There I was, mindlessly surfing Facebook, when I saw something that literally stole my breath.
You know how couples have their own language? Not literally, of course, but the things you say to each other all the time. Sweet nothings and inside jokes and silly things.
The words that hold you together.
The Ex and I had a lot of those. 12 years together is a lot of words. It's a lot of inside jokes. Even in the bad times, it's a lot of shared experience.
Today, he said some of those words to another girl.
And I cried.
Not big sobs and hitching breaths. But tears, all the same.
I can say, honestly and sincerely, that I love his girlfriend. I want only the best for them, because she is a lovely person who has been delightful to my children and to me. It's not that I'm angry or jealous or even hurt.
It's just another thing I forgot to mourn. It's a thing that I thought was mine that belongs to someone else now.
One sentence. Not even a real sentence. A fragment. Said at least a hundred times over the years. Something I thought was sacred and set apart. But of course, it's not. That's not how people work. We talk the way we talk and the truth is that inside jokes are one thing, but most of the things we say are our personal language. One person's take on the world, not a couple's.
I'll keep saying the words I say and I'll never think about who else I said those words to, so why shouldn't he? Of course, he should. I don't own those words. It's more like I just forgot those words existed. I forgot.
Because that's part of what divorce is, I think. It's finding little things all the time. Things that belong to him that I forgot I had. Things that he gave me. Things that we made together. And that's all before you add to the mix a word-obsessed girl who loves a good quote.
There's always something left to mourn. Or, at least, two years later, there's still something to mourn. I still have hopes that it'll stop someday.
And I'm not even mourning us anymore. I'm done with that. Was done with that before the papers, maybe even before the separation. I'm mourning a memory. An afterimage. A single moment in time, without all the surrounding moments.
A single good moment.
It's easy, now, to remember the bad times. To remember why it all fell apart. And to be glad. There was plenty of bad and I'm glad that's over. Every day.
It's easy to pretend that's all there was, the bad. But twelve years, people. If it was all bad, it wouldn't have been twelve years.
There was good and for a moment today, I remembered what the good was like and remembered that it's gone, too. That the good goes with the bad.