It has been six months since the man I loved had an emotional breakdown, quit his job and called off our engagement all in the course of a single week. There are days where I’m okay with (even thankful for) the fact that I’m not married to him. And there are other times, like the entirety of last weekend, where everything reminds me of him and, though in my head I know his rejection was a blessing in disguise, the reopened wounds of my heart still cause intense pain.
For those readers who don’t know me personally, my ex-fiance was a Marine who graduated from the Naval Academy and then got his MBA at Harvard. Ironically, my younger brother is getting married in December to a Boston girl who grew up not far from Harvard. Still more ironically, my brother proposed to his girlfriend on the exact day that my ex asked for the ring back. You just can’t make this stuff up.
So, last weekend I flew up to Boston for the bridal shower of my sister-in-law-to-be. We spent all day Saturday touring Boston, a place my ex had frequently talked about taking me to show me the ancient ivy-covered landmarks of Harvard. Everywhere we went, my mind inserted a mental image of him talking and laughing with his college friends.
On Sunday, the bridal shower closely resembled my own, with the same unique activities played while surrounded by the rustic elegance of a white-and-burlap theme. Waiting in line to board the plane home, I was in line behind a man wearing a Semper Fi T-shirt, and I was seated next to a newly engaged couple who spent the whole flight alternating between kissing and discussing their guest list.
I’m still slowly taking steps forward, but after weekends like the last one, I feel like I’m walking wounded, leaving pieces of myself behind as I plod ahead toward my future.