Long before I experienced the pain of entering a new year with the cloud of divorce hovering over my head, I had entered many of them shrouded in fear and or/chaos.
I moved to Denver on October 24, 1993, which was one day after I exchanged vows with the man I thought I would be married to until one of us died. Neither of us died physically, but the love we had for each other died long before the marriage was officially buried on April 5, 2013. One of the most ridiculously vicious fights we had happened at a New Year’s Eve party the first year I was there.
The First and Last New Year’s Party For Us
Everyone knows that my family, the Jacob(s), is massive. There are some 15,000 of us across the country so we’re everywhere. I was blessed to have a close cousin in the Denver area during that time and he had agreed to meet us at Butterfields to bring in 1994. Had I known that things would take such an ugly turn because of my ex’s jealousy, I never would have asked my cousin to meet us.
We had been there for over an hour and a half, and it was nearing midnight. I had shared dances with my ex and with my cousin but had no idea there was a problem. Since the clock was about to strike 12, I made my way to my ex but was met with the biggest scowl I had ever. I asked what was wrong, and he lit into me like never before. He told me that he has seen my cousin dancing all up on me and that it made him sick. I was so stunned by what he had just said to me that I couldn’t even reply. Who thinks like that??? I wouldn’t have thought he was serious except that he stormed off and I didn’t see him again until the lights came on and he was headed out the door to the car.
The fight continued well into the next day and the issue was never resolved. As a matter-of-fact, things escalated horribly after we got home. I won’t go into detail here, but it was a bad, bad night for me. We didn’t do anything the next year for New Year’s Eve. As a matter of fact, we didn’t do anything else to celebrate the new year after that time except go to Watch Night service twice over the next 19 years. Twice. He would either go out with his own friends to party, or we’d sit at home.
After the Storm
By the time New Year’s Eve 2012 rolled around, the fact that we were getting divorced was old news. However, that year will always go down in the books as one of the best my son and I have ever had. December 31, 2012, was the first day I met my granddaughter. She captured every inch of my heart that day and has never let go.
Although I didn’t do anything special the past two years to ring in the new year, I have something that is of the utmost value — my peace of mind. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to celebrate, but until I can do it the way I want to, I’m content. Next year, my son and I will ring it in with our significant others in New York City.
What I can promise you is that after the ink dries on the divorce papers, you will live again. It takes a while in most cases. I don’t care how badly you may have wanted out of the marriage, there will still be a void even if for no other reason than the fact that what you thought would always be will certainly never be.
Pick up the pieces of yourself that represented the good stuff and rebuild. It’s perfectly fine to step right over the pieces that you aren’t that proud of and move along. Time does indeed heal all wounds. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the new years to come.