I am not a particularly jealous person. I use the word ‘particularly’ because of course, there are some things that give me an occasional twinge. Like that friend who always weighs 120 pounds and looks fabulous; who can eat her own weight in ice-cream, chocolate and movie popcorn and never gain an ounce. Or the extremely attractive, really-young woman who had her sights set on my husband when he and I first began dating and would – as I called it then – come ‘sniffing around’ when she knew I wasn’t there. Even at night, when all the lights were out.
But flat-out jealous? Luckily, it is a monster that only rarely knocks on my door.
The first time I thought I would quite literally die of jealousy was on my son’s sixth birthday. Just six months since my Ex had told me he wanted a divorce, my children – then aged 4 and 6 – went on their first vacation without me. With their new step-mom (who, I should add, is still part of their lives over twenty years later and loves them both dearly). I didn’t see it so peacefully at the time. Actually, I sat outside on my balcony, writing torrents of indecipherable gibberish for about eight hours, crying so hard that the pages became tear-soaked and progressively more illegible as the day progressed. I wouldn’t have thought the human body could even hold that many tears.
That remains one of the worst days of my life.
I didn’t care, much, that my Ex was spending his vacation with a new woman – he and I had inadvertently gone our separate ways long before the divorce – but my heart was broken to see another woman spending my vacation time with my children. On my first-born’s sixth birthday. I have never felt so lonely – or so alone – in my entire life. I got a glimpse that day, into the remainder of their childhood. From that point forward, there would be so many moments that I would miss: 26 weeks (182 days) of every single year; every second week-end; one Christmas out of two; one New Years out of two; a great many birthdays; almost every Hallowe’en; and so many ‘firsts’ I would only get to hear about after the fact.
I have been trying to figure out why I started writing this one. I do like to have a ‘point’, a ‘moral’ or at best – a happy ending in mind when I start to write. But there really isn’t any point to this post, except to say that sometimes, life can be really, really hard.
And some memories are seared into our souls.
Patti Moore Wilson © wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com