The Wine Diaries-My Sweetly Shattered Dream

the wine diariesI sat in the middle of the kitchen on a pop up chair. The one I normally took to my daughter’s soccer games.  I hadn’t even moved my things in yet but this empty house was mine.

I had left my marital home earlier that day.  I took the espresso machine with me even though I was going to leave it with my husband. In a last moment of frustration I walked back into my dream kitchen and unplugged the clunky coffee machine and cradled it in my arm.  Why? Because he had already begun the nasty remarks and although I had the best of intentions, he could foul my temper with his sarcasm. My parting words were something about “the mirror” and “love”.

So, here I was with a small overnight bag full of clothing and amenities to last me a week. I purchased and had delivered my new Queen size bed. Lucky for me, it was ready for me to sleep in and that was the only piece of furniture in my newly purchased, modest home besides the folding chair I sat in.

I took ownership the day before so the refrigerator although empty, was humming.  The telephone line was up and running with my newly assigned phone number. Although it wasn’t ringing, it was a small comfort seeing it on the kitchen counter.  After 19 years it was necessary for me to remember 7 new digits, not to mention a new mailing address, including a new postal code. It was the first time I felt truly free in almost 20 years.

It was delightful. It was frightening. It was guilt ridden and lonely. I was alone. My dream was sweetly shattered. As a friend of mine had said just that week “The fairytale didn’t come true, hey?”.

I had arranged to pick up the kids for dinner. We went to the local pizza house and it was Saturday night and buzzing with people and families.  My kids and I were seated at a booth and sitting across from them I tried to put on a brave face. Even though we had the family talk weeks prior to this day, they looked a little shell shocked. I almost lost my appetite looking at their once innocent faces that now were forced to solve mysteries they had no business concerning themselves with.

It was my fault. It was my idea as their father stated and embedded in their young minds.

So, here we were will it be Pepperoni, Hawaiian or Vegetarian? Will it be okay?

There’s so much that goes unsaid when you sit at a Pizza House with your children, the day you left their father.  So much you want to say but words aren’t enough.  I wish we could eat pizza like we used to in this very booth, without a care in the world except for our appetites. But when it comes to family breaking down and dreams shattering, there’s only so much pizza and words that will quell the fear of the soon to be broken. The breaking.

I want to explain that when things break they hurt but they get put back together in a better way. Some pieces are missing, some are chipped but eventually they are even stronger. Maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually. “It will be better in time” I would say except children don’t, nor should they understand these anecdotes.

Our appetites were suppressed by our hearts breaking but we nibbled on what we could. While the silence was deafening in the bustling pizza joint, I realized my time was up.  My heart was in my throat as I ‘dropped the kids off’ at their home. What kind of mother drops her kids off at home? Not a good one, I thought. A divorced one…a small voice said.

I’m back in my pop up chair, in my empty kitchen save for an outdated espresso machine. It still works. It’s not broken. I still work, too. I’m far from broken although I will feel split in a million pieces in the days to come. I will pick up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream, one day at a time. I can do this.

I was frightened. I was delighted and guilt ridden. I was lonely and happy to be alone. It was the first day of my official divorce and the rest of my life, as my beloved Grandmother used to say.

Sitting here, in this empty house on a pop up chair was the beginning of my successful emancipation, as it would turn out. My dream shattered but it shattered sweetly. Sometimes you have to break things to make them right.

Did you ever have to make a change in your life that scared the hell out of you? What have you broken to make it better?

Enjoy with The Dreaming Tree’s Everyday White-“Blended from select aromatic varietals that thrive in the central coast vineyards of Monterey County, Everyday is perfect as a sipping wine and it also goes well with spicy foods.” – Steve Reeder, winemaker

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39 Replies to “The Wine Diaries-My Sweetly Shattered Dream”

  1. I love your style and voice. While I’m still married, there were relationships in my past that ended in a bittersweet kind of way. I think for me, I knew the relationship wasn’t right and when I finally let it go I felt so much sadness and excitement. Sadness at the death, but looking forward to new experiences. For me the greatest tool I learned was to release and forgive. As soon as I did that, I was able to see my x lovingly. A short six months later, he was engaged and I was in a relationship with my now husband. We blessed each other, and recognized that while we loved each other, our time together was over but the ways we were changed would stay with us always.

    1. Hi Shelah, that’s a great story. There is definitely mixed emotions.
      “…we loved each other, our time together was over but the ways we were changed would stay with us always.” How beautiful!

  2. Although it’s a year later, I still have mixed emotions…not of leaving, I knew I had to do that, but of the heartache my kids feel…the emotions they can’t seem to share. My oldest seems angry a lot, spending more time with his dad (definitely a place where anger and blame resides daily). I’ve reached out, so that’s all I can do. My youngest spends most time with me, because she’s tired of listening to dad’s “blame your mom, blame the world, poor me, what about my feelings” tirades. Such a passive-aggressive narcissist, but not mine to deal with anymore. Unfortunately my kids do though, and that’s the guilt that’ll live with me for a very long time, the guilt that makes me sad today.

    1. Aw, Michelle I feel for you. It really does get better though. One year isn’t that long (although it feels it) and it’s still the adjustment period for everyone. You’re doing the right thing by reaching our to your son regardless. Love always wins. The guilt is normal too. It will also ease up in time when you see your kids thriving. Thanks for sharing here <3

    1. Aw, thank you kim! I think we feel more alone than we actually are. Without other people going through a similar situation. xoxo

  3. Wow…you brought me back. I left in a similar way…and felt better with each day that passed. The freedom made me giddy. Being alone with my thoughts for the first time in years…

  4. Hi Lisa,

    The way you have expressed your emotions tugged at my heart. Your words are lacerating albeit you are putting up a brave face at the time of walking away and then sharing a pizza with your children.

