Saturday, May 15, 2010
Magpie tale # 14
I called them and left messages on voicemail and sent them each a reminder card.
What I really wanted to do though is tell my side of the story, unzipping my long held silence regarding the infidelity of their father.
But, instead I collaged the prettiest cards with the most heartfelt thoughts on gratitude, inviting them to come to my new home, small as it is, for the Thanksgiving feast.
They are still angry about our divorce... so am I. Forty five years is a lot of one's life to just walk away from;but I wasn't the one who broke up their family,he was.
That morning, one year ago, he came and sat down next to me as I was sipping my cup of coffee. He folded his hands in his lap and simply and coldly said, "I want a divorce." It was one week before Thanksgiving.
As I sit here peeling potatoes I remember what he said next.
"You'll be well taken care of." He actually had the nerve to say that. I asked if there was someone else, but of course they all say,"no". Cowards.
We had are usual Thanksgiving meal and the children barely noticed that anything was off. Instead they huddled around their father as he indulged them with stories of themselves as little children. What would he know about them as little children he was hardly around, always working. The stories he told were my stories.
Bitterness and tears were mine for the next three weeks, deciding in the end to make it easy and just let him go. Our children were grown and married with children of their own. They tried to talk to me about the divorce,but I refused to speak on the subject, barely able to hold my composure. How could I tell them the father they held up on a pedestal wasn't the man they thought he was...all his talk, all their lives about honor and family. So I just kept my mouth shut and suffered in silence letting them have the father they knew. He really was a good man, who happened to break my heart.
The little pop up on the turkey tells me it is done and all I have to do is mash the potoates and I am done. It is nearly 3pm,they should be arriving about now, we always ate at 3.
It is now 5pm and the turkey is cold. One by one I put the things away hoping that this will bring a ring at my door, but it doesn't. As I reach for the Blue Willow dishes I bite my lip so hard it bleeds and I feel the pain straight through to my aching heart. My finger runs along the rim of the dish then stray to the two birds flying together over the bridge. "Forever" I whisper to no one but myself and the tears that have set on the rims of my eyes fall onto the plate near the bridge near the pagoda where the young woman was fenced in by her father.
"You'd never do that Daddy, right?" my youngst daughter onced asked her father with a shaky certainty in her voice.
I pour myself one last glass of wine before turning in for the night. I think of calling them and wishing them a happy Thanksgiving, but that would be a lie. What I really want to do is unload...tell them what I really have been through all year,but that would be like blaming them in a way. I made the choice to protect their father's pedestal. Devastation fills me and for the first time all year I realize that my family is fractured. I finally surrender, turn out the lights and lock the door.
The bedroom is cold as I enter it. I put on my PJ's and slip between the chilly sheets, turn out the lights and lay in bed thinking. The phone rings and my first impulse is to run to it like a heartsick teen. But I am a grown woman on her own and I let it ring. Tomorrow, I will pack up four boxes. They all deserve to have some Blue Willow in their lives, including him.