Today is not my anniversary. My anniversary is December 4th 1993. We are going on 19 years of marriage and I am glad. I know that I am blessed to be married to the man I am married to now and I wish that my demons would get out of my way so that I could try to tell and show him more. But there is another day in my heart, that I will never forget. It is a day that happened thirty four years ago today. July 1st, 1978. A day I took vows with a preacher, my childhood preacher, in front of loved ones, on a beautiful day, much like today. I remember the feeling of believing in those vows and never being able to ever quite get over the fact that I finally had to be the one to break them and the horrible feeling of failure that came with that fact .
I was so young and full of hope and though we only knew each other for six months, we were pretty much in love as far as love gauges go. And we got married because of that love. There was no baby or other reason that made us have to get married. I know people thought that because it was all so fast but it was just a naïve kind of complete, untainted, pure love that we gave much more credit to than it deserved. Enough credit for him to ask and me to say “yes” all those years ago. And even though it didn’t seem to have much of a foundation to begin with, it grew up as we did. It weathered a miscarriage and death and births and lots of fighting and making up but it just wasn’t strong enough to weather the addiction demons that seemed stronger than all that love we gave so much credit to fourteen years earlier and though the love was still there, so were our babies. And I had to protect them.
All of these years later, I still wonder, if I did the right thing. “For better or worse” I had promised. And today I question myself. Did I truly do all I could? Today he is gone. He died on his birthday, almost five years ago. When I knew he was sick, I knew that would be the day he would die. Just something inside of me told me to be prepared. We had seen him a few days earlier, my daughter and I. He had begged us not to go. He was at his girlfriend’s house. It was uncomfortable. It was crazy. I was married. All of these feelings, later strangers made the decision of what to do with him. My kids were left out of the plans. It was horrible. But I had broken my vows, I had no rights. I couldn’t even stop to feel the pain. I still don’t think I have. I pushed through the next couple of months, not allowing myself to feel. I still don’t think I have dealt with any of it. Least of all, the broken promises, the vows that I feel I failed.
Fast forward to today. I am remarried and know that at least my daughter feels that I made the right choice. She loved her daddy but her dad is the man I am married to. That gave her character and disciplined her and taught her morals and loved her. She is comfortable enough to ask him for things she needs and he is the first person she calls in an emergency. She is comfortable enough to get mad at him when he annoys her but to love him for the man he is, the one who raised her. Her dad! And for all the failure I feel regarding my broken vows.