Doug and I recently applied for our passports. Among the many questions asked to prove you are who you say you are, is the question “Have you ever been widowed or divorced?” Then they want to know when this happened. So the answer to this question led me to the fact that I was married to John from January 21, 1982 until our divorce was granted on October 7, 1985. That’s a mere 3 1/2 years. Not really very long in a life time of living.
In a couple of weeks I will have been divorced 27 years. In those 27 years I have not laid eyes on John, although I did receive a letter from him when my father passed away. It’s amazing how those short 3 1/2 years in the early 80’s affected me emotionally for years afterwards and still affect me in some ways today.
When I met John I was a senior in high school and so was he. He had quit school for a year and then came back to finish. I often wonder what my life would have been like if he had just decided to get his GED. We only dated a short time during school and then our paths crossed again in the Fall after graduation at TCJC. Again I wonder what if I had simply chosen to attend a different campus?
But I didn’t. We got married on a whim. We were planning a ski trip with one of his friends and his girlfriend and just decided “Why not make it our honeymoon?!” So we took my friend, Gerda and his friend, Andrew and got married at the Justice of the Peace at the country courthouse. No family, no big deal. As I was standing on the back porch that day, I’ll never forget the sadness in my father’s voice when he asked me “I thought you were getting married today?” and I simply replied “I did.” It still makes me cry when I think about it.
I didn’t realize I was marrying someone with a serious drug problem. It was the early 80’s. Just about everyone I knew did some kind of drug. But this was different, more serious, and had a much bigger hold on him than I realized at the time. I’ll never forget when I found his “kit” with his needles, spoon, and lighter hidden away in the bathroom. Did I question him? No. I closed my eyes and went on.
He stole from my family, he stole from his family, he stole from me. If something was missing, I went through his wallet to find the pawn ticket. He hocked my class ring, my guitar, my wedding ring, and his grandmother’s silver. But I could always see the “good” in him.
It’s my belief that everyone has a story to tell, a book to write. Each of our lives are filled with stories of happiness and sadness. One day when I’m ready I will try to be more open here in this blog about this short 3 1/2 years of my life.