Let me preface this by saying that I asked my ex to do very little before he left, but one of the things I specifically requested is that he go through the Christmas stuff. I didn’t want to have to face the process of separating ornaments and drudging up memories. Well, he was too busy to do so over the course of 6 weeks, so tonight I had to do it. I pulled out his ornaments and his stocking and they will travel in one of the boys’s suitcases, along with his baby books that he left behind, when they go see him for Christmas. The tree decorating affair was bittersweet, at best. The boys were being obnoxious about helping and then going on and on about how they loved every one of dad’s ornaments and mocking all of mine. I tried not to cry, but there were also a lot of shared memories that were still hung on the tree. Part of me is glad to have this “first” over and done with, but this was definitely one of the harder ones. When the boys had lost interest in decorating, I took our shared ornaments down to the basement, away from prying eyes, and smashed them into a million pieces. It hurt like hell, but I needed to do it.
The truth is, though, that even though our ornaments are sitting in my trash, I can’t do the same with my memories. The tree is beautiful and full of history and while my ex may have moved on, he still shares pieces of the tree and he always will. I look forward to building on to the tree with new memories, but I cannot pretend that 14 years never happened. Some days, it feels like it would be easier, but he will always occupy a piece of my past. Now, I need to work on creating a new future.