I found Chris' wedding ring tonight. 

I lifted the laundry basket and heard it clink to the edge, teetering there a second before falling to the floor. I stared at it, laying there on the carpet. I picked it up and held it in my palm, its weight much lighter than my own heavy platinum band. For me only platinum would do. But, for Chris, white gold was just fine. He would take less so I could have more. 

I fingered its hammered edges, stunned that he so carelessly discarded it somewhere. How could you be so careless with your wedding ring? And a voice in my head immediately responded "How could you be so careless with your marriage?"

The truth is we'll never know if it was carelessness that ultimately crushed us. 

Or money problems. 

Or depression. 

Or our age difference. 

Or that we both come from divorced parents.
In the end, it doesn't matter. Because we're not trying to fix it anymore. We've been rowing against the current for so long - struggling, pushing, forcing - trying to get even a glimpse of land, that it's almost a relief to stop. A relief to look at each other - breathless, exhausted - and with a resigned nod finally let the oars slip out of our hands. 

To finally stop fighting the inevitable and give each other a sad, knowing smile. And say with our hearts "I know. Me too."  

And drift off into the sunset.

I turn in my desk chair to the sound of his voice. It's 1997. I'm 19 years old and it's my first week on the job. You must be the infamous Lena. I look up at him, his eyes sparkling as they lock on mine. Another admirer.

It's 1998. We talk for hours at the bookstore, refilling coffees and asking, answering, searching. One night, he brings my hand to his lips. It's like coming home. 

I lay on the couch of my tiny apartment. He stands in the doorway in his coat. The baseball game we completely ignored ended hours ago. I should go. You should go. He comes toward me instead.

It's 1999. His ex-wife won't sign the papers, is begging for a reconciliation. He's emotional, honest, confused. He drops me off at my car, canceling our date. I crawl along the hallways of my tiny apartment wailing. I sit on the porch all night, smoking cigarettes, hiccuping.

It's 2000. He's not himself. He's distracted. He stops at the bank on our way to the beach. While he's gone, I lean across the seat and feel around inside the pocket of his door. My fingertips touch the tiny velvet box. I pull my hand back, gasping.

It's 2000. My veil blows behind me in our convertible. Passing cars honk and wave. Everywhere we go, we bring happiness.

It's 2001. We make a baby one sunny Sunday morning. We eat pancakes after.

It's 2001. We're scared. The doctors are scared. We pray for God to save me. To save her. To save us. When good news finally comes, Chris hangs his head and quietly cries.

It's 2003. The realtor hands us the keys. Chris takes pictures of me in every room.

It's 2005. He's gone, I say over the phone, I don't have a dad anymore. I drive as fast as I can to his waiting arms.

It's 2007. I thought it was us against the world. I thought...we...?

It's 2011. I won't lose you, he says. He picks me up and runs with me down the path behind our house. We laugh. We cry. This is a start.

It's Today. He texts me "I miss you so much". I respond "So do I". Somehow it's not enough.


I dream. I stand on the edge of a cliff, the fog rising up, obscuring the depths below. The wind pushes at my back. I close my eyes and fall forward. I pray I have wings.


Anonymous said...

The sun is in the process of setting on my marriage as well, and I know how hard it is to imagine. I am thinking of you at this difficult time.

Kerry said...

Can feel the heartbreak.

Don't give up. He is worth it. You are worth it.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for years and am heartbroken for all of you. So sorry.


HerInnerVoice said...

What an unexpected morning cry, beautifully written and heartachingly real, as always.

I'm so sorry, Lena, that you're going through this. Know that you are loved, so much, by so many.

mori said...

sending strength, courage and friendship your way....I am so sorry for what you're going through and hope for the best for you and your family.

Rachel M. said...

I'm so sorry Lena, I've seen the love you have for each other in your writing over the years. I wish things were easier for both of you. Continuing to pray for you during this time.

Denise said...

Oh Lena,

I found my ex's ring in the bathroom. In his drawer. It made me sad, a different sadness after the anger and resolution of it needing two to fix it, and not being just up to one of us.

I think Chris a fool but I would always pick your side in a fight. Only the two of you are in it. Keep Savannah secure in the love of both of you and it will be ok.

Redneck Mommy said...

Oh Lena. I'm so sorry.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh wow. Beautiful and sad, thoughts and strength to you.


Mrs JP Chaos said...

I'm really so very sorry. Thinking of all of you.

IzzyMom said...

You have written beautifully about something so sad... I'm sorry, honey. I wish there was something I could do to make it all better XO

Anonymous said...

My husband and i are in counciling right now. Sometimes it seems like things will be okay and other times I can't see the way. Blinded by hurt and fear. We may not be close, but you are not alone. Please keep writing. Everyone here cares about you very deeply.

Michelle Smiles said...

I'm so very sorry.

Courtney said...

I am praying for you and for your family. I think God led me to your blog tonight becayse a random search got me to and an hour or so later I'm reading this post. Know you are being lifted up in prayer and that you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm at the beginning of this decision. The one that's going to end with the sad smile, and the "me too." Thank you so much for having the courage to put it out in the universe, so the rest of us know we're not the first... nor the last.

Colleen said...

I don't know how something so heartbreaking can be so beautifully written. I hope this works out however you want it to.

Kim Tracy Prince said...

Oh my God, Lena. I'm so sorry.

jodifur said...

