The Girl on the Plane

I got on a plane today. HUSBAND and I booked the window seat and the aisle seat and hoped no one would climb into the center seat – and they didn’t. That gave us the whole row to (relatively) stretch out and relax.

I had a hard time relaxing though. See…I realized it is an anniversary of sorts. Or as betrayeds often say, an antiversary. As I looked out the window and saw the city we were in get smaller and smaller…as we pierced through a thick layer of clouds…as we settled out above the clouds…my mind began to wander, and then to remember.

clouds from plane 2

Back when HUSBAND and I had been married just a little more than two years, another girl got on a plane. On this same day, all those years ago. She didn’t get on with HUSBAND, with my husband. But she got on to fly to HUSBAND, my husband. To meet him and spend a couple days and nights and in-betweens with him.

woman on plane

I don’t think about this all the time anymore. HUSBAND and I have done such good work and we have grown and healed for the most part. But there are things – things like getting on a plane on February 13 – that shake my heart’s healing and cause me to think about the girl who didn’t get on the plane years ago – the one back at home, missing HUSBAND and seeing him for things he wasn’t and realizing the other girl – the one that did get on the plane years ago – also was seeing him for things he wasn’t.

My thoughts chewed over the lies and deception. It chewed over the two realities that were lived side-by-side that I didn’t know about. It chewed over the emotional distance that characterized so much of our marriage because the protection of lies destroyed any chance of real intimacy. It chewed over lost years and lost moments. I grieved.

And then I put it away. I chose to hold the hand of the one who’d been the cause of so much pain, and yet, so much strength and so much pleasure. I looked at his worn face and his eyes that are full of life now. This man who was my husband then, when the other girl got on the plane. And the one who is my husband now, when I got on the plane.

hands

And together, HUSBAND and I, got off the plane.

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Zephyr

1. The west wind.2. A gentle breeze.3. Any of various soft light fabrics, yarns, or garments, especially a lightweight, checked gingham fabric.4. Something that is airy, insubstantial, or passing.

It’s just after midnight and now April 30. I’m glad. I’m glad because yesterday was a milestone in my life, in my journey of healing.

Yesterday marked the day, two years ago, that I found out about HUSBAND’s double life – that he was a cheater – that he had a relationship with another woman in every sense of the word.

The day came roaring up in some ways, yet snuck up all at once too. I saw it coming, I dreaded it coming, yet all of the sudden it was here and in front of me without me really knowing. We have all the kids at home right now…ready to celebrate the graduation of one of the tribe…and the focus on changing linens and making sure cat fur was vacuumed up and everyone got their favorite room and we had all the right food made me forget for a minute that this was a day to be remembered, to be marked.

graduating2

As I looked around at one of the intermissions of the blessed chaos, it hit me with a SWOOSH that this could have looked so different. It could have been such a different day for me. For HUSBAND. For the graduate and all the other kiddos. It could have been a day of dread by the kids, wondering how they could negotiate between their separate parents at a single event and time. It could have been a day when I was forced to look at the person (or one of the persons) who had decided covenants weren’t for keeping and when I may have had to watch HUSBAND play role of lover to another woman. It could have been a day of tension, of terseness, of jockeying for position and fighting for affection and…desperately…seeking…love…

chaos

But instead, the day was like a zephyr. Like a gentle breeze I watched my beautiful children interact with care and fun and depth. HUSBAND and I have a rhythm now, and things flow amongst us and our home and our family without fits and starts like in the past-even though I wasn’t able to see the ruffles when I was living them. Now, the colors of our lives are woven into beautiful fabrics that cover, but don’t bind. That fit, but leave room for growth.

gentlebreeze

So rather than pour in and gush over me and us like a rogue wave, this marker day wafted over airily…zephyr-like, kind of insubstantial in light of the glory of being with those I love.

Two years…two years and we are all finding our way.

findway