While I indulged in my pity fest, going through in excruciating detail my actions and thoughts from that day, my mind started drifting to my other anniversaries. Year 2008, 1st of November my ex-MIL came to our place. And stayed. Not a fun beginning to our married life. The second anniversary was a good one. We went to La Ronde in Montreal and pretended to overlook the deep irreparable fissures that had already permeated our marriage. Roll over to the third, with baby in tow, we fought and stayed home. The fourth was marked by a perfunctory dinner. The tasteless food was an apt reflection of the state of our relationship by then. Most people including my family forgot to wish us. It was our last anniversary.
Last year would have been our fifth anniversary. We'd filed for divorce and were in two separate states. It brought an onslaught of misery and guilt for me. I chose to get drunk and not tell anyone.
This year, it dawned on me that the pain and grief had reduced. On my "would have been" 6th wedding anniversary, I was a single mother to a 3 year old munchkin who means the world to me, I was working, I was spending the day at the parlour purely for myself and not for a man who would barely notice me and I was preparing for my first international holiday on my own steam. Life really wasn't that bad at all. It sure beat getting dressed for a meal with a man who wouldn't bother to bathe or shave. It was a far sight better than the heavy silences and bitter arguments that marked most of our marriage. Or the obligatory sex that neither of us enjoyed anymore.
It made me realize that I may not be married anymore. I may not have an anniversary to celebrate. But I have so much more. I celebrate my son, who is my universe. I celebrate myself and who I have become. I celebrate my life, for it is mine, to love, to make my own decisions, to follow them through and to head off with my friends for the adventure of a lifetime.
Hopefully over the years the pain will vanish altogether. Sometime in the future, the 1st of November may hold no significance at all for me anymore. But till then, whenever the day rolls by, I will remind myself of all the things I gained from letting my marriage go. I will mark this day, from now it is my anniversary with myself. With my freedom. With happiness.