Saturday, December 13, 2008

For Dan

I got married on June 28th, 2003 in a backyard overflowing with blooming flowers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was 24 years old and my husband was the greatest man alive. A genius, when we met Dan had just returned from an academic trip to China and Europe, where he studied circus arts. He'd been awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship, and used the money following all sorts of off-beat circuses around; he even started his own in Sweden. I had just returned from my study abroad trip to Sydney, still dizzy from flying halfway around the world, when we met on my first day of work at a coffee shop in Ann Arbor and talked about our love of travel in the dim pre-dawn light over the smell of fresh brewed coffee.

Dan and I had our first date on his last day working at the cafe. He taught me to juggle. From then on we spent every day together. We were in love. I remember about three weeks after we started dating we had a conversation about how neither of us believed in marriage, and that was the exact moment that I knew I was going to be his wife. A year later, we were married.

Marrying Dan was an easy decision because he was a good man. He was a domestic terrorist, doing dishes, laundry, and cooking for me. The man lived to make me happy, and I'd never known that was possible in a relationship until I met him. He taught me about generosity, how to take care of your mate. Our relationship was essentially a competition over who could be nicer, and we'd do sneaky things to win. Our friends told us that we were an example of how great a marriage could be, and we knew it was true.

I can't say enough nice things about Dan and my marriage to him, which is why our divorce after five years was so baffling. For a long time, I couldn't even give a reason for our separation. It took a lot of soul-searching to figure out what went wrong, and I think I might finally be getting to the point where I know.

Although terribly sad, our divorce was easy as divorces go; we didn't fight at all. We parted with love. Dan lives in Albuquerque now, where he studies in the graduate program in creative writing at UNM. He has sent me some of his work and I've sent him my blog postings. We were talking about once a week and I had plans to visit him in New Mexico on my way through.

Since our separation, our friendship has been delicate. There's so much pain there, and neither of us has healed completely, but it seemed like it was going to work out. Our recent conversations were full of smiles and laughter, and we both looked forward to my visit, until the last time we talked. Something happened; the conversation went south and ended in tears.

Two days ago Dan sent me an email saying he no longer wants any contact with me. He called off my visit and asked me not to call or write. Being in touch with me is too painful, he wrote, and he needs to move on with his life and find happiness.

I know that I can't force him to be my friend, and because I love him I have to respect his wishes. I just hope there comes a day when he decides that having me in his life is worth the accompanying pain. As for me, I'm desperate. I'm broken. I feel like I should fight for him, but at the same time I know that if I do things will just get worse. I suppose it's really selfish for me to think I can divorce him and then expect him to keep being my friend. I've hurt him; he's probably right to cut me off. But I'm devastated. I just love him so much and I can't believe it's come to this. He was my family.

A special moment

Dan, I respect your choice. You have to make yourself happy. I think it is brave of you to do what you need to do; it can't be easy. But, if there comes a point down the road, in one year, ten years, or twenty years, that you feel complete and healed and think, "I wonder how Eva's doing," then please know that I will be waiting for your return into my life. I'll always be in awe of you and I'll always think you are wonderful. No matter how many years pass, there will be a hole in my soul where you belong. The good thing about love, though, is that I can always love you, no matter where you are, and no matter how long it's been since we've talked. I'm honored to at least be able to do that, and you need to know that I will.


Trina said...

This is beautifully written. As usual, of course, but that's all I can say about this.

Shannon said...

this makes me cry. I love love stories and even if this wasn't a marriage that lasted forever, it was still a love story. I wish we could have met Dan.

Dan, if Eva thinks your wonderful, I'm sure that you are. I wish you the best of luck.

Shannon said...

also, June 28 is my parents anniversay. weird.

RennyPenny said...

you are an amazing person...just reading some of your blogs i feel like i know who you are...not in a creepy i'm about to follow you through the dairy section way but in an insight to your feelings way

I look forward to the next post!

Sara said...

A beautiful post...I don't even know what to say except that I am so sorry for you having to go through this difficult, emotional time. You WILL come through all of this changed...a stronger person. All part of the journey...xxoo

Ray Ray said...

If nothing else, Eva, this demonstrates that you know what love is, and what it requires - and everyone who knows you should be grateful for that, because we all benefit from it.

rach said...

Beautifully written, as always. Love is strange indeed, but what a shame to have never done it.

A farmer's daughter reference: Think of past relationships like manure...sometimes it stinks but it helps you grow things even more lush and beautiful.

Rachel Tamed said...

you are beautiful and so brave

Anonymous said...

I had only a few words with you this evening, but it is clear that you are the real deal. I wish that I could have talked longer.
Please contact me if you are interested to.

Jane Dunn said...

Eva, I just read your blog. I am so sorry to hear about what happened. I'll say that in my travels and building and losing amazing bonds around the world, I have learned that there are different types of people. There are people like us who, once we have grown with soemone and really mattered to each other, it only makes sense to stay a part of each other's lives as long as is possible, in some way. But, other people, I have come to discover, choose to competely sever all ties. Some people, I think, don't know how to be who they want to become while holding on to who they have been.

alex said...

i ran across your blog somehow during one of my late night insomniac internet surfing times, and i was looking at it and i saw this post, the one that said "For Dan" and i opened it, at that time having just divorced my own Dan of 10 years and thinking about him and our relationship. as i started to read it, i realized, oddly enough, that my Dan is good friends with your Dan, they are in the writing program here in ABQ together, they are Dan D and Dan C. i live here in Albuquerque and me and my Dan met your Dan when we had just moved here and he had just moved here as they were both entering the program at UNM at some "get to know you mixer". my Dan and i are also now divorced and reading your blog, the love story that is it, was very emotional for me, as our stories are similar and of course because I know Dan D. bizarre how small this world is...

i also wanted to comment on what Jane Dunn said, and i think it's very true, some people don't know how to hold onto what they have been, while becoming something new. life is full of infinite possibilities.