Today I woke up early, a bit before 5. I enjoy getting up then because I know I’ll have a productive morning. I had slept well, but I had weird dreams. I dreamed that I had a few things left to get from my last place in order to finish the move to my current place. When I got there to pick them up, my things had comingled with the new tenant’s things and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to separate it all. I had left a large dresser there, and she had moved stuff into it. In the end of the dream, I decided to leave the dresser behind and have words with my former landlord. And that’s about as much as I remember.
I got out of bed and made coffee, grateful to not dream any more about my dishonest, former landlord. I’ve wasted enough of my energy on him, and he doesn’t deserve any. While I waited for my water to boil, something jolted my memory of going to court for foreclosure. Maybe it was thinking about housing and moving and how grateful I am that I have the place I have now. I don’t know what it was, but before I knew it, I was reliving the day of court and all the feelings and things I didn’t say and things I wanted to say and oh, what a day! And my eyes spat out some tears that day and today.
I don’t talk about that day a lot. Not many know about it. I had just started my current job a week or two before in August of 2010. I received the notice from the court the day before I was due to appear. I received it on Labor Day. Labor Day marked my wedding anniversary. It would have been my 10th, if I’d stayed married and he hadn’t died a little less than a year prior to that. The day before Labor Day of 2010, I had to send our dog to Doggie Afterlife. On this same weekend, Ex’s brother and father had come to Colorado to send Ex’s ashes into the wind. They had invited me as I drove far above the speed limit to the veterinarian’s office 45 minutes from my home, okay an hour from my home, but that day, it was 45 minutes away. All I could think was, ‘Not now, I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to think about you. I don’t want me or my son around you. Our dog is sick, and I don’t know why. It’s Saturday, and the vet’s office closes at Noon. Gotta go.’
I found out the next day that our dog had bone cancer that had taken over his body. I had left him at the vet’s overnight for observation. The doctor showed me the dog’s x-rays on Sunday. Our dog didn’t come home with us.
So I went to Foreclosure Court, the day after Labor Day in 2010 with a lot of grief in my mind and body. I represented myself and Ex in our case, but I didn’t explain why I represented us both. I don’t know why I didn’t explain that. I must have thought it wouldn’t make a difference, which it wouldn’t, and I didn’t want anyone’s pity. So I faced it in a room full of strangers, myself full of shame over losing my house and extreme sadness over Ex dying the year before, the dog dying two days earlier, the relatives spreading Ex’s ashes, the would-be anniversary of my marriage. I remember feeling so angry at Ex for leaving me to face foreclosure on our property by myself.
I made it through court without crying, somehow. As soon as the door closed, I melted. The weight of my world felt heavier than a barbell of a heavyweight lifter. I melted and the security guard reassured me. I don’t remember his name. I served him lunch almost weekly for three years, and I remember his face, but not his name. I told him I had just put my dog down on Sunday. It was just so much at once.
This morning, it struck me again at what a hard day that was. I’m glad it’s behind me. I’m glad a lot of days are behind me. I carried my French press coffee and a mug to my bedroom to make some sense out of my winter and summer clothes. I smiled a really big smile when I got there because my French press allows me more freedom than a traditional coffee pot that doesn’t travel with me from room to room.
In my off-season clothes bin, I found Ex’s glasses. This set off my eyes to spit more tears. I reassured myself that it’s okay to feel sad. Just when I think I have made it to a good point where Ex’s things won’t set off my crying, I find out, I’m wrong, or that some days I feel less susceptible to emotion. Not today though. I kept going though, shifting things around, dancing to Christina Aguilera and Barry White.
Today, I felt grateful to have many days behind me. Today, I felt grateful that I had already cried seven rivers or more over the last five years, and that I didn’t need to make another one. Today I remembered how strong I have become.