Oh Lena, I'm so, so sorry.

Y said...

I love you. You're going to be just fine. More than fine. xoxo

Shari (Shash) said...

Your timeline is so beautiful. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make this all stop. You are loved.

I'm so sorry, Lena.

~ Stacy ~ said...


Kimberly Duncan said...

((((HUGS)))) Stay strong.

Jules said...

I am so saddened seeing your post about the divorce. I have just been through the same thing myself. I met my husband when I was 18, the only person I ever dated. We married when I was 20 and moved to a city where we were both new. We worked SO hard on making us the best we could be. At 8 1/2 years I broke and decided we couldn't do it anymore. It hurt like hell and i didn't think I would make it through, but here I am today. Stronger than I ever thought I could be. I still love him with a passion I don't think I ever felt when we were together. We needed to let each other go and live our lives. You don't want to hear it, I hated people for saying it, but you WILL make it through. Just like I did, you will rediscover yourself, find out what an amazing person you are, and fly with a freedom you never expected. My heart aches for you, but you will get through this stronger on the other side.

Julie Marsh said...

Love to you, Lena. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I wish you peace and comfort at this difficult time.

Mandy said...

I feel as though I have known you for years. I began reading your blog ages ago-when my baby was born. Now she is 6! And the next is 5! To step away and come back to find you here, in this place..makes me want to extend my hand to you. I was where you are. Over these 6 years, I have gone from 20s to mid-30s. I have been broken, broke, depressed, bitter, lonely and completely alienated from the one person I was supposed to be closest to. However, when I was down, at the bottom of that lonely place...Christ reached me again. I had forgotten all about him, done my own thing and left him behind. He never stopped being willing to extend his hand to me. He rescued us from an unsaleable home which we couldn't afford, from struggling to pay bills and BUY food! From depression, from isolation..from sadness..then, after he had rescued me, us. My husband and I began to crumble anyway, or continued the previous crumble. Our mutual self centeredness was killing us. Killing eachother. God intervened. In a miraculous and precious way, but not before I was on my way out the door. Some serious offenses occured. He still enabled mercy, then grace, then forgiveness and then showed us how to love eachother. Since, we have been rebuilt, by the master carpenter. We have been rescued...rebuilt and THIS is nothing short of a miracle-only possible through Him! He is faithful, he will never ever let you down. Even when we hurt eachother..he can heal and rebuild. Where there is life, Lena, there is HOPE. Good Friday is almost here..then Sunday, remember..He IS RISEN. If He can resurrect, surely you can. Surely marriages can. Surely families can. Surely homes can be rebuilt. Lean on the one-who loves you with an unending love!
Much love to you, fellow-bloggy-Momma. Happy Easter.

Magic27 said...

I've been reading your blog for ages, and I've also been through a painful, messy "divorce" (we weren't actually married, but together for 14 goddamn years still counts for something, right?), so I feel your pain, I really do.
Please accept a shit-ton of hugs being sent your way from the south of France...

Anonymous said...

in order to make marriage work you have to continue doing what made it work in the first place. at times it's harder than others to do that, but so worth it in the end. it's obvious you still love each other. don't give up.

Laura said... on that cliff...look on over to your right...
see that other girl?
that's me.

I don't know you, but I pretend that I do, because our stories seem eerily similar, although you are much prettier than I am, and for that, I will always be just a wee bit jealous...


the point is...

I am on that cliff too.
And some days...lots of days... I do fall.
Once I fell so far, I was sure I was done.
But I never hit the bottom.

it sounds like you have hit.
and you are done falling.
and I understand the exhaustion.
I can even imagine the relief that comes with taking your ball,and going home. Game over.

but should you give it another go...
should you take that "I miss you so much" text, and decide that it not be the last memory on your time line...

please know that you are not alone on that cliff.
that everything worth while in life is a fight.

and that I am here...praying not for your wings...because you HAVE wings.
What you need is a strong, brave wind, full of clarity, wisdom, and push you up over these clouds, where you will soar in the endless rays of love and sunshine.

no matter the outcome?
I love you.
Don't know you.
But I do love you.
And your story is so very familiar, that it makes me cry.

keep soaring, Lena.
That strong wind will carry you.

Rachel M. said...


Lisa said...

I wish you could see and feel all of us standing beside and behind you on that cliff. And, all around you at the bottom we are standing with our arms stretched out. Ready and able to catch you and to lift you up. Your heart is broken.It will heal and leave a jagged scar. But, inside the cracks of that scar the sun will shine again. again. Promise. Lisa

Lisa said...

I know it's tough but the fact is that every couple can get on like a house on fire when things (money, work, life) are great. The real test is how well you get on when your backs are against the wall.

PNW Gal said...

so, so, so, so sorry.

dizzylittlechat said...

Hi Lena, I just wanted to say I'm thinking of you. I have read your blog for years and I'm sorry you are going through a hard time. Just know you're not alone and even people you don't know are rooting for you. :) Hang in there.

Laura Lohr @mommycanrun said...

So beautifully written. So heartbreaking.

I'm sorry. Much love and comfort to you.

woman of a certain age said...

You have wings, sister. You do. Take it from me as I've come out the other side of a divorce and had my world turned upside down. You will fly - no, soar - again. Have faith.

Nichole said...

You haven't come back and posted in a very long while I sincerely hope that things are, while not necessarily better, at least a bit easier.

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