Like It Never Happened

My life is generally divided into B.D. (before divorce) and A.D. (after divorce). I divvy up experiences, locations and even relationships between these two categories. I am (often painfully) aware of this division, this singular event that has fractured my life in two.

Last night, for a magical few hours, that mental division was erased and the crevice between my selves felt filled.

It was just a simple evening at an outdoor concert with friends – two couples, one with a kid. One from B.D. and the other (at least for me) from A.D. These blendings of friends are rare in my life due to the twin constraints of busy lives and Atlanta traffic (my B.D. friends live a minimum of 45 minutes away).

It felt great to join the two groups, but that wasn’t the magic. That’s where the kid comes in.

The B.D. friends, Sarah and Curtis, are extremely special to me (they are the ones who opened their home to me in the first year A.D. – Wanted: The Ronald McDonald House for the Recently Separated). They have been in my life for the past decade. Due to Curtis’s schedule, Sarah, my ex and I used to enjoy events together – everything from a King Tut exhibit to the annual Brew at the Zoo. We were thrilled for them when they started the adoption process almost five years ago. Although my ex and I never wanted our own children, we both enjoyed playing the avuncular role with other’s offspring.

Sarah and Curtis received the wonderful news in April of 2009 that they had a baby girl waiting for them. She was still in the NICU and would be for several more weeks due to prematurity and other complications. In their eyes, she was perfect. She came home that May. She was still quite fragile and was tethered to tubes and alarms that kept Sarah anchored in a corner of the master bedroom for the first couple weeks.

On her first Saturday home from the hospital, I made plans to visit. My ex declined to accompany. I thought it was strange for him to miss meeting this child that meant so much to our friends. I thought it was strange, but I brushed it off. In retrospect, he didn’t want to meet her because he knew his days in that life were numbered.

I’m glad they never met. That tiny, fragile infant has since grown into a spirited four year old (Let’s Go On An Adventure) that embodies a Botticelli beauty. A child that has no memory of my life B.D. and a child with whom I have no memories associated with my ex.

I loved watching her with Brock last night as he taught her how to walk Tiger on a leash (unfortunately, no photos were taken but just picture this 30 pound girl walking a 95 pound pit bull through a crowded park – the looks we got were priceless!) and she gifted him a “friendship rock.” He has fully embraced the uncle role with her, even though they do not see each other often. Brock may not have been there for those years waiting for the adoption and the first year of her life, but he’s here now. And, as far as she will know, he is the only husband (okay, so he’s not that yet, but soon:)) that I have ever had.

Brock and Tiger - two peas in a pod:)
Brock and Tiger – two peas in a pod:)

A quick side note here – Is it weird that I love watching Brock interact with kids even though I don’t want them? I just love seeing how comfortable he is and how he understands how to communicate with them at various developmental levels. Makes me smile.

Last night, the harsh distinction (that exists more in my mind that anywhere else) between B.D. and A.D. blurred as I sat with friends who have made the journey with me and friends that have only known me after. As I looked around the group gathered on our tarp, it didn’t feel A.D.

It just felt right.

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19 thoughts on “Like It Never Happened

  1. BD and AD…. yes. A clearly painted line in my life. Trying to move on and think more about the POST part…. (I’m not divorced yet, so I’ll use BS… and AS…) “S” for separated. Great post, as always. Thank you. It’s nice to know (and read) that people can come out of these things ok.

    1. i havent read any posts in awhile because i’ve been too emotional.. I feel others pain as my own when it comes to this.. but this post i read every word.. im happy for you, maybe this journey was always to lead you to brock.. (im still trying to make sense of all this.. almost 6 months later.. no i have no answers for myself and i struggle with leaving him.. feeling pathetic and broken)… your post gives me hope…

      1. Sorry to hear of your current pain. I don’t know that there is ever any sense to be made of it all. Just an acceptance, a letting go and a moving on. I think that’s often all we can do. Hugs to you.

  2. I wrote about my own BD and AD, in a post called “What is Normal?”, yesterday. The NOW is normal. The feelings associated with it and our mental outlook on working through those feelings are chaos many do not know or see. Thank you for sharing your experiences and the process of working through the distinctions.

  3. I still make distinctions of my experiences as BM and AS (before marriage and after separation). Though given the short span of my marriage, the timeline of the event does not have any major implication on the memories and other experiences but the event did have a huge impact. My present is normal, I do not look back at days BM where I was blissfully unaware of what the future held and neither do I cringe at any memories (good ones) associated with my ex.

  4. Feeling right sounds lovely. I look forward to that. Now I’m in DD (during divorce). I’m sure you remember they phase. Everything up in the air, anxiety, fear. Feeling right is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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