I still grieve

My mind goes to strange places as I drive home from DD’s place late at night.

The rain was pouring down on Saturday evening and the haunted Wakehurst Parkway was closed, so I took the less familiar Mona Vale Road. As my car twisted and turned in the storm, I thought to myself: I only remember one phone number to give the paramedics if there’s an accident.

That number belongs to my ex-husband and it’s unforgettable because it’s only one digit different to mine. We got our matching numbers in 2002 when we bought our first-ever mobile phones together.

We’d just returned from two years in Singapore. Life was good, we were good.

The next 10 years went slowly … then very quickly … pear-shaped. We were a long way from good.

Eight years have passed since he tapped the mat on our marriage and we are good again.

Not secretly yearning to be reunited good, but I know I could count on him if the paramedics called. He would come to the hospital, he would sort out the kids, he would call DD.

Tears welled briefly at the certainty he would be there for me, that we have moved so far on from all the anger and hurt and have held onto the caring.

Admittedly, I still feel grief for the loss of my marriage and the 23-year relationship that accompanied it and sadness about the trauma it caused the kids that we were “not a family anymore”.

But it’s a strange kind of grief because I am also glad that my marriage is over.

Our relationship had become so toxic and distressing. It feels so good to be free from that and to have found love again.

DD and I had a lovely time together on Saturday night. We went to a neighbourhood bar called Mrs Robinson, where I had pre-dinner pink bubbles before we headed to an Indian restaurant.

I realised as we looked at the menu that we’d never had Indian food together before.

More than seven years together and never shared an Indian meal, blimey! It turns out we have very different taste in Indian food. He likes pakoras and chicken tikka masala. I like samosas and malai kofta. He likes naan, I like kulcha. Who knew?

After dinner, the rain stopped briefly, so I herded him to the beach for some fresh air. There was a foreboding black cloud mass sweeping across the horizon, so DD indulged me for a few minutes as I frolicked along the sand, then hustled me back to the car, just as the first spatters of rain started falling.

I felt a little sad all over again when I woke up in my empty house on Sunday morning. I wished I was with DD, but both kids were having sleepovers with friends, so I needed to be home for the dogs.

I was also trying to process the terrible events taking place in the Ukraine. I can’t believe that in 2022 we are looking at war again in Europe. It was so sobering to watch hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for their lives.

How can we live in a world filled with electric cars and Instagram, yet missiles are still being launched to kill innocent people?

You’d think COVID-19 would have united us over the past two years, as we fight a common enemy, but it seems to have divided us even further.

Song of the day: Frankie Goes to Hollywood “War”

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