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March 21, 2005 - 3:27 pm

GRACE

I feel terrible today.

Everything has sort of hit me at once so that I feel like Iím going to collapse from the weight of it all. Itís one of those cold, drizzly days filled with self-loathing and doubt that are bound to come along every so often, but this oneís a real doozey. I canít concentrate; I feel like Iím walking around in a dream, half conscious and moving through the paces moment by moment with no memory of an hour ago and no thought of whatís happening next. 'Just smile and wave and try not to cry' is my mantra lately.

I feel like Iím in limbo, but in reality things are actually moving ahead. The divorce is supposed to be final by the end of this month. Iíve found a house and started moving things over. Iíve picked a paint color for the living room, bought new beds for me and the kids, and ordered new dishes and flatware. Iíve met with my lawyer, my accountant, and my bank loan officer. Iím waiting on Johnís accountant for a few final numbers, but the divorce settlement agreement is pretty much done.

Right now, all the kids know is that weíre moving out and dadís staying in the house to try and finish renovating. They are so excited about the new house they can hardly stand it, so thatís what Iím focusing on with them. Itís right across the street from their school and the playground, theyíll each have their own room, and the back yard is fenced in so we can finally get that dog theyíve been bugging me about for three years.

Neither one of the children has expressed any anxiety about the fact that John wonít be living with us, which is not to imply that reality won't hit them at some point. They have, however, asked if we can please bring the pile of bricks thatís been sitting in our driveway for four years that they make awesome forts out of, and whether theyíll be able to visit Ms. Carolyn, our neighbor, from time to time. The Girl did ask me whether I was getting a big bed for when dad comes for sleepovers. I said yes, I was getting a big bed, but that their sleepovers would probably be at dadís house, and they could visit their pile of bricks and Ms. Carolyn during those times.

Once weíre settled in and used to our new place and new routine, weíll tell them itís going to stay this way. John has been really great about the whole thing for the most part, and I think everything is going to be a lot better for everyone once itís all over. Weíre both putting the kidsí wellbeing first in our minds and thatís helped to guide us in making some difficult decisions.

Weíre getting through it, but just getting through it is not the hardest part. I mean, I know everything will work out one way or another. It always does, you know? After the panic and the screaming the dust always settles into some form of resolution, for better or worse.

But thatís not how I want this to happen. What I want is to look back when itís all over and remember getting through it with grace and dignity. Thatís the hard part.

And thatís why Iím having such a bad day. I donít feel particularly graceful or dignified today. I just feel sad, lonely, scared, and not at all brave. I want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head and pity myself and wish for it all to be different. But I canít. I have kids to take care of and a business to run.

I just have to smile and wave and try not to cry.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Adam Bede by George Eliot
viewing - Punch Drunk Love
listening -"Hear My Train a Cominí" by Jimi Hendrix

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