New Years Eve 2007 found my husband and I broken, bruised, and limping out of the darkest season in our married life. All things that make a marriage work had been blown completely out of the water; if they were ever really there to begin with. And all the things that make a marriage fail had taken their place. We were raw and weary from the battle; hope was far off in the distance and we feared any light we might see was just another train. Our wounded hearts skittish like a severely abused animal; desperate and aching for love but cowering away from it at the same time.
“Beautiful faces and loud, empty places look at the way that we live; wastin’ our time on cheap talk and wine left us so little to give.That same old crowd was like a cold dark cloud that we could never rise above” ~ The Eagles/Best of My Love
It’s hard to find yourself at the end of one road; the begining of another - stripped naked of all you once did and the people you did them with. You feel vulnerable and scared. What if the new road is a mirage and brings you nothing but the same b.s. and pain….? What if the apologies spoken and promises given fall flat….? But you carry on because you have no choice but to put one foot in front of another; you’re terrified but you’re moving forward, albeit slowly.
It was very different to be home and alone; just the two of us – no alcohol, no crowd - celebrating the coming of a new year. I don’t remember where the idea came from, but we opted for a celebration of saying goodbye and good riddance to our painful past. Each of us took some hard emotional time writing down on slips of paper what we were ready, willing, or hoping to let go of. I do not believe we told each other - we had yet to learn to trust with such deep expressions of ourselves. The pieces of paper with their demons scribbled on them were placed inside of a metal bucket and set on fire – right on our kitchen table. Such therapy in setting the past ablaze.
That bittersweet memory immerged while I ate my breakfast this morning; what a difference five years make. As we find ourselves entering another new year I am amazed at how far we’ve come. We walk together, imperfectly but side by side, season after season where beauty continues to comes from the ashes of that fire.