The judge looked at me, ‘It’s my understanding that you’ll be keeping your married name’. All I could say in reply was a simple yes, but I wanted to say so much more.
- You see, I wanted to tell him that I was a Heath longer than I was a Homan so that’s why I wanted to keep my married name.
- You see, I wanted to tell him that I had raised two children with that man and would continue to co-parent even after I wanted a divorce. And that’s why I wanted to keep my married name.
- You see, that even though the marriage failed because of me, I felt a sense of pride in being married to such a good man for so long.
As R and I were walking to the court house two weeks ago, I once again had to tell him to slow down so I could keep up. I’ve never been able to walk as fast as he can and with my new ankle and a substantial limp, it’s impossible for me to even attempt to do so now.
I asked him if he thought my new gait was funny, he chuckled and then replied, ‘you’ve always walked kind of stupid’; ‘flat footed and all’. I gave a raucous laugh in return and decided that I had to agree with him.
He did slow down so I could walk beside him. The late summer sun shined on our heads as a gentle wind whipped my blonde hair. A few strands caught in my mouth and I had to keep wiping my face to pull them out.
We crossed a busy Main Street and once we were at the courthouse doors, R held them open for me. I limped into the building with him behind me. We walked through security and took the elevator to the second floor.
R and I sat in the hallway outside the judge’s office and chatted. We laughed at the toddler that was yelling at her mama and running around her baby brother’s stroller.
The court attorney came to the door and called out, ‘The Heaths’. We walked into his office, and calmly and amicably dissolved our 24 year marriage.
Everyone was nice to us and we were nice to each other. I don’t think R cried when the judge asked if the marriage was beyond repair, but I did. It’s hard to admit that after 24 years it didn’t work anymore.
Afterward, R and I had a late lunch and then he took me back to my place. We said our goodbyes and I walked inside as he drove away.
Often, I try to pry into R’s life to find out how he’s doing. To see if his broken heart has mended and to find out if he’s happy. He gives me general answers to my questions, even when I try to dig deeper. I figure, it’s his right to do so, since it’s not up to me to make sure he’s happy anymore.
I hope he knows that all I want is for him to find someone to love him completely. And I hope that he wishes me no ill will, and that I’m happy too.