I remember a night from early last year, a night that fell just a few days before our new life was set to begin.
It was your bedtime, and we laid in your bed, stretched out next to one another, your head resting on my shoulder. As I turned the pages of one of your favorite stories, happily reading its words to you, I tried to push away the scary questions that overwhelmed my thoughts:
Was I doing the right thing?
Were you going to be okay?
Was I going to be okay?
Were we going to be okay?
By the time I finished the book, I could feel your tiny head and body grow heavy. I gathered up your special stuffed animals and the baby blanket you still slept with. I tucked them in close to you, kissed you on the forehead, and switched off your lamp. The soft filtered glow of moonlight bathed your room, and I filled in the leftover dark shadows with a different question:
“Is there anything else I can get you, sweet girl?”
“I’m good, Mommy,” you said, as your hand reached for mine and your eyes slowly closed. “Right here, I’ve got everything I need.”
You fell asleep, but I did not leave. I closed my own eyes, thinking of your words. With you in my arms, it was easy to convince myself that the answer to all of those tucked-away questions would undoubtedly be Yes.
Getting divorced isn’t something you plan on happening. You grow up envisioning a perfect, happiness-soaked, sun-drenched marital love, one that will survive heartache and withstand life’s inevitable challenges. And while oftentimes that happens, many times it doesn’t. There’s no guarantee. At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is make the best of whatever life throws at you.
And we’ve done a good job of that, you and I. In spite of those questions that still invade my thoughts from time to time, we have managed to settle into a simple, happy life since this chapter of our lives began. One that is filled with copious amounts of love and laughter. One where our hearts feel light and free. While we may be living a life different than the one I once imagined would be ours, when I step back and look at what we’re creating—and all of the wonderful things ahead of us—I can’t possibly be sad for what might have been.
Because from where I stand, our future is so beautifully, blindingly bright.
Do you want to know how I know that, my sweet girl? There was a night, not long ago, where the weight of my worries temporarily seemed too much to bear. As you busied yourself in your room, getting ready for bed, I sat in quietly in my own, willing my tears to stay silent so you wouldn’t have to hear.
But because the lines that connect us are powerful, your heart knew it needed to find mine. You sat down beside me and gently pulled my head into your lap, your tiny fingers drying the corners of my eyes.
“What else can I do?” you whispered.
I looked up at you and shook my head as I sat up and gathered you in my arms.
“I need nothing else, honey,” I breathed into your shampoo-scented, still-wet hair.
Because right now, I thought, what more could I possibly want?
It’s those moments when I’m reminded I shouldn’t worry so much about this new life we’re making. We will be just fine, just the two of us—because when we have each other, I can guarantee that we have everything we need.
Corey is a marketing professional, writer, graphic designer, and, most importantly, mom to her amazing daughter, Zoey. Wanting to find her way back to herself after her divorce last year, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion of writing. This pursuit manifested itself in the creation of a blog called The Nostalgia Diaries, where her goal is to simplify, enhance, and engage people’s lives by helping them focus on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. Since the creation of her blog, Corey’s writing has been featured on SheKnows, Red Tricycle, and Chief Gratitude Officer. She’s determined to spend the rest of her days living creatively and colorfully, all the while drinking cinnamon green tea, listening to good music, and soaking up as much sunshine as she can.