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Swans

November 11, 2010

Last night, I “bartended” for a client event at work. And by “bartended” I mean I:

  • Only served beer and wine. There were no mixed drinks to be had (thank goodness).
  • Had someone else uncork the bottles of wine. Good thing too, because with my luck, most of the corks would have gotten stuck in the bottles.
  • Looked blankly at a very sweet lady who asked for a drink that was non-alcoholic and did not include high fructose corn syrup. After a moment’s pause, I said, “I’m not sure we have that. Would you like a Minute Maid?” See, in my mind, Minute Maid must be better than Coke, Mountain Dew or the other options I had available to me. When she saw that it only included 3 percent fruit juice, she lost interest. So I gave her water. From a plastic bottle. Served in plastic cup. She looked like she was going to have a heart attack. She proceeded to explain to me that high fructose corn syrup is what’s really wrong with our society, that and the fact that we use too many plastic bottles and cups. I’m pretty sure she thought I was an actual bartender and that I was going to take these learnings to my next event. Not so much.
  • Struggled desperately trying to use tongs to grab slippery (duh) pieces of ice and put them in cups. Finally, I just dunked the cups directly in the ice bucket. I had drinks to serve, damn it! Okay. I’ll be honest. I had drinks to serve for like an hour. For like 15 guests – tops. Don’t let me mislead you. This should not have been a hard task for me. Strangely, it slightly stressed me out.
  • Overfilled glasses of wine. Apparently you are supposed to get like four to five glasses of wine out of each bottle. Not when Catherine’s bartending! I like my guests happy (and tipsy).
  • Stood, incredibly bored in between serving drinks, and took in my surroundings. The twinkling lights. The deep sweet smell of the rose, hydrangea and carnation centerpieces. The incredible amount of heat three little votive candles put out. Signs on the walls that I’ve never noticed – and I have been working in this same building for almost five years. And I realized that I had forgotten about the swans.

So that brings me to the purpose of this post. I realized last night that I had forgotten about the swans. What swans, you ask?

A few years ago, when my ex fiancée and I were still together, it was a lovely spring day and my ex turned to me and said, “So, those swans are pretty awesome, huh?”

“What swans?” I asked. I had no idea what in the world he was talking about.

“The swans on the way to work!” he exclaimed.

I still had no idea what he was talking about. After discussing this with him further, my ex revealed to me that on my route to work, I drove by a pond. In this pond, there were at least half a dozen swans, swimming and frolicking. All within easy view of the road. The same road that I had travelled every single day for two years. Yet I never once noticed the pond, let alone the swans.

picture of swans

Photo courtesy of Harry Harris

In my defense, obviously the swans aren’t there year-round. But seriously, who drives by SWANS in the middle of CHESTER and does not notice? What other beautiful things in my day-to-day surroundings was I missing?

The very next day, I slowly drove by the swans. And there they were, clear as day. Clear to anyone who had their eyes open, that is. And I vowed, from that point forward, to keep my eyes open. To appreciate what I had in my life.

I was reminded of my swan experience right after the break up. My ex and I lived together for weeks after it was over, as I was looking for a new place to live. During this time, I absolutely knew it was over. The wedding had been cancelled. Yet, I couldn’t let go. And I chose to live in denial.

The end of my relationship came so fast, I was reeling for weeks. It was all pretty hard to believe. And, I felt cheated. Cheated because I couldn’t “properly” break up with my ex, knowing weeks in advance that the end was near. If I’d had the luxury of those weeks, I could have relished every last moment.

So, for the two or so weeks until I moved out, my ex and I spent time together. We watched TV. We held hands. We cooked dinner together. We laughed. We talked in ways that we hadn’t talked in years, maybe ever. In those few weeks, sad as it is, I finally took the time to enjoy those little aspects of being with someone that I had taken for granted. I’d had my eyes closed – like with the swans – to the wonderful things in my relationship.

This is not to say that those last two weeks were wonderful. Most nights, we cried together, because we both knew it was over. We fought many times. I screamed at him for hurting me; I threw things at him (and I didn’t always miss). But, there were really good moments in those last days and weeks – moments I’m not sure were entirely healthy, but moments I also don’t regret.

And last night, during my one-time bartending gig, I had a moment of clarity. A moment of no cell phones, no TV, no Internet, no blog entries to write, nothing. Just me and my thoughts.

