, the birthdays, anniversaries and births that I had missed.
What got me the most was that it took my ex-husband and me, that long to get over ourselves and move on.
Had we done that sooner, as we should have, then I would not have felt like I had been asleep for 15 years; nor would I walk around wishing that time could be held in a bottle!
Regrets are a funny thing because I always have regrets about all the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, even though our lives have turned out great.
I wonder at times if maybe things would have been easier, less painful, less complicated for my boys and myself if we had stuck it out.
But if all I do is keep focusing on the regrets then I will miss all the memories being created in the present.
The main thing that I am grateful for, is that I did get over it!
Otherwise I would still be missing out on amazing memories with all these people who I still care about and love.
I now have the great times I shared with my boys, their cousins, my husband, my ex-husband and his awesome family!
I also have the future to look forward to, like new grand nieces and nephews, more weddings and other milestones.
For all the things my ex-husband and I did wrong I am glad this is one thing we did right!
I am also grateful that my hubby Mel is so supportive of me by letting me maintain these relationships without petty insecurities.
So Rip Van Winkle, wake the heck up and smell the sweet aroma of living!!
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