Tonight is one of those nights where I am just a mom. My legal-eagle mind is busy scouring recipes for Passover. I’m excited about the upcoming holidays. They make me think about what really “matters” in life. These particular holidays always mark a new beginiing. As I slice and dice and wait for the brisket to roast, I recall that life really is a journey.
It takes a long time to build, a moment to destroy, and a lifetime to recover.
I’ve come to embrace my “mistakes” as “lessons” and am grateful for all the ups and downs. I am going into my 9th year of post-divorce life, and I think I finally have it right. My partner texted me a short while ago to see if I will be in the office tomorrow. “No,” I reply, “this Shiksa is getting ready for her Seder.” I’m very proud of this accomplishment. I love to cook, am not Jewish, but have met a wonderful man who has asked me to share in his family’s tradition. My ex-husband was Jewish but not observant; not even remotely. I am Catholic and will be celebrating Easter in just one week. I feel blessed to partake in both holidays this year.
As I excitedly pulled the potato kugel out of the oven wondering if it had turned out right, my middle daughter (age 15) asked if she could open a box she had found in the attic. She told me it was labled with her name and that of her older sister (almost 18). “Sure!” I responded. A few moments later I went upstairs to say good night. She and her older sister were sprawled out on the bed with the treasure trove of kindergarten art, birth announcements, hospital records, cards and baby photos.
They loved every moment of every memory they found. I realized at that moment that they had found real “evidence” that they had been the product of love-a fact that I had long forgotten, choosing instead to think of my daughters as amazing survivors of divorce. When they reached the bottom of the pile they found a manilla envelope that contained their father’s baby pictures. They were amazed that I had kept these photos. I was thrilled to see them, having thought of them often, remembering that I had saved them, but fearing they had been lost. My oldest daughter looked at one of the pictures and said, “Mommy, it looks like one of my selfies!” I smiled and agreed whole heartedly.
Amazed by the amount of “junk” in this box she found, my middle one asked me if I was a “hoarder.” I laughed. I am not one to keep things unnecessarily, but I guess the lawyer in me likes to preserve “evidence” and tonight, I am glad I did. My daughters got to see a very happy time in their parent’s lives. They got to see a piece of history, a piece of their father, a piece of themselves, and a piece of me.
Together these pieces fit together to form a puzzle, but more than than that, they give me peace of mind knowing that my girls could “see” for themselves that although separated, we really will always be one. I don’t know if my ex sees things this way, or even gives it any thought. I don’t really care either. I do know that evidence is proof, and the evidence was pretty clear and convincing. While we may not have loved each other, we really did love our girls, and that, more than anything, is truly all that matters now.