The one where something tells me it is time to move on.

I am supposed to be telling you about Gencon.

I am supposed to direct you to my books at the Winter Wold Publications booth. I mean the whole con is sold out and the books are flying off the shelves, but I cannot, just cannot focus on that right now.

Instead, I stand here grieving.

I just came home and found that my new kitten had knocked the wedding photo off the table. The glass is shattered, the beautiful frame broken – three of four joints severed. It is gone.

I stared at it for a long time as my kitten mewed pitifully at my feet as if giving apology.

I… I have talked to friends about this picture before. Nobody could understand why I ever kept it. It is the wedding photo to a wedding that ended in divorce. Not one person I spoke with had any clue why I wanted it, and I could not rightly say myself. All I know is that I could not, would not give it up.

Now that it is gone, I think I have a better idea.

We bought a frame for the photo special, before the wedding. I had found markers so people could sign the glass, then it could be baked to make the ink permenant, storing the photo and the guestbook in plain sight so we would remember the wedding party, but also the people that wished us well in our future together. That future ended a long time ago now, and it is somehow fitting that all those hopes and dreams written on glass are finally gone, too.

I am despondant, for I believed in the dreams now cracked and fragmented on my floor.

There are words captured from my children before they were even teenagers, an old family friend that saw me in diapers who has passed, and family I loved that are no longer any relation and I no longer see or speak to because we have different last names.

I have that feeling again. That feeling that it is over. It is over and will never be again. I am crying on my kitchen floor because it is over and the memory is now gone. It cannot be saved. It has left me for even it has moved on.

I know my ex-wife was dissatisfied because of the rain, but I was happy the rain clouds parted in time. The heat was bothersome, but the shining sun gave a pure, honest light to the photos. She was nervous and at times frazzled at her wedding, but I was honestly happy.

And now it feels the last bit of happy I had left in my marriage is broken on my kitchen floor.

And I’m crying because it is time to move on.

 

 

 

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The one where I hear a heartbeat…

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I just got back from cleaning out the den in the house my wife and I shared. She left a year ago and inside that room is the sum total of our life together she did not pick through to start anew. I’ve moved to a new city and have a crappy little apartment I need to fill. I needed winter clothes and blankets so I went back with my girlfriend. Another ex- was there (renting the place with some good friends) and without the support of the two of them, I never could have done it.
 
Inside was wedding videos, and the saved accoutrements of that day. I have the silver chalice from which my ex-wife and I drank to our undying love. The teddy bear sent to us to celebrate the birth of our child that would not live to be born. Burned hopes and dead dreams like the tomb of a life that would never happen. I found old poems I had written to her and anniversary cards she had scribbled to me. Echoes of a love that is gone. I packed up what I needed, sifting through these artifacts like a bones from a long dead civilization.
 
I wept. A lot.
 
But, in the end, I have started to heal. Not just manage. Not just shove it aside into a nightmare box to unspool in my head when I go to sleep. I have started to heal. To accept myself and move beyond being a crippled little thing.
I have found my strength again.
More importantly, I have found my weaknesses. I am starting to become a more complete person. I don’t know if it was on purpose or accidental. I am not sure that matters. In the end I am starting to fix the things inside of me that hold me back without sacrificing the things that are good but cause me to look at ugly truths and move forward.
I hope the same for everyone.
Because pain is not the end. It is not an end unto itself, but it is a beginning. A good sign that better things are coming.
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