I noticed things I hadn’t really noticed before. I saw things that I haven’t seen in five years working in the very same building (yet they were always there). I felt the heat of the candles and smelled the flowers, almost like it was the first time I had experienced such things. I realized (actually I remembered, because I’ve realized this before and had forgotten) that swans are all around you, you just have to know to look for them.

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but if you are lucky enough to have someone who loves you, please enjoy it. You never know when that love will be gone, and you will regret (as I did) not enjoying every single moment. If you are walking through life with your eyes half closed, OPEN YOUR EYES. Look for swans. Smell the flowers. Really feel his/her hug. Tell your lover/mother/father/brother/sister/best friend/whatever that you love them. Pay attention. You only get one life, and if you aren’t properly living and experiencing yours, you only have yourself to blame.

Readers, are you paying attention to the swans in your life? Have you ever had an experience like this? I’d love to hear about it.

56 Comments leave one →
  1. natasha permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:43 am

    Wow. Simply amazing post.

  2. 2 New Beginnings permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:47 am

    Hmmmm, very moving post. It’s sad but most people don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. Some of the lucky ones, get second chances to make it right (I thankfully am one of those and don’t plan on messing it up this time), others move on and hope they don’t make the same mistakes in their next relationship. Losing someone whether through a break-up, death, or just moving off often opens your eyes, but sometimes till it’s too late. Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the little moments, really taking the time to appreciate our surroundings and the joys and love that we often fail to be thankful for. Great post, especially during the time of Thanksgiving. I hope everyone will enjoy this season and open their eyes and most of all pay attention. Thanks for sharing.

    • November 11, 2010 10:51 am

      Thank you for your kind words and comment. I agree, I definitely don’t want to make the same mistakes this time around. I HAVE to learn from my past. I feel like it’s almost required of me. And I’m glad you picked up that I don’t just mean break ups – sometimes you lose people to death. I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but any day could be our last, and we have to appreciate the people in our lives before it’s too late. And good point about Thanksgiving – I hadn’t even really thought about the time of year, but you are right, it’s especially important during this season to enjoy the blessings in our lives. Thanks again.

  3. SimplyStac permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:53 am

    I have tears in my eyes. Ok, maybe I’m just emo today. I blogged something similar a few weeks ago, and every word here is so true! From relationships to noticing the little things…we all need to take a little time just to notice. And as far as heartbreak? THAT sucks, but through all the pain and hurt, we still need to look at the swans. And sometimes, the best relationship is the one we have with ourselves. :)

    • November 11, 2010 10:55 am

      Simply: Thanks so much for your comment. Sorry for the tears, I have to admit I was feeling pretty emo as well when I wrote this at about 1 in the morning :). Would you mind sharing your blog with me? It doesn’t link on your name, and I’d love to read more. Perhaps I’m already reading it, though, and I don’t even know it!

      You are right – I think the best relationship of my lifetime will be the one with myself. I’m constantly working on it, and I can’t say it’s always been healthy. Sometimes I’m my own worst critic (and not in a good way) and sometimes I don’t build myself up (I actually tear myself down). And sometimes, I don’t love myself. Or I don’t treat myself like I do anyway. But it’s a work in progress, every single day. Affirmations help, and being truly honest with myself helps. I hope to one day be in love with myself, if you know what I mean. And I don’t mean in an egotistical way.

      Thanks again for the nice words and comment!

      • November 11, 2010 8:51 pm

        No apologies!! Emo days are good sometimes…they say crying is like getting rid of toxins in the body. I do believe I should be cleansed a million over by now…:)

  4. November 11, 2010 9:05 am

    Catherine,

    This post is so sweet. It is often that people kind of ‘daze’ their way through life. Lucky for you, you had a wake-up call. It may have been the canceling of a wedding, but at least you are realizing things. I am dead sure that you won’t make that mistake again. If things roll over well with Chef, there is no doubt in my mind that you won’t make those same mistakes. And that, my dear, is what life is all about. Yet so many people miss it. They have bad things happen to them and don’t learn anything from it. I know I says it all the time, but we are all so proud of you!

    Sometimes I wish I could put into words how much Christopher and I savor every moment we have together. I’ve mentioned before that when he wakes up at night, and I’m nearly dead, haha, he will brush my cheek with his finger until he falls back asleep. He emails me while both at work, telling me he wants to go home and hold me forever.

    I think we’ve got the right idea. Here’s to hoping he does hold me forever.

