Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thanks for the memories

It is a gorgeous Saturday morning, and I am sitting at the computer, having finished my coffee and my hint-at-breakfast, and listening to the sound of contented ducks ( small squeaky grunts) and watching the sky get brighter and brighter -- and I'm sad.

And I am going to write about it, because I want to, even though I know it is my own doing and all, so it can't be fixed and I can't blame anyone, but I just feel like writing about it, and so I am.

This was all brought on by my finding people on Facebook (who weren't there the last time I looked -- more than a year ago) who had been, in the past, before my horrible marriage, my very dear friends. They were a family who attended the church that I briefly attended when I first moved to Portland -- I met them there, and then they hosted the "Small Group" in their home in Northeast Portland. They were a young couple with a small boy, when I met them. Both of them became my dear friends, but especially Him. He was (also!) a Monty Python fan, and almost every visit would devolve into a quote-fest, or have one (or both) of us singing "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam..." to the point that even his kind-hearted, sweet-natured wife would protest. "Oh, don't get started on Monty Python!" she would beg, and even leave the room. We would look at each other guiltily, but sooner or later, something would happen and one of us would whisper, "Help, help! I'm being oppressed!"

I went to their house once a month for dinner, and babysat for them whenever they went out together -- which wasn't very often, they being a devoted family. And we had many long discussions about god and life and the future. They both knew that I was ambivalent about Christianity (at that time -- or at least I was comfortable claiming ambivalence, instead of outright repudiation) and we talked that over, too. I was so perfectly comfortable with them. And when their second child was born, they asked me to be there with their little son to keep him calm, so he could witness the birth. That was the first birth I ever saw -- little Micah, although his name at that point was Keegan. And She had at least two other pregnancies while we were still close -- one which was twins and resulted in miscarriage, and one which resulted in Rebekah.

When I met my ex-husband-to-be, I took him there for a visit, first thing, and then several weeks later again, with Joey this time. Wow, it's hard to imagine that I felt so good about Michael (having not the faintest idea who he was) that I freely took him to Their house! Even when I took him to visit my parents, only a few weeks later, I was anxious. But no anxiety at Their house!

Anyway, when I had fled Michael, and the Marriage, and was safely at my parent's house, I tried to find Them, even though they had moved to Idaho, and I didn't have any contact info for Them. There was no such thing as Facebook in those days, either! But it was important to me -- they were friends who had avoided the whole marriage debacle, since they had moved to Idaho almost immediately after I married, and I counted on them for understanding and support and love. I was eager to love them, as well.

So when I found their number and called, I was close to tears before She even picked up. But I recognized her voice at once. I was SO HAPPY to hear it. She was polite and gracious, but not excited, or even pleased to hear from me. She said, in a very few sentences, that since I had left the church, she didn't think they would need to be seeing me again. Have a nice life, good-bye.

Which, at the time, a very bad, bad time in my life, absolutely crushed me. I wasn't just devastated at the loss of my son, and horrified at the thought of my ex-husband, and completely freaked out, and all, but I was also swimming in guilt, because of all the lying that I had done, at Michael's orders, to back him up, or to keep people from knowing what went on in our family. Some of my friends have forgiven me joyfully, and some have forgiven me with a little haughtiness and some, like this family of dear friends, have not forgiven me at all. Or at least that's how it seemed to me at the time. It could have been merely that they had become more rigid in their faith, after all those years of isolation from the rest of us. That certainly happens. Could have had nothing to do with my marriage at all.

So I've been keeping them out of my head for the past five or six years, only occasionally bringing them up in conversation, telling some humorous story about Him or the little ones.

Until today! When I stumbled across his so familiar face, on Facebook. His two oldest sons are married now. Little Micah! Whose first seconds of breathing life I saw. Married. And they have a fourth child, a daughter named Hannah. I hope they are as happy as they look to be. I truly do.

Thanks for all the happy, loving memories!

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