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I am supposed to be a widow

I am supposed to be a widow right now.

This was the phrase that ran through my head over and over again following Armando's death. In the moment it was a reminder of how a single decision in life truly impacts every event that follows. The thought continued to overwhelm me for the first several days after his death and also felt like a selfish thought to be having. A reminder to you, reader, that I am human. The idea that a simple choice changes a person's life trajectory is not a new concept. Hollywood has made movies on this idea. Had the main character stepped off the bus any later and (fill in the blank).

Let me preface this by saying, I don't regret my decision to get divorced three years ago. Or to marry my husband a year and a half later. It also doesn't mean I can't contemplate how my life would have been compared to how it ended up. That is the curiosity in me. Maybe the storyteller. I've always hated the phrase, everything happens for a reason because some really shitty stuff happens to some really good people. But maybe I am wrong.

As time passes I can accept that Nora and I's life turned out the best it possibly could (almost like it happened for a reason-like I planned it-oh if only I was that wise) all due to a choice I made 3 years ago.

Imagine the story: Armando and I plan a divorce so that in the end Nora would be left in a happy home with a loving stepfather and brother to help her heal after his death. We were not that clever. It was not that smooth. There were so many hurt feelings and hard days.

Yet, Nora lives in a loving home and though her dad is gone, she still has two parents who love her. Immediately after her dad died, I was able to take her to our home, away from all that would remind her of the death of her dad. Away from the room that, together, we saw her dad die in. Away to heal. This wouldn't have been an option if I still lived there. Neither of us wanted to be there anymore. Our family unit may have broken years earlier, but without Armando, the house had no more meaning. We wanted out.

The aftermath of that decision I made 3 years ago gave her a stepdad she loves, one she already established a relationship with. She gained a stepbrother, bonus aunts, bonus uncles, a bonus grandma. Bonus love.

This all sounds wonderful. She still lost her dad. I lost my oldest friend. And the first year after choosing to get divorced was still some of the darkest days, full of me questioning that choice.

I think the lesson I walk with is that just because a choice was hard and brought with it change, change that feels heavy-- doesn't mean it was wrong. Change can feel heavy at first, that's okay. Maybe even normal.

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As I sit here and grieve my mom who I lost a month ago and can relate to the words I dont want to be in this house that I watched her go away in front of me in I have to tell you that I’m so thankful for your writing and the true words you tell and I’m thankful you and Nora have Sam . Many blessings to you all ❤️

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