My Independence Day

3 Jul

Fourth of July. You know what that means. It’s my anniversary. 20th anniversary. Probably the last one too now that soon to be ex has gotten a job.

Twenty years ago I was 25 years old. I had lost my father to cancer 2 years previous. Soon to be ex and I had gotten engaged about 2-1/2 years before. And we had started dating about 2 years before that. But almost as soon as we got engaged, we discovered my dad had cancer. It wasn’t a good time. We were told to put off getting married. And we did. I was a good girl. I did as I was told.

So 2-1/2 years after my father passed away, soon to be ex and I ran off and eloped. It was time. And strangely, it was one of the best times of my life. I ran off and eloped. And didn’t tell anyone. Had an adventure all our own. It was a good time too. I kept a notebook as we drove out east. How much the gas cost in each state. The license plates we saw as we played the license plate game. Things that we thought were interesting. All recorded in a notebook.

Along with all of the information I was able to figure out about getting married on the run. The name of the Justice of the Peace we were going to meet. Inns and hotels we were going to stay in. The routes we’d take. Things to go see and do. And we saw and did them. I was a very good planner. We stayed in Cape Cod several days. Met with a judge in Boston. Got married in the morning on the 4th of July in the Boston Public Garden. Just him and me and the James T. McDavitt and a couple of joggers passing by.

It was quite an adventure.

It wasn’t met with pleasure at home, by any means. But it was what I felt I had to do at the time. To move on with my life. Even if it wasn’t the good girl thing to do. It was fun too, although I was sad I never got my wedding day. It wasn’t what I had always pictured. I missed trying on the dresses. I would have liked to have done that. I would have loved having my dad walk me down the aisle. I would have liked being the center of attention instead of the behind the scenes girl. At least I thought I would. Who knows really. It is what it is. Or it was what it was.

We had many good times. I don’t regret getting married. I don’t regret the past 20 years. In my mind it was a dichotomy. There was something wrong the entire time, but I had hoped everything would turn out ok anyway. And I worked hard at trying to make everything ok. To make my life turn out the way it was supposed to, or what I thought it was supposed to. And the more I tried, the worse I felt. And the more difficult it became to pretend it was all ok.

I wish him the best. I really do. He truly believed everything would be ok. And for that I am sorry. I just couldn’t continue to struggle holding it all together anymore. I couldn’t do it.

So on this, my 20th wedding anniversary, I count it as my independence day.




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