Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I wore white on my wedding day. It rained all day long, and folks in that small town of Ottawa, Illinois told me it was a good omen of a long and happy marriage. In the seventies people put a lot of faith in a marriage lasting a lifetime. Me too. That was my full intention when I said my ‘I do’s.’

I loved hearing the stories with the characteristic fairy tale ending, “and they lived happily ever after.” But my happily ever after never showed up.

Now it’s been years. Thirty-two of them. It rained on my wedding day and the cloud never really lifted from my wedding day to the day I walked out of the house, a much older, hopefully wiser woman.

Now, in this new century, young’uns ask why I stayed so long when I should have left. I have all the right reasons; I loved him in spite of everything, I stayed for the children, I stayed waiting for the five minutes of wonderful that would make it all worthwhile, I stayed because I was a Christian, I stayed because I hid from the truth of what was really going on, I stayed because it was the right thing to do. But then one day, the reasons didn’t outweigh my total despair. I left.

It’s stunning to suddenly be living alone, but not be lonely anymore. I find myself talking to everyone when I was once too shy to do so. At night I lie in bed and think about how good the sheets feel. My hair has started to curl, I suddenly developed a craving for Dr. Pepper, and I don’t need my reading glasses anymore.
As God parted the Red Sea, He is parting the clouds for me. Now I am searching for a bit of sun. I will live the rest of my life in it.