When I first think 10 and 2, my mind goes straight to driving. Hands at 10 and 2, eyes on the road, FOCUS. But it has a different meaning today. Ten years ago today I was getting my hair done, butterflies in my stomach, counting the hours til I became Mrs. Martindale. Ten years ago I began a new chapter in my life, my life as a wife. Two is the number of homes I have bought and sold with Justin. Two is also the number of children I have carried, brought into this world, and have spent every second loving ever since. Two is the number of dogs I adopted in 10 years. Two is the number of grandparents I have lost. And, I have been blessed to have been employed by two major companies in those ten years, one of which brought me to Atlanta. Ten years seems so short sometimes, but I feel like I have experienced so many of life’s biggest stressors in that span of time.
“Where do you see yourself in ten years?” is a common interview question. It’s one I was asked many times when meeting potential employers. I def can say that I didn’t picture myself in the place I am today. I knew I would have a good job, which I do..check. I knew I would have kids…check check. Did I imagine I would lose a child? Nope, that wasn’t on the list. What about having to figure out life all by yourself, starting all over at 33? Yeah, I checked…that wasn’t on the answer list. Never did I think that 10 years after leaving my reception amongst an aisle of sparklers, I would be spending the anniversary at my maid of honor’s house, crying and just wanting to be distracted.. I was imagining more of a dream vacation with the hubs and diamond upgrade. Guess I am no fortune teller, ha.It’s true; life isn’t exactly how I imagined it in those interviews. Guess it’s not a really fair question though. I mean, in ten years, LIFE happens. Death happens. Loss happens. Responsibilities and priorities change. Job stressors happen.Bills are created. Kids are born. Friends grow apart, spouses and families grow apart. When you sit back and reflect on that interview question, and what 10 years REALLY holds, I think the most appropriate answer would be, “I hope to be alive and breathing”.
Today is one of those “milestones”, one of the “firsts” people talk about when going through a divorce…same as a death. It’s these moments that can bring you to your knees and you just pray for it to hurry up and end and get to tomorrow. I felt like that every single milestone the first year after losing Asher. Christmas? Yeah, I didn’t even want a tree. The first friend that had a healthy baby? Yeah, I just wanted to unfriend them forever. Then you get through ALL of those firsts, and each year they sting but they are not crippling. It’s the moments you don’t expect rather than the milestones that get to me. Take for instance last weekend. I attended a friend’s little boy’s birthday party-(side note- this is the first year I have been able to bring myself to a child’s bday due to Asher) and there were LOTS of kiddos. But, I had my beautiful Rowan so I was good. Well, as I sat down eating with friends, someone started yelling “Asher! Asher!”, as she was calling to her little boy. Of course immediately my ears perked up. I let it roll off my back. But she KEPT DOING IT. And then it happened, tears just started flowing down my cheeks. Thankfully, I felt my friend put his hand on my back, letting me know he was there, that I wasn’t alone. I can’t tell you how close I was to screaming at her “Shut up! Quit saying that name!” Guess Jesus took the wheel, thankfully, and I was able to compose myself. 3 ½ years after losing Asher, and those moments, damn them. It’s those moments that have hit me this week and especially today. The smell of burning wood reminds me of camping on our 2nd year anniversary. I haven’t gotten on a plane in 10 years and not had someone text me saying “Did you make it?”….until today. This is the first time in 10 years that I won’t watch my wedding video or trade corny traditional anniversary gifts. Today is the first time on Oct 14th that I have felt like I just wanted to get the day over with.
But losing Asher taught me a lot. It has taught me that I will survive these moments, these “firsts”. I didn’t die of a broken heart then, and I know I won’t die from it now. It’s very true…tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I have lost 2 special people guys, but I will always love. It’s who I am.
Ten years. 10 and 2. I have lived and loved for these 10 years, felt like 2 lifetimes worth. Here’s to having a better answer to that interview question 10 years from now.