There it is. It’s right in front of me. I’m living it, yet it seems so far out of reach. I’m really over the season of reflection. When I look back at the last year, there is so much that I miss from my previous married life. Divorce is the hardest thing I’ve ever lived through, but I likened the second half of my marriage to saving a dying cat, which is something I also once tried to do.
My sweet orange tabby, Joey, had something wrong with him. It was a slow fade kidney disease that we were trying to tackle as an allergy issue. He was the sweetest, most tolerant cat I ever had. He always struggled with hair balls and vomiting (writing on the wall now that I think of it). He would let me shave his entire body in the summer months to help with his digestive tract. We had such a special bond, but I knew he was dying in the last few years that I had him and I let it go for too long. Selfish on my part really. I think by the time you’re feeding your cat a full diet of Ensure supplement shakes, it’s time. That’s where I found myself at the end of his life. Poor thing was needlessly suffering and I was too, although in that moment I thought I was doing my best with what I had. In reality, I was denying that I could no longer change the outcome no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I loved him.
…and that was my marriage – Saving a Dying Cat.
Before I got divorced, I thought my recovery would involve only facing the loss of my spouse. Turns out, he is the least of my losses. I do miss some physical things I had but not really because they were things. I miss what my things represented. I miss my house because it was on a quiet street, with a chicken coop in a fenced-in back yard that backed up to the woods with a stream. I miss having a home. I miss a home that we had begun to make memories in and a home that we had plans in. I miss a home that represented normalcy and security. The stuff I had were only tools I used to serve those purposes.
I have things that I kept for sentimental reasons in a storage unit that I no longer want at all. It will be helpful to have furniture for our next home, but the few things I did keep otherwise, I don’t remember what they are and if I never saw these things again, I don’t think I’d miss them at all.
“But Amanda, won’t you be happy to reminisce once you do get a chance to get everything out of storage?”
I mean, maybe. Right now it all feels like a dead weight. I think I’ll be asking myself more what I was thinking keeping some of it. At no point have I thought I should have kept more things. The most important things I took from my divorce are what I have right now – my kids, a hope for a better tomorrow, a chance to figure out who I am, and learning that God will hold you close, even in divorce. He will never leave you, nor forsake you no matter what any religious ideology convinces you to believe.
Hope and Self. Something my marriage took from me while I was needlessly suffering thinking that all I could do was the best with what I had. There is no store that I can shop at, or house that I can fill with stuff that can lead me to Hope and Self.
Anything possession that I decide to have will be used to further my purposes for the next season. The kids and I have shared the tiniest one closet for months and I still have clothes to wear everyday. There really is a sense of freedom knowing that you can live without.