It's been so long that I don’t even have your number anymore… I don’t even know you anymore. It’s weird isn’t it? After years of knowing and loving and living together, there’s nothing. It would be a lie to say you’re not still here in every single day of my life.
I didn’t marry you to ever be here without you. But you left. You didn’t want me. Discarded me like the trash you rolled to the street week after week, year after year, house after house. I told you I’d wait as long as I could, and I did. I waited, faithfully waited. Then I dated, silly, fun, data gathering dates to numb the pain of being alone and remind myself I was pretty and desirable, at least by others, if not by you. I had my rules and boundaries and time limits but in the back of my head I think I was still waiting for you to figure out what you needed to figure out. I waited. For a word, a call, a text… anything to give me hope that there was hope. There’s been nothing.
And the truth is I’ve known from the beginning of The Leaving you never wanted me. I knew you were done. Strange as it sounds, and though some will question it when I write it, I feel like God’s been in the leaving as much as you. I can’t wrap my head around why He would allow a good marriage to end.
And it was good, wasn’t it? No one cheated, no one abused anyone or anything. We were the not-quite-white-picket fence family and couple. Bumps in the road, issues that we had to work through, but good.
We were good together. We had a good life, a good family. It was good.
I just don’t understand. I want clarification. Why did you leave? What did I do? How could I make it better? Nothing… Nothing… I’ve come to accept that maybe I’ll never have the answers I want. I have to accept the things I cannot change. Maybe I’ll never know.
But before I go, I owe you some words. I must write them, who knows if you’ll ever read them...
I am sorry. You were a good man. I sure I didn’t say it enough. You were an honest man and I didn’t realize what a gift that is. You were a protector and provider. You stood by me when I was such a mess of a person. You helped me become the woman I am today and I love who I am so much and you’ll ever have all my respect for sticking through the mess that I was. I didn’t give you enough credit. I didn’t thank you enough for all you did… all the good things day after day. For the longest time I wished I could go back and re-do what I didn’t do right and say what I should have said.
I spent a lot of time agonizing about how I failed you and wishing I had a chance to do it right. I read the Love and Respect book the pastor recommended a little too late. I read other books. I made a point to study the needs of men and realized how far from the mark I was when it came to honoring you. I am sorry. I wish I would have known… but I didn’t know then.
I guess I accept now that I’m not responsible for what I didn’t know but I still feel bad that I didn’t have a chance to “get it right” with you. But… you didn’t tell me and I didn’t have the information until I had it and then it was too late… But still I hoped… And I practiced what I learned. If the research and books are right, and I think they are, I missed the mark. I didn’t give you enough respect, I didn’t treat you the way men treat each other. I messed up. I got it wrong. And I’m sorry. You deserved better. I hope that in time, you can forgive me for my short-comings. And like you’ve told me, I hope you find love.
But as for me… now that I know better, I’ll do better. And as for me, it might be a sin, or another failure notch in my belt, but I waited as long as I could. I’m done hoping, wondering, waiting. I’m moving on. I wish you the best in life. For however they were for you, they were the best fourteen years of my life so far. Thank you for all of them. Thank you for taking my kids as your own and for letting me get to know your daughter and for adopting our daughter together with me. Thank you for bringing us here to Chelan County. Thank you for being a steady stable force in my life. I’m sorry it didn’t work out but I will honor the last thing you told me to do, I will go and find love. It will happen for me, may it also happen for you. May the God of grace and mercy bless you and where ever life may take you.