September 1st, 2012: It was the Saturday of Labour Day weekend and the weather was perfect. I slept in a bit that morning, knowing I needed to be well rested for one of the biggest days of my life. I wasn’t stressed or scared or nervous, I was excited. Excited to marry the boy I had a crush on when I was six-years-old, excited to marry the man who had become my best friend in adulthood.
It was a wonderful wedding. It was everything I ever dreamed of and hoped for. I was on Cloud 9 to be starting this married life with the man I loved, who had always expressed how much he loved me; how I was the only one for him. Life held so many possibilities back then, the world was bright and gleaming and I could not foresee anything dimming our glow.
But then life happened. Life happened and somehow our shiny, beautiful love became a bit rusted. I’ve never been one to throw something out just because it didn’t glisten anymore, but apparently he didn’t feel the same way. The rust got to him and so he left–his reason was because he just wasn’t having fun anymore. I’ve never gotten much more of an explanation than that.
So now I’m left with the ghost of September 1st. Just a memory of that amazing day that reminds me of all my life once was. I never knew that a simple date could hold so much power but it’s as if the floodgates of the years before open at the beginning of each September and force me to recall just what I had, what I lost, and what I have become.
It’s a hard day. It forces me to think of him. It forces me to think of all the amazing people who came to support us, who believed in our love, and who celebrated the magic by our sides. It brings me back to my naïve days, when I truly believed love was enough to conquer all. And as I think of the vows I made that day, the trust I felt when I listened to him make his, I get angry. I get so mad that he broke those vows we made in front of our family and friends. I get so mad that I haven’t heard his voice since the day he left. I get mad that I let myself love someone who ended up hurting me so much. I get mad at the trust I have lost in men and the confidence I have lost in myself.
Most days I make being divorced look easy. I laugh and smile and say it’s all for the best! I try to be strong for friends of mine who are going through the same marriage demise. I try to be strong for my readers who have reached out privately and told me my writing has helped them deal with their own divorce. As hard as it is sometimes, I try. I try my best to be strong and to smile because what else can I really do.
But this one day a year, September 1st, I let myself feel. I let myself hurt and cry and realize that this whole situation is bigger than myself. That’s why it’s so hard. It’s hard because it’s real. The feelings and the love that I once felt so strongly was real, the beautiful wedding we had was real, the surprise ending to our chapter was real and so I allow the realness to come alive.
I think about how we would be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. I wonder where we would be now and how we would have grown together. I think about the person I would be and how different my life would look. I think about him and hope he is doing well. I wonder if he thinks about me too and if September 1st even has the same effect on him, or if it’s just another day in his books.
At the end if it all, it really is just another day. Most people, even those who were at our wedding, don’t even remember the exact date of it. Most people will breeze through September 1st for the rest of their lives knowing it as only the first day of the ninth month. I hope one day I can get there too. I hope one day the ghost of this date will finally leave me alone and crossover to the other side. For some reason though, I know that as much closure as I have now and as much more as I will have in the future, my anniversary date will always be a hard day for me to get through, and I think that’s okay.
2 thoughts on “Why my Anniversary Date is a Hard Day”
Shannon, my third anniversary would have been tomorrow. My divorce will be finalized in about two weeks. I’m praying for you this September 1, as my August 29 will hurt very badly. Thanks for this post. All the best, Hali
Wishing you so much comfort on August 29th! I can promise you, as the years go on it gets easier but these dates will always still have meaning for us. Stay strong, Hali!