They peek out from behind the anger and the hurt, the sorrow and the pain.
A day when he brought home water guns and initiated a water gun fight in the house with me and the children.
A night when the power went out in Jersey in the wintery chill and we camped in the attic under sleeping bags with candles burning to keep warm.
The cards he used to randomly leave me, expressing love, support, longing.
The night he climbed up on the bed to relocate a spider that insisted on trying to sleep directly above my head.
Each good memory shimmers hazily in the back of my mind. As if a gossamer layer of the harder times is laid over the reasons we were married to begin with. It’s hard work to pull back that shade, to let back in the sunny memories of jokes, laughter, silly games, and days spent desiring no one’s company but each other’s. Pulling back those curtains is heartbreaking. It brings with it sorrow, pain, longing, regret, and tears. Brimming over when least expected. Rivers of salt streaming down my cheeks.
It would be so much easier to hold onto the hurts, the old and new betrayals, the volumes of harsh words. It would be so much less deeply cutting to wrap myself in the comfortable protection of indignation and fuel my decisions with the certain and unquestioning fire of anger.
But the light keeps peeking through. The carpet picnics before the fire, the romantic talks on the roof, the day he realized he should never leave me alone with a fight going on in my head because he would always lose it unless he was there to speak his point of view. The day I caught a photo of his hand, his giant strong hand, holding the smallest of butterflies. The perfect juxtaposition between his strength and his gentleness.
The time has passed enough that the light keeps seeping in from the shadows. I come across positive moments like an amnesiac hits upon a memory. Suddenly, with no warning and in the middle of the mundane, there is the memory of a happier time, just waiting to be accepted back in. I can feel it pulling at the back of my memory, asking gently for permission to come to the forefront and let the healing truly begin.