Love Not Lost

The Next Family

By: Craig Zagurski

August is LOVE month here at TNF, and while there are many wonderful flavors of LOVE, my mind is wired to go straight to ROMANTIC LOVE. Not a bad place to go, however, when 10 continuous years of RL come to a fiery stop. RL now tends to conjure up feelings of jadedness with a dash of melancholy.

It doesn’t feel permanent nor is there much suffering involved. I’ve simply upgraded my armor. My heart feels like it’s wearing a non-lubricated Trojan–it still throbs and is capable of feeling warmth, but there’s noticeable friction and the odds are slim it will produce anything that will require follow-up.

My divorce is rather unconventional. We share goodbye hugs that seem to last longer than the visit. Every now and then we send text messages to each other rehashing a sweet memory or sharing an anecdote only the other will appreciate. We poke fun at each other about our differences and the mistakes we made. We check in regularly about how we’re holding up on our own, emotionally, and discuss our observations about the many phases we’re going through as we work to regain our footing. We celebrate each other on our birthdays and Mother’s/Father’s Days. She still sometimes takes my breath away when I see her in a new dress or with a new hairstyle. And since we share two little miracles together, she and I will always remain family.

We also catch ourselves slipping into an old, corny inside joke that is now just received with a courtesy grin and a look to the ground…followed by awkward silence.

This month, for me, marks the first August in 11 years that I will not be married nor have an anniversary to celebrate, and yet, I’m happier now and more fulfilled than I’ve been in years. I still LOVE, dearly, the woman who was my wife. She still LOVEs me, dearly. It’s a comfortable and familiar LOVE. An unbreakable LOVE that is outliving the institution of our broken marriage. For that, I am very blessed.

Happy Anniversary, honey.

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