Today stings. It’s a head-shaking, hard-to-reconcile-things kind of day. This day, this DATE, was once the crown jewel of Dates in my life. Warm, glowing, magical. It was (is?) my Meeting Date.
It’s interesting how we humans organize our lives by milestones and special dates. Our birthdays, of course, but also those days that stand out from the average others. The dates that change our lives. Meeting Dates, First Date dates, Engagement Dates, Wedding Dates, children’s birthdates, Discovery Dates, Separation Dates, Divorce Dates.
These are the dates that construct our life’s direction.
They adjust our course.
They alter our paths.
They grow us. They change us. By extension, these dates become a part of us. An important part. So what happens when those dates no longer feel like reason for celebration and instead, become bittersweet and heavy at the thought?
For those like me, who have lost their loved one to betrayal/infidelity/a double life, these dates are now obstacles, not celebrations. There are no nice dinners out together, reminiscing about our Meeting Date. About our first conversation, about our young dreams, about the happy life we have built together. No dreaming about our Golden Years still ahead. Gray and old, hand in hand. Instead, these once-beautiful and revered dates now feel dull and frail, like tattered road signs, sheepishly sheepherding you to your next direction.
Almost like they know what lies ahead.
Today is my Meeting Date. For 21 years it represented more than even my wedding date did. After all, it was THIS date that forever changed my life. It was THIS date that was acted as the domino, allowing all the other dates to follow. I called it my “Divine Appointment Date”. Meeting my match, my Beloved, my soul mate was all that was needed to set my life’s course in motion. My adulthood was born on my Meeting Date. We were but 21 years old, still living with support from our parents while finishing college. From our Meeting Date forward we grew into adults together. First jobs, graduate school, a mortgage, three children, retirement accounts, college funds for our children, a dog. We were winning at life. Together. Or so I thought.
The Discovery Date and subsequent revelations have since taken the sparkle off my Meeting Date. It is no longer the PIN code to my accounts, the password to my voice mail. 0113, was so special to me, for so long. Used daily, ever-reminding me of the important moment my life’s course was set. Now, as I see that date in written form, it looks and feels more like an identification number – as in “Prisoner #0113”, or “Divorcee #0113”.
I reflect on my Meeting Date now and see the ending of this relationship side-by-side to it’s beginning. As if it were a scene in a sad movie.
<21 year olds earnestly shaking hands>
“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Stephanie…
(I will fall in love with you, marry you, have your children, and give you my full and authentic self. In 21 years, you will give me a Discovery Date, showing me YOUR authentic self, as a man who willingly and intentionally lied and deceived me with many, many, many women over many, many years).
..I’ll have a Bud Light, please. Thanks. So where are you from?”
<42 year old sobbing on the bathroom floor>
I am not working to reclaim today and make it into something it is not. I am working today, to process this date and it’s meaning in my life. I am attempting to rework my view and appreciate it for the amazing good it brought forth, 3 incredible gifts that would not be present if not for 0113. The most important gifts, and people in my life.
1030, 0522, and 1219. My three amazing children. A forever reminder of the best of my lost beloved and me. The best parts of us together in another. In 3 others.
How grateful I am for that 0113 meeting date.
It isn’t what it used to be for me, but if I had to, I’d walk into that bar again and smile and shake his hand, even knowing exactly what would happen 21years later, on 11117.
All for 1030, 0522, and 1219.
The beautiful dominos that followed.
The Best Dates of my life.