I was standing at the kitchen sink tonight washing a few dishes in preparation for Monday morning, just some bowls and spoons for breakfast, when the song American Pie popped into my head. Not the newer version by Madonna or Cher or who ever redid it but the original version, the classic.
The song a couple of my brothers & I got stuck in our elementary school aged heads for a week once. I remember singing “Bye bye Miss American Pie drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry…” at the top of our lungs from some trees in our yard.
It was fall, the air had that cool crisp feeling to it, and I’m pretty sure we knew all the words to that song or at least a close approximation of them.
Every time I hear that song (or it pops into my head at random) I picture that day. It was just a normal weekday evening but it was great.
Tonight was just another normal evening too but that song was in my head and fit my mood.
The day the music died. That sad undercurrent to those fun to sing lyrics.
My ex-husband got married this weekend. Our divorce was finalized five days shy of a month ago. I knew it was coming but I didn’t know it was coming that quick or the day it did. It caught me off guard but didn’t really surprise me.
I was at the store Friday afternoon gathering supplies for my son’s surprise party that evening when my sister texted me. She saw a post of his on Facebook page announcing to his closest five hundred or so friends (her included but not me) that in a small, personal ceremony with only their parents and a pastor present my former husband had married his “best friend”.
Like I said, this news caught me off guard. I stopped in the aisle of the store to read her text and thought “What?!?” And then “I’m pretty sure I should feel something about this right now.”
I took inventory.
Nope, nothing. Maybe a little surprised that they would pick a day to get married without the kids there. But anger, resentment, any other feelings of general upset …not at all. I think there’s a line from a song by The Lumineers that summed up the moment pretty well: “The opposite of love’s indifference.”
So why am I standing at the sink two days later with American Pie running through my head and a sense of sadness?
What was really on my mind was my own marriage and it’s long tumultuous ending….the day the music died.
It was like a plane crash in slow motion, the past two and a half years of my life. A fearful descent from the sky that can only end in a fiery mess of destruction.
This was not an amicable process. It was a fight every step of the way whether I wanted it or not. A fight I basically lost and for all the wrong reasons.
A week before our final divorce hearing my ex and I stood on my porch in the cold and had an hour long discussion. A lot was said. At one point he said to me “You’re going to have a lonely life. Who’s going to date you? I mean really!”
This is a thought I’ve had more than once before: who would date me, a single mom with five kids and very little free time?
When I answered him it was as much an answer to myself. “It doesn’t really matter. I’m okay alone.”
And I am.
So while the end of my marriage (heck maybe the whole of it) was a bit like a plane crash, I’m okay now.
I survived and walked away a stronger, better person. Yes, thinking about my marriage makes me a little sad. Yes, the past three years of my life being wasted in limbo while we sorted through the wreckage is frustrating and makes me angry. But I am okay.