Jun 29, 2011

Did I waste it? Not so much I couldn't taste it, Life should be fragrant, Roof top to the basement

This is the sight that made me cry at AshLees wedding. AshLee dancing with her dad to U2s Kite. I recognized the song and watched her tuck her head into his chest and all of a sudden the tears were streaming gently down my face.

I havent shared here about the events that brought about such huge changes to my life 4.5 years ago. Its not that its a big secret, Ive shared my story with both friends and strangers when the moment seemed right. I guess the moment just hasnt ever seemed right here. This is a place where I share my art and creativity and the things that bring me joy. And while Ive found tremendous creativity and joy since the end of my marriage, the fact, and the story of that end are very painful for me.

We met as 18 year old college students. Neither one of us planned to meet the person we would marry at 18, but we agreed that you dont pass up something special just because it doesnt happen like you planned. We married at 25, by which time I was overjoyed to officially become AshLees stepmom, a role I had already embraced. Although I worked and was involved in various activities, my focus was on building a family and a home with them. It wasnt perfect, but I felt like we trusted and understood each other. We were best friends. He told me I was his best friend on the day he told me he didnt want to be married to me anymore. He moved out a week later and proceeded to cut me out of his life as much as possible. I think it was easier for him that way. He did say that his leaving should not affect my relationship with AshLee and Ive been blessed to retain the close bond she and I have.

Needless to say, I was devastated. My entire world had been yanked out from under me. It didnt help that I lost a job that I loved 2 months later. But I held my head up and learned that pain can be very clarifying. The stupid things I used to worry about melted away. I relaxed. And I began dreaming about how I wanted to live the rest of my life and I went to work to make those dreams happen.

4.5 years later, Im at peace with the end of my marriage. I have a happy, fulfilling life that I love. But I was still rather apprehensive about Ashs wedding. Would I really have a role as part of her family or would I be a fifth wheel bumping along rather uncomfortably? As it turned out, everyone involved welcomed and included me as part of the big crazy family of people who love this amazing girl.

And when she danced with her dad, to a song that holds deep meaning and connection to the two of them, I thought about that connection, and the family life and jokes and traditions and quirks the three of us shared, and I cried tears of joy. Joy that our time together had happened and that I got to be a part of it.

And so now, it finally feels right to tell this story here in this place where I document happy things in my life. Now Ive found joy in this story, all that much sweeter for having survived the pain.

And yet I'm still a little bit terrified to publish this post. To lay myself open in this way. But, with some encouragement from the lovely Liv Lane, I'm working at being more open and authentic. And honestly? This story is such a huge part of who I am today, such a huge catalyst for the creativity and joy I now fill my life with, that it just doesn't seem right to hold it back any longer.

*The title of this post is a lyric from the song Kite by U2.


getawayhouse said...


Thank you for sharing and even though I know the story and was there near the start - I know this was not easy.

I am so glad you got to have AshLee in your life and that you got to share that special day with her with no awkwardness.

Wishing you all the best and keep on keepin on...

Miss ya girl,


Anita said...

What grace you have! Thank you for sharing your story, and for the reminder of the fine line between joy and pain. You are not only lucky to have AshLee, she is lucky to have you.
xo, Anita

Lindley @ Amethyst and Amber said...

What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it, brave one.

Rita said...

Joy can come from sadness and disappointments. Glad you found it and have resolved things yourself. A great post....

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Nikki. (Sometimes I think my best blog posts are the ones that make me squirm, but I push the "post" button anyway.) Authenticity does require courage, and you are made of the right stuff.

Julie said...

I'm so thrilled for you and AshLee and your relationship. She looked gorgeous and I will never forget the track meets we went to! Amy coached track the last two years but will be staying home with her baby when he arrives.

Jennifer Richardson said...

basking in the beauty
of your aliveness.
life is so messy
and glorious
....the pain and joy
knit together
are such loveliness
in you.
thanks for letting me
be a witness.
cheering you on
with wild hope,

Natasha said...

YOU are a beautiful star...bright and shining in the world. YOU are an inspiration for sharing your heart in such an honest manner...you allow others to share as well. Thank you for all that you give and know that I see your life as a HUGE beacon of hope and inspiration. Only good lies on your horizon