I tried my hand at fish tacos a couple of weeks ago. I got a nice photo of them, they were delicious, and I was going to blog about them the next day.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. Today is the 9th anniversary of my brother’s death, there’s a for sale sign on our front lawn, and I’m falling apart.
Nine years ago, my brother’s unexpected death threw us all into a tailspin. We’re from the most normal of normal families. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to us. But it did.
And it was tough. There were a lot of tears. There was a lot of tea. There was a lot of anger. At one point, I wanted to throw dinner plates against the wall but I didn’t because I’m far too practical for that.
It took a couple of years for me to come out of the fog of it and start to feel a “new normal.” The days and months and years passed. There isn’t a day that I don’t think of him, but the pain became duller.
I came through that and survived. I figured that’s it, that was the big hard awful thing that life had in store for me, and I got through it, and that was it.
Six years later, I met a guy and fell in love. I was nearly 40 and worried I’d never find the right guy, never get to be a mom. But here was this nice guy. And he asked me to marry him.
In a split second that felt like a moment frozen, suspended in time, my poor heart made a terrified retreat, knowing it was too soon for that question. But then it peeked over its scared shoulder and worried that the question might never come again. It was now or never.
So I said yes.
But I should have said ask me in six months. Ask me when the gaga has worn off. Ask me when my poor heart has had some time to wrestle with its desire to be loved and to have a little one to love, in contrast with the ever-increasing doubt that it could be happy for life with this man.
A good man. Make no mistake. A very good man. But not the right man.
I didn’t start to figure this out until six months after the wedding. After we’d got ourselves tied up in a big new house. I never would have thought that I’d fall out of love before my first anniversary.
But I did. And it never came back.
So the day after the fish tacos, about a month from our second anniversary, we made the decision. It’s over. Now there’s a for sale sign on our lawn. We’re trying to move on quickly. Rip off the band-aid.
I thought my brother’s death would be the worst thing to ever happen in my life. I was wrong.
My brother’s death was awful, but it was out of my hands. I had nothing to do with it happening. But this…I had a hand in this. I took a huge leap of faith off a very big cliff because I still haven’t learned how to make good decisions when my heart is involved.
It’s a very long fall down to the jagged rocks below. The most important things I’ve yearned for all my life are now just fading dreams. My heart is broken and I can’t fathom how it will ever heal.
I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I go to work, I go to the gym, I sleep, I eat, I even laugh. But I feel empty, drained, and ashamed.
Now I’m going to put my workout clothes on and go for a run. One foot in front of the other. I’ll haul this heavy broken heart around. Maybe someday it will get lighter. But I can’t see how it will heal.