    P.S. I don’t blame you for throwing things at your ex. I hope it hurt ;)

    • November 11, 2010 11:02 am

      Hi Brittany,
      Thanks for your comment! I agree with you about “dazing” your way through life. I’m not sure why I keep falling back into that – but I’m trying to regularly wake myself up. There is so much to enjoy and appreciate in our lives if you only pay attention, and look for good things. You are right, I find myself really paying attention to things with Chef. Enjoying this time where we are still getting to know each other, really feeling each moment. For example, the other day we went out to lunch and when we came home, we just lay together on the couch. Out of nowhere, both of us just audibly sighed. And then laughed. Because we were both just so content to be touching once again – it had been hours that we had been out in public and not really touching one another. It’s really important to pay attention to those moments, to feel the contentment, joy, etc. And sometimes, even to feel the pain. We are nothing without our feelings and experiences, and if you just gloss over them, I think you are missing out on life. I’m glad I wrote this post, because maybe it will serve as a regular reminder for me. Wake up and smell the roses (literally and figuratively!).

      Your relationship and experiences with Christopher sound wonderful. Such a good reminder, thanks for sharing.

      And PS: During this time, I also hit him with a remote control. LOL. Violence is NOT the answer… but… well… it is what it is. And yes, I think it hurt. A least a little. haha

  5. Millie Turner (Mom) permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:41 am

    Beautiful post you made me cry yet again
    love ya

  6. Amy permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:42 am

    Wonderful writing. Sometimes we also have to look for ugly ducklings turning into that beautiful swan.
    There´s just one thing I found shocking. If someone cheated on you and hurt you by lying, you subsequently cancelled your wedding and the relationship was over, how come you could still hold hands with that person? Maybe it´s because I have never experienced cheating or bad break-up, but it´s simply beyond my understanding because it must have hurt so much more living with your ex-fianceé for two weeks under one roof…

    • November 11, 2010 11:20 am

      Amy, thanks for your comment and your kind words. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment, because it gives me a chance to try to explain myself more.

      I understand why you find it shocking that I continued to hold hands with and spend time with my ex. I don’t know if you had a chance to read the Six Months post, but I talked about how somehow, the pain of what you are going through becomes less shocking and just becomes a fact. This person hurt me. They have green eyes. These are just facts. There are moments, hours even, when these things are just cold hard facts and you can dissociate your feelings from them. I don’t know if it’s this way for everyone, but it certainly became that way for me. And I suspect that others experience this too, or else they would never be able to go back to someone who hurt them. It would hurt too much. Somehow, the pain becomes a dull ache. And it feels normal (although it’s not) to have such mixed emotions for someone. The way you feel about them now (the anger, the hate, and still, the love, because that doesn’t go away overnight) becomes the sum of how you feel for them. I think for me, it was like a defense mechanism to try and deny the pain, or push it down, and enjoy the last moments with my ex. My body simply couldn’t feel the sadness, the pain and the anger all the time – I don’t know if I could have survived such a constant mess of emotions. Does that make sense? I’m having a hard time explaining it for some reason. But the reason I WANT to explain it properly is because I was just like you. When I’ve seen people get hurt in the past (pre my breakup) I was always the: Leave his ass! You can do better! You deserve better! How can you stay with someone who has done such awful things to you?? That was ALWAYS my perspective. But going through this, it all suddenly makes more sense to me. How HARD it is to leave. How EASY it is make yourself forget, to hold on to last moments (or even just to hold on to the person if you don’t want to let them go). Leaving and holding on to the anger is so much harder than I ever could have imagined.

      At the time that we were holding hands, it was like I was desperately trying to hold on to every last moment we had. And I felt very sorry for him, too. Because he knew he made mistakes. Irreparable mistakes. And he was so sorry, and so sad. But he couldn’t undo them. And I couldn’t forget them. We were both just so incredibly sad. This was my best friend for seven years. At moments, it felt like we were the only ones who understood the pain we were feeling. So we consoled each other. We held hands, we hugged. We didn’t really kiss, that was too painful. But somehow, we provided some solace to one another as we were both going through the pain of the break up and the cancelled wedding. Like I said, to this day I’m not sure if it was healthy. It was just what we did. There was an end date – I was moving out. The wedding was off. We were over. And until that date, it was like a countdown. Two more dinners together. The last time we watch Lost. The last night we sleep under the same roof (we didn’t sleep in the same room after the breakup, except for the very last night). And then, I moved out. And it was done. But it was like we were taking the time to properly say goodbye (and maybe even honor what we did have).

