I am taking my first trip out west since I left ten and a half months ago. The occasion is a family wedding, and it is the perfect reason for me to return to nurture the long time relationships I had with my former spouse’s children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (See New Year’s Resolution #3.)
I will see my former spouse. It won’t be ugly. But I can’t help fantasizing all the possibilities of our meeting. The best fantasy is the one where he says to me, “I was so wrong. I ruined a perfectly good love, and dirtied all my insecurities down to sex.” Ummm. That’s not going to happen.
The most likely prospect of our meeting will be us speaking to each other, or us not speaking to each other. Nevertheless, I am taking him a small gift. When we were married, I was given a Jade plant by a school parent. Jades propagate very easily and over time, we had a “Jade Forest” around the big mesquite tree in our backyard. Jade became our symbol, as it was a combination of our first names. My last gift from my former spouse was a necklace of an Egyptian cartouche with Jade spelled out in hieroglyphics.
I am taking him a piece of Jade propagated from the mother plant that I received from one of my “sisters.” When I left, all our Jades were dead. Telling, huh?
What I am tempted to tuck into the Jade is the following poem I found by A.C. Swinburne.
“I remember the way we parted,
The day and the way we met;
You hoped we were both brokenhearted,
And knew we should both forget.
And the best and the worst of this is
That neither is most to blame,
If you have forgotten my kisses
And I have forgotten your name.”
It is a beautiful poem right up to the zinger of a last line. I love it. The best and the worst…I wish I had thought of this poem myself, and while I fantasize giving him this poem, it would be unkind and untrue. I have not forgotten his name. But I am working on it!