Dearest Aurora May,
You just passed your 6 month birthday a few days ago and the speed at which you’re growing and learning is astounding. I couldn’t sleep very well last night so I came out to where you were, I pumped, you woke up, so I fed you some fresh milk and we just stared at each other and you kept smiling until you fell back asleep.
I often wonder if my mother had moments like this with me; moments of pure presence, affection and adoration. She had my sister to handle at the same time, so I wonder how that effected her parenting experience with me. I’ve never asked but perhaps now I will.
I shared yesterday about the beginning of a very dark and lost time for me that lasted well over a year. I often felt like I was in the middle of an ocean treading water, and I’d temporarily hold onto various people, places and things floating by me for support, but I didn’t have much direction other than my business and my dog Zona. They were grounding energies for me, often saving me from me. This was a time of trying on different expressions of myself to see who I wanted to rise into becoming after my fall from light with Devon.
But first let’s go back to how that relationship experience finally came to a slow and painful death.
It was June 2008 and Devon and I were heading to the east coast for 2 main reasons. First, to attend the wedding of one of my best friends from growing up. She was marrying another friend of ours, who was the guy I dated before my car accident in 1994. Their wedding was in The Hampton’s in NY, and I was a bridesmaid for it. The second reason we were in NY was to see another of my best friends, Daniel, who was living in NYC and running his own restaurant. It was a bold travel plan; we’d pick up Devon’s parents’ car in Rhode Island first, drive to NYC and spend Thursday night at Daniels, and then drive the 9 hours to the Hampton’s on Friday to the rehearsal dinner. I’d travel far for a hug, catch-up cocktail and hang out session.
Daniel and I met summer of 1995 in Burlington, VT when I was 17 in summer school and he was 16 at the University of Vermont. It was the summer before my senior year so I was taking college classes and touring colleges on the east coast. Daniel and I were in the same summer school program but we didn’t really meet there, we just saw each other in passing. We ended up connecting in the admissions office at Hamilton College, in Clinton, NY after our summer program had ended. Hamilton was Daniel’s first choice, so I made it mine too, and we exchanged contact information and agreed to stay in touch. So with that, I had my first pen pal, because it was before I had an email address.
Daniel ended up going to a different school than me but I talked to him often and visited him a few times in Vermont. I remember Daniel being the first person I ever sent an email to when I had my first Hotmail email address. Despite our physical distance, our friendship stayed strong for years, and we joked that if the day ever came where we were mid 30’s and not married yet, he’d ignore that I had tattoos and we’d get married and I’d become Jewish. And we also said we wanted to attend a showing of the Oprah show together, since he was from Chicago. But neither of those things came to be, but something else profound did that night in NYC. My friendship with Daniel and relationship with Devon changed immediately, and not for the better. I had alcohol to thank for that, but we’ll get to that part.
When we arrived before drinks to Daniel’s apartment in NYC, I was shocked how tiny it was. You walked into a narrow corridor of beige walls that had a low ceiling and yellow lights. The door to the bathroom was on your right, and then just past you on the Right was the kitchen, which was also tiny and took up that entire corner of the room. And there you had main room, that had a tiny sliver of a porch with a sliding door so you could go out and enjoy the air and view of the other building, which was a few feet away. If someone in the building next door leaned out their window and Daniel leaned out his, they could maybe give high fives. On the left side of the tiny living room/kitchen spade was a doorway into the bedroom, that had a full size bed smooshed into the corner with room for 1 bedridden table. He said he paid $2100/month for this space. I was astounded. Fortunately Daniel was dating a girl named Lana, who he’d known in high school, who also lived in NYC, and he was going to stay the night with her so that we could have his space to ourselves. I was so excited to meet Lana because Daniel had told me she was THE one and he was going to propose soon. The ONE?! I was envious of how confident he was. Remember my engagement story from the days of John? Well Daniel was going to be a bridesman in my line of bridesmaids that day in September 2004 when I was scheduled to marry John (that story is HERE). So knowing he’d reached that point in his relationship was both exciting and a little sad for me. Another of our agreements was that if either of us got married, we’d meet the significant other before we got engaged, so this was perfect. I wished I was introducing Daniel to my “one” but I knew that wasn’t the case. I could feel the end of Devon and I coming, but we both had so much emotion and energy invested in each other that the idea of breaking up still seemed really far away and really sad. Until it wasn’t far away, it was going to be that long wedding weekend.
We have just left on a 5 day vacation in Costa Rica to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We’ve got 2 nights in Escazu and 3 nights in Monteverde.