      I understand where your comment comes from, because many of my friends said the same thing at the time. My family encouraged me to stay with them for those last two weeks. I don’t know if I would have recovered faster if I did (maybe I would have). But for some reason, I wasn’t ready to let go. I needed time to say goodbye. Although I can’t say I would recommend this for someone else, it’s just what I needed.

      • November 11, 2010 12:52 pm

        I think you describe those last weeks so clearly and beautifully, Catherine. We don’t really hear about these times in our romantic narratives, and they are so powerful. Thank you for talking so openly about yours.

        • November 14, 2010 5:00 pm

          Thanks, Maggie. I think you make a good point about this – these moments in a relationship aren’t part of romance novels or even tragedies. You really don’t hear a lot about the times immediately after a loss or a break up – I guess it’s just too depressing for people to share. I just am happy I have a place to talk about these things – they live in my head, and somehow, getting them out helps a lot.

  7. November 11, 2010 11:14 am

    I thought this was a great, great post. And very relevant to what’s going on in my own life, and things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (feel free to check out my blog- some of it is sad, heavy stuff, so I get that it’s not for everyone). But I loved reading this today, and it’s again reminding me to always be on the lookout for my “swans”. Thanks!

    • November 14, 2010 4:56 pm

      Street: Thank you very much! I’m glad that you found some relevancy in this post. I definitely will check out your blog soon, I’m all about the sad heavy stuff, LOL :)

  8. Amy permalink
    November 11, 2010 12:02 pm

    Catherine, I am lost for words. What you just wrote opened my eyes and you moved me to tears with your reply, especially that countdown part. Now I get it, maybe it was necessary for your moving on, because when you don´t say proper goodbye, it hounts you forever. And after seven years it´s absolutely understandable, that clean cut is kind of impossible, because you two had thousands of invisible connections, links and attachments. And that doesn´t go off just like that.

    P.S. Also big congrats on Chef, he seems like a really cool and nice guy, combination that is hard to get.

    • November 11, 2010 8:08 pm

      Amy – Thank you! Glad my comment helped you understand. I felt like I was struggling trying to explain it (hence the ridiculous length of the comment!). It’s almost like you explained it better in this response than I did – and it was so concise! I liked the “invisible connections, links and attachments.” EXACTLY!! You should write a guest post for me sometime, you definitely have a way with words! :)

      And thanks about Chef, we’re definitely having a fun time!

  9. November 11, 2010 12:33 pm

    Yes, I have. I realized years ago that you shouldn’t let the friendships that matter slide. You may think that they’ll still be there when the time comes to rekindle the friendship. But… they may not be.

    Anyway, if you’re interested, I wrote about this (of course). :-)

    Here’s the “backstory”:

    That Guy Was My Friend, Part 1

    And here’s the lesson:

    That Guy Was My Friend, Part 2

    • November 11, 2010 8:09 pm

      Wow, thanks for sharing Dennis. I’m off to go read these posts right now!! Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. November 11, 2010 12:50 pm

    Oh, Catherine, what a beautiful post. You had me laughing with your bartending story–I’ve felt exactly the same way at the work events I’ve had to bartend at!

    But then, woah, your post had me in tears in front of my computer at work. I so wish I could give you a hug instead of a comment :)

    The little stuff has always meant the most to me, and I still need reminders to pay attention to it, but I’ve found that keeping a journal and making a list of the little stuff that bouyed me over the day helps keep me sane.

    And oh honey, I know how hard that struggle to love yourself is–that you talked about in your comment to SimplyStac. I broke up with my really imporant boyfriend in March, and in June I found out that he was dating someone else. I thought I had been doing pretty well since the breakup, but hearing that he was dating someone else (and not waiting around for me the way I totally was waiting for him) just wrecked me. I raged and cried and took to my bed for the weekend and wanted to die.

    But when I pulled myself out of the pain, I realized that I had so much love for him because I hated myself so much. I decided then and there that I was not perfect and there was stuff that I wanted to work on, but that I was going to love myself. Because there’s no way I can ask someone else to love me when I’m not treating myself the way I deserve. I had so much room to love him because I was not reserving any love for myself.

    And now that I have learned to love myself, my whole life has changed and become more amazing than I ever imagined it would ever be. A lot of people in my life have remarked that I’m a “whole new woman” since the spring. It’s definitely a journey, and god, it feels good. I wish you luck with the journey in your life!

    Love,
    Maggie

    • November 14, 2010 5:05 pm

      Maggie,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Keeping a journal is a really good idea. Someone at my work says that every night she makes a list (not sure if it’s written or just in her mind) of the things that brought her joy that day. She likes to recognize and appreciate all the joy. I think both of you are on the right track.

