Little Guy has a picture of him and his dad in his room. I took the picture on Little Guy’s 4th birthday, the last we all celebrated together. I felt ready to have a picture of Ex and Little Guy together sometime last year. Until then, I couldn’t stand to look at Ex. It hurt too much, and I felt angry at Ex every time.
I see the picture every day. Little Guy and Ex look so happy, but I know that Ex felt anything but happy. Maybe in that moment he did. He had gotten Little Guy a giant, white cake covered in frosting and more garbage for the body, and he knew I’d hate that. The cake could have fed 20 people, and we were three. He got Kevin an awesome construction toy that he probably couldn’t afford, but what did he care? Soon enough, he wouldn’t have to pay for anything.
I remember that Ex behaved well that night. He didn’t insult me or pick a fight. We had a good night. I brought wine in to share with him because he had acted decently. Yes, I made a deal with myself about the wine. I would share as long as he acted nicely and treated me respectfully. Sad to think I married someone who didn’t have that as a consistent trait. In all fairness, I didn’t always treat him respectfully either. On Little Guy’s birthday, we behaved well. I remember feeling hopeful that our emotions would settle down and we’d have a healthy relationship one day.
Every night, I see this picture of Little Guy and Ex, and I think, ‘Liar!’
‘Liar! Liar! Liar! Liar! Liar!’
He knew then. He had planned a major life event. And I feel like he faked that smile that day. He duped me. He duped us all. I look at the picture, and I feel him lying through his teeth. Maybe he was laughing at me. That would explain the big smile. If I had thought I’d had some shitty times with him before, just wait, it was about to get even shittier. And he knew that. He knew that.
He knew that on LIttle Guy’s birthday. He knew it before then. Peckerhead! Fudgebrain! Dillweed Fool!
I suppose it got better for him. I hope it did. I hope he felt a relief of his misery once he died.
Tonight, while putting Little Guy to bed, I realized that I’ve been holding a grudge toward Ex. A big one.
It’s time to let the grudge go.
It’s time to forgive Ex for leaving me, for leaving his son, for leaving his family, for leaving me to deal with everything.
It’s time to forgive myself for taking that on when I didn’t have to.
It’s time to forgive Ex for all the times he insulted me and did not speak kindly.
It’s time to forgive Ex for giving up on his life, for leaving me to deal with my emotions, our son’s emotions and that he misses his dad every day. If I could get Ex back, I would because even though he made me crazy, growth is better than giving up.
It’s time to forgive Ex for not getting the medical help he needed.
I don’t hate Ex. I never did. I have felt angry and unforgiving toward his death, his choice.
I want to let that go.
I’m going to fold up my grudge with care into a newspaper sailboat, a big, Sunday Denver Post, newspaper sailboat and set it to sail down a river until I can’t see it or feel it anymore.