Friday, March 21, 2008

Broken Hearts . . .

You want a heart? You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.

Tonight, being Good Friday evening, instead of being at church like a good Catholic, I'm at home in a funk. Painful memories from the past are swirling around me like ghosts of things I've put away, but still remember.

Years and years ago, when Handsome and I were still just dating, we broke our engagement abruptly. It was for the best and we needed time to seperate and get our deeper shit in order within ourselves. It probably saved our future marriage. The course of true love never runs straight and all that happy horseshit...Nevertheless it was of soap opera dramatics and friend splitting theatrics. We were the "Luke and Laura" of our peer group, the couple that would always be together. People were shocked, but it needed to happen. He needed to learn that I'm the most important person in the world to him and I needed to learn that I didn't need to be so possessive.

My birthday fell on Good Friday that year. I had been out on a distraction-from-Handsome date and when I came home, while my date was still there, Handsome's mother called me to wish me a "Happy Birthday", but it ended up being a sobfest because she was upset we weren't coming to their house for Easter and she was so upset by how Handsome and my relationship turned out. She had already accepted me as a daughter. We both end up crying, me mostly because Handsome didn't even call my on the day and even though we were broken up, it still hurt.

All the while, my date is downstairs waiting for me to finish talking to my ex-soon-to-be Mother-in-Law. I realized that night that I wasn't being fair to my date since I wasn't over Handsome. A week or so later I broke it off.

Handsome and I obviously got back together and got married and had Darling Daughter. I was grateful for the time apart, but that 2.5 months were some of the hardest of my life.

Maybe I'm down tonight because Handsome's brother just broke it off with his long time girlfriend. She's not taking it well at all, even though they both know it was never going to turn into marriage. I see a lot of similarities of her reactions to my own. She's even about the same age I was when Handsome and I broke up.

My heart goes out to her, but I don't know what to say that she'll listen to. I had a friend of mine tell me during our break up that "This will either make or break you guys" and he was right.

People are so careless sometimes with other people's hearts. So many marriages end that maybe could have been fixed if they both tried. Some are just unfixable. Popular culture encourages infidelity and society tells us to put our needs above others. If everybody is doing that, how can relationships stay strong?

I was disturbed by a post I saw on the KC Star's mom2mom blog this week from a woman who is the wife of an Iraq War vet. The lady was reaching out saying how hard it was to keep her marriage together while suffering PTSD as well as his issues. So many of the "supportive women" told her to take care of herself and her daughter before being there for her husband.

As the daughter of a Vietnam Vet, I've watched my mother lovingly support my father and all of the issues he brought back with him for all of the almost 31 years of my life. I've been amazed by her courage and selflessness (a rarity for her, but it shows how much she loves him). You do the impossible for those you love sometimes.

Unless the guy is a physical/emotional threat to her or her daughter, why shouldn't she stand by her husband and put him first, if not for just a little while? The pain of war eases in time. There's too much of a "grab the baby and run" mentality sometimes, I think.

I'll leave you with the ultimate sad, broken heart song, Linda Ronstadt's "Long, Long Time"...

Followed closely by the Indigo Girls' "Ghost"

Man, I'm depressing this evening.