      Thanks for sharing your story about how you felt after your break up with your boyfriend in March. “I had so much room to love him because I was not reserving any love for myself.” That was very beautifully put. Everything you say sounds so familiar, and it sounds like I’ve felt at moments.

      Congrats on making the important decision and doing the important work that is loving yourself. I didn’t know you before, but I know that you are amazing now!!

  11. Teya:) permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:35 pm

    Awesome post Cat!!

    • November 11, 2010 8:09 pm

      Thank you! Appreciate your comment :) And I ALWAYS appreciate your reading!!

  12. November 11, 2010 4:54 pm

    Awesome post. Actually, i love all your posts :)

    Yes, I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’ve taken so many things for granted until one disastrous item gets taken away and it always seems to be the one thing you never ever think of losing… oh well.

    now, i try my hardest to be grateful for all the little things no matter how little. “cheap thrills are the best kind, especially if they’re free”

    • November 14, 2010 4:58 pm

      MCT: Thank you so much, that means a lot to me!!

      It’s hard when you take things for granted, because most often you don’t even know you are doing it until it’s too late. I guess we just always have to have our eyes open for swans!

      I like “cheap thrills are the best kind, especially if they’re free.” Good to remember :)

  13. November 11, 2010 9:44 pm

    I am very guilty of walking through life with my eyes half-closed. However my drives to and from work are when I open my eyes. I am a sucker for sunsets and sunrises and am lucky enough to see a gorgeous sky of golds, pinks, and purples smeared across my windshield each day.

    These are my quiet moments. I turn off the radio, and listen to jazz, and I think. Sometimes, I cry. And sometimes, there is laughter. But it’s my life. Might not be here forever, but it’s here now.

    Thank you Catherine!

    -Lucky

    • November 14, 2010 4:43 pm

      That’s interesting that your drive to and from work are when you notice everything. My drive is when I tend to get into a weird zone of not really paying that much attention. But I’m trying to wake myself up, because I too love sunsets and sunrises!

      Thanks for your comment, Lucky!

  14. Jeff W. permalink
    November 11, 2010 10:19 pm

    Lovely post. I certainly need to keep an eye out for my swans. Regarding bartending at work, slippery ice and tiny tongs … been there, done that. Not as easy as it looks! :)

    • November 14, 2010 4:44 pm

      Thank you JW! Glad to hear that someone else out there has had as much trouble with that damn ice as I did :)

  15. Kelly permalink
    November 12, 2010 8:17 am

    I am glad to read your post this morning because even as bad as things have gotten I am still tahnkful for the last 22 years with my husband! Sure I may not like him alot of the times but I love him all of the time. It just takes someone to remind you that every once in awhile you need to stop pull back and smell the roses. Thanks for the reminder; love your writing.

    • November 14, 2010 4:46 pm

      Thank you Kelly! I hear what you are saying completely. I know you guys have had some rough times recently, but it’s definitely going to get better. You guys are very lucky to have each other – enjoy it!

  16. November 12, 2010 2:14 pm

    My kids, when they were younger, were my swans.

    I think back to moments that were perfect – for instance, one day in which we took a day trip to the Oregon coast to visit Keiko the killer whale when my son was 4 years old, and bought him a little stuffed orca in the gift shop. In retrospect, it was one of the best days of my life. I only wish I knew that at the time. I look back on it so fondly now, and often wish I could go back in time and relive it. Knowing what was to come (not just the inevitable growing older, but divorce and change), I’d hold onto that day and appreciate it so much more.

    • November 14, 2010 4:48 pm

      Mark,
      Thanks for sharing this story. I think many of us have days in our past that are just like that. It would be so wonderful if you could go back and REALLY enjoy it, knowing what you know now. But the way I’m trying to look at it is at least we had those moments at all. We can appreciate them now. Some people don’t get those moments, you know? I guess it’s the “better to have love and lost than had never loved at all” as much as I hate that phrase!

  17. November 14, 2010 12:32 am

    beautiful swan!!! Please take a look at my blog too!!

    http://SweetLuxuryLife.wordpress.com

    xoxo!

  18. November 14, 2010 4:32 am

    Amazing :) P.S The little bit about the lady and the water – once at work (chain childrens clothing store) had a lady come in asking for pure cotton clothing NOT made in China, although it was ok if it was made in Germany… I did not know for the life of me what to say to her haha

    • November 14, 2010 4:51 pm

      LOL – too funny! There are some odd balls out there. You want to be nice to them, because their intentions must be good (just strange!).
      Thanks for your comment.