    I know you have got over that anguish after sharing all your emotions in your book but one corner of your heart will always remain sensitive. Healing is so slow my friend. Keep sharing as it really helps.

    1. Yes, Balroop it’s true that these moments will always have a corner of my heart. I think the hardest, most emotional moments in our lives are always there in our memory. They’re the important turning points. Thanks for sharing and reading! 🙂

  5. Wowee Lisa….I could totally SEE myself sitting there as an observer at the Pizza House and FEEL your emotion. That was intense, my dear. It’s been almost 25 years now? She and I had been engaged for 6 years (um-hum) and raising her two boys. Anyhoo, it came to a screeching halt one day when my aunt finally had to intervene to have me move out with ONE HOUR’S NOTICE. Meaning, she was getting me out of the house immediately. She came in and told me to grab one thing of everything and leave EVERYTHING else in the house. Because I would never be coming back. I literally grabbed one of everything except furniture. Maybe I will write about that someday but that will be way down the road. Hugs to you my friend! 🙂

    1. Wow, Mike that sounds like a very dramatic ending. I’m sure there’s still some pain with that memory.It would make a great post but that said, sometimes we just want to forget. I write about this stuff because now I can look back and see that everything is okay. I want to inspire other people facing the same situation and know that it can be done. Hugs back to you! I look forward to your writings at Past My Curfew!

  6. Hi Lisa,

    That was SO beautifully written…:)

    Your words I could feel right through, and could imagine myself right there and seeing the innocent faces of your kids. Yes, with time things heal, but there is always a part deep within that remains broken and takes forever to heal, especially after all that you’ve gone through. You are brave indeed- God Bless you 🙂

    Thanks for sharing – have a nice, rest of the week 🙂

  7. It’s interesting how memories like that stay with us…I still remember the day my mom told me she was leaving my step father…the thing that stood out most (i mean, i was 13 so what do you expect?) was “i’m sorry, now you’ll have to share a bedroom with your sister at the new house.” …and so life goes on;-)

    1. Hi Jess, I agree some statements and moments we remember forever while others are forgettable. That’s cute that you were bummed about the bedroom. I hope it all worked out okay for you!

  8. Whoa. That part was so beautiful about you not being broken either.
    And I could totally visualize the pizza house memory. I was wondering how I could hold it together because anxiety is so often a part of tough times for me. I imagine I’d have it held at bay.
    Heartbreaking and beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Tamara! I think we can handle more than we realize and our determination to make a change can out weigh the anxiety. There were anxious moments though, for sure. It gets better in time, like most change and challenges. 🙂

  9. You sure are a story-teller, Lisa. You could use this to write a fiction story about a woman going through divorce. Many women would be able to relate.

    1. Thanks, Chrys! I promise it’s all true 😉 Yes, I should adapt my experience into fictional characters and stories. I’m working on that.

  10. Oh, my goodness… Your words… they really resonated with me in this one. I had a similar experience, though I would never even try and compare b/c 1) I wasn’t married (though we were together for 6 years and at the time, I couldn’t simply fathom a life without this person) and 2) there weren’t any children involved.

    But the splitting up the furniture and the coffee pot and the parting words… well, that I remember though I’d like to forget.

    Wishing you so much peace, my love. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt words here today. XOXO

    1. Living together or married it’s similar when it comes to splitting up. I have peace now. Thank you Charlotte for reading and sharing your experience here. 🙂

  11. Dear Lisa,

    What a beautiful post–bittersweet and a story to which I wholeheartedly relate. Thank you so much for sharing your story–the pain, the heartache, the healing.

    Your kids are lucky to have you.

    1. Thank you Jane! I hope there is some inspiration in there…the kids and I have been down a winding road. We’re in a good place now and have been for a number of years.

  12. This: “My dream shattered but it shattered sweetly. Sometimes you have to break things to make them right.”
    ABSOLUTELY…just beautiful. This entire piece.
    But this last line…there are a few moments in my life, huge ones, that I can apply this line to. If only I had the insight at the time to know change was needed in order to move ahead.

    1. Thank you, Kim! I’m delighted this resonated with you. Of course, that last line is realized in hindsight. When we’re in the middle of the moment, it’s hard to have this perspective. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  13. We have lived VERY similar experiences, but unfortunately I am just in the beginnings. I just ordered your book and cant wait to read it, because your words have already touched me!! I know I will be fully healed one day!
    thank you for being you!


    1. Hi Bobbi, thank you and I’m sure the book will help you out especially at the beginning stages. I will send that off to you right away. Stay in touch and hope you continue to visit me here at the blog! 🙂

  14. Thank you for sharing this part of your story Lisa. I could see myself sitting beside you. We feel less alone when we know people dealing with the same kind of feelings.
    2 years ago I left my husband too. We were not married that long and I was pregnant.
    What we do for us will benefit others, and our kids first. Cause we can’t keep living a lie, without hurting them on the way. Truth sets us and them free.
    Stay blessed

    1. Thank you, Marie! Yes, living a lie makes for an unhappy life for everyone. There’s always some good that keeps us going but it doesn’t always last. Hope you’re doing well in your new life. 🙂

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