  19. November 14, 2010 5:15 am

    Aw, honey *hug*. (Ew, I just used asterixes to imply cyber affection.) Perhaps you should make it an official title: The Swan Experience. Or, A Swan Moment… and then every time you say it, everyone knows exactly what you mean. My friends and I do this with Honey Moments- those times when everything is just awesome and you appreciate that present moment. Maybe your swan is my honey.

    What a cute sentence that was!!

    • November 14, 2010 4:52 pm

      Hahahaha on the cyber affection. AWESOME. Ohhh I like A Swan Moment. I’m definitely going to remember that. I like your honey moments – I might have to steal that!

  20. Sunflowerdiva permalink
    November 14, 2010 10:03 am

    What a sweet post! You had me hooked reading it all the way through.

  21. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:26 pm

    I think what I love most about your posts is the fact that the concepts are so simple but you write about them so beautifully.
    A few weeks ago, I noticed that whenever I was alone and had time to think, I’d let my thoughts wander to the past and replay moments over and over again, sometimes changing the outcome. I decided to stop and pay attention to what was happening in the present, or try to figure out what my plans were for the future. I’ve been a lot happier since then.

    • November 17, 2010 6:59 pm

      Beneath:
      Thank you very much. What you shared here really affected me, because sometimes I find myself doing something similar. Sometimes, when I’m alone and have time to think, I let my mind wander to happy memories with my ex. Sometimes I can almost feel like I’m there. I don’t to change the outcome, but I can remember vacations, laying in bed together, etc, all clear as day. Maybe someday I will be able to look fondly on these memories, but now, when I think of them, I just get sad. This practice of focusing on the past makes me sad. So I just have to pay attention to the present, hope for the future, and not let my mind wander. Maybe someday it won’t be so painful. But I agree, it helps you be a lot happier. This is great advice.

  22. November 15, 2010 6:42 am

    This was so pretty! And you are totally right, I spend my life with my eyes half closed just taking in what I have to. On my way home tonight I’m really going to look. I live on such a beautiful island, it’s a shame to miss it. And I’ll probably hug Connah that little bit tighter tonight too xxx

    • November 17, 2010 7:01 pm

      Thank you! I think you are right, when you live somewhere so beautiful, you really have to appreciate it and notice it – not everyone is so lucky to have wonderful surroundings. Definitely give tighter hugs, really feel every kiss, say I love you with passion… do all the things to communicate how you really feel. You never know when it will be too late.
      Appreciate your comment :)

  23. November 15, 2010 9:51 am

    A truly lovely post, Catherine. First of all, how does that old lady make it through a single day without having a heart attack. I understand the need to reduce the carbon footprint, but wow.

    Secondly, your post reminded me of the last few weeks of my brother’s marriage. Like you and your fiance, my brother and his ex-wife lived under the same roof for about six weeks before she finally moved to a different state. It absolutely ripped him open to see her every day. He begged her not to go. He asked her how she could leave him for someone else.

    Meanwhile, I begged him to stay with my family so he wouldn’t have to go through that pain and rejection every day. He said quite simply that he wanted to hold on to her as long as he could. He said he wanted to try until the bitter end, so that when nothing worked, he could at least walk away knowing in his heart he’d given her everything he had.

    • November 17, 2010 7:06 pm

      35×37:
      Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate you telling your brother’s story…it sounds so much like mine (and it’s good to know I’m not completely crazy). For me, I was trying to hang on to every last moment, because I knew they were my last and I felt very cheated to have so few left. I think my ex was trying to hold on too, but he was also, I think, hoping I’d change my mind about leaving. These weeks were so painful, sometimes I feel kind of surprised (and proud) that I survived them – and that I actually left in the end. That was the hardest part, the day of the move and actually leaving. I really feel for your brother, I can’t imagine that pain. But, what you said “he wanted to hold on to her as long as he could,” wow – you couldn’t have said it any better. That’s exactly what I was doing. I hope that your brother is doing better now.

  24. November 18, 2010 7:28 am

    I used to not notice things a lot, but I’m getting better. I’ve trained myself to almost always take a moment to notice sunsets. The colors are so gorgeous.

    If I ever need a bartender for a party, I’m hiring you.

    • November 21, 2010 9:50 pm

      I agree, I do love sunsets. I’m in for your next bartending job – just need some more practice, maybe! :)

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