Featured

Welcome

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

I like the phrase that Glennon Doyle Milton wrote in “Carry On Warrior”, which says, “Reading is my inhale, and writing is my exhale“. This blog is my exhale.

img_1535

Interrupt

Dear Cherished Heart,

I’m sorry I haven’t written. In late April I sustained a concussion; I thought I would be back to writing long before this. But as it turns out, I have had to use my limited brain power for other things like paying bills, getting groceries, managing our schedule, and driving my kids hither and yon.

I hope to be back at my desk soon.

Yours Truly,

Mona Lott

Threads

Dear Cherished Heart, 

Fire up the DeLorean, I’m going back in time. Maybe I can find the thread, before it unravels.

Sept. 1997 – The day dawned with full sunshine. I put on my grandpa’s purple dress shirt, worn right through at the elbows. I was sitting in the salon chair beside my sister by 9 in the morning—a full hour before they opened. When we walked out, we each sported a version of Ivana Trump’s elaborately coiffed hair. 

I stepped out of my bedroom draped in a crisp white, fully-beaded sheath, and my three-year-old nephew stopped in his tracks and said, “Wow.”

My entire body quivered as my mom walked me down the aisle toward my husband-to-be—the man I began to refer to as my soul mate some twenty months prior. 

Fall 1999 – The pieces of my life, which had a created a vision of happy-ever-after two years prior, began to blur. With work and step-kids and a busy husband and difficulty getting pregnant — I guess I fell apart. 

“What do you expect me to do?” my husband demanded as I lay immobile across our bed, feeling a sadness I couldn’t articulate or get rid of. I closed my eyes and cried. He walked away and flung the door closed behind him. I packed a bag and went to stay with a friend. 

Summer 2000 – Naramata ran right to the edge of Lake Okanagan. The family camp lay under broad-leafed trees tall enough to provide an umbrella and short enough to embrace those directly beneath. The sun shone every day, and the temperatures pushed what we Albertans were comfortable with, and we spent every afternoon in the cool crispness of the deep lake. Side-by-side. Playful. Family. 

Our weeks, over the years, at Naramata provided a place where we could have fun with the kids, explore spirituality, relax on our own, say goodbye to cooking, and re-connect with one another. Couples counselling in the previous months had revealed that we would have to be intentional about staying connected, given the busyness of life. We agreed that our relationship needed to be a priority, and as a natural organizer I thought I could handle the planning of our togetherness. 

July 2001 – I went into the bathroom and peed on the white, plastic stick. My husband sat on our bed waiting. I came out, “I can’t look. You do it.” He waited the one or two minutes required for the colour to change . . . or not. 

“It’s positive,” he said, and I burst into tears. 

I had given up on getting pregnant many times over our few years together. He had two children when we got married and I loved them; they loved and accepted me back without question. But, I yearned for the full experience. 

March 2004 – Motherhood turned out to be all that I imagined. Just before our daughter’s second birthday, I longed for another child. As my husband and I soaked in our hot tub and re-connected, I brought up the topic. 

“Honey, what do you think about adopting a child from Ethiopia?” I asked. We had previously talked of adoption as a back-up plan to failed pregnancy.  

He leaned back and pulled his arms out of the water to cradle the back of his head. He stared at me. “I think . . . I think we are already so busy we can barely manage,” he said. 

“But, our lives are filled with abundance. We have a lot to offer a child.”

“Abundance? It looks to me like we have no margins. We barely have any time together.”

You have no margins,” I said. “Look at this,” I gestured toward our house, “we have so much. I feel like we have lots of love to offer a child without a family.”

“Why can’t this be enough for you?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s just…”

“I don’t think I can do it,” he interrupted. “I’m already running full speed ahead. We are busy, and…”

“Never mind,” I said.

April 2006 – The Ethiopian smog spiralled in the sunshine and threatened to steal my breath. My husband stood with his hand on my low back as we waited to meet our son. A caregiver walked around the corner. In one hand she held onto two girls who tripped over one another; in her other hand two-year-old Yohannes walked toward us. I crouched down, smiled, and opened my arms; he shyly sidled into my lap and slung his scrawny arm around my shoulder like an old friend. I leaned into him and took a breath; he smelled like dust and soap. 

“Look at him,” I said. We sat together in the grass as Yohannes chased his new siblings. They laughed and hugged one another. “I don’t get it,” I said.

“What?” he asked.

“Yohannes . . . he seems happy. Why is he happy, he doesn’t even know us.” 

“What’s not to like?” he playfully answered. 

January 2007 – As Yohannes adjusted to our family, to Canada, and to a whole different way of life, he grew stronger and more confident with the rising and setting of the sun. I aged and wilted. Depression seeped under the edges of closed doors all over my life. My husband told me that he felt like he had lost me to motherhood, and he had. 

Yohannes had a strong sense of justice, and when I served up a helping of injustice, he wailed until the wrong was cleared. Whatever his sister Laurèn got, he wanted, even when it didn’t make sense. At supper one night, I served Laurèn a large scoop of mashed potatoes. He screamed when I passed him by and served potatoes to my bonus-kids Kristin and Fraser. 

“Mom!” he yelled.

“What’s wrong Yohannes?” I asked.

“Why you not give any to Yohannes?” 

“Because you don’t like potatoes.” 

He looked at the plate to the right and the plate across from him. “Kristin, you like potatoes?” She nodded. “Fraser, you like potatoes?”

“Yes, I do like potatoes,” Fraser answered and then changed the subject. “Hey guys, guess what I learned in school today?” 

“What is it?” Yohannes asked.

“I learned what the opposite of love is,” sixteen-year-old Fraser said. “Do you know what the opposite of love is?” he challenged.

“It must not be hate,” I said, “as that seems too obvious.”

“Correct,” he pointed his finger at me for emphasis. “Love and hate are both filled with passion and therefore cannot be opposites,” he informed. “Anyone else?” 

Between bites, Kristin answered, “Indifference.”

“Ha!” he said. “You’re right”.

Indifferent, I thought, of no importance one way or the other. I glanced at my husband, who seemed oblivious to the conversation. 

We consistently struggled with our perception of his work-life. I felt he spent too much time working, and he felt he spent the time necessary to do the job. One of a lucky few, he loved the work he did. However, the amount of time he spent working interfered with our relationship. When I had worked alongside of him, I watched as one patient after another fell in love with him. His competent and straight-forward manner, coupled with compassion, made him a spectacular bedside doctor. I was proud of his many accomplishments, but the sacrifices felt great. My complaints—whether spoken or not—undermined my ability to truly appreciate him, and certainly made him reluctant to engage with me. After protesting for several years, and trying to find workable solutions together, I gave up. His work life became “of no importance one way or the other”.

February 2008 – I arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the cover of night, twenty-six hours after I stepped out the front door of my house. I needed a travel visa, so I joined a line-up to the side. When my turn came I walked to a woman in a dark grey uniform, her hair pulled tightly away from her face. She sat behind a long wooden table with colleagues on either side. I handed her my form. She looked at it and then up at me. 

“Occupation?” she said. 

“I am a mother,” I answered. 

“That is it?” she asked. 

“Yes,” I said. 

“You are very fortunate,” she said, and stamped my form. 

I thought of my kids. Leaving them, at the airport, had been difficult. Six-year-old Laurèn gave me a hug and kiss, “Have a good trip Mama,” and four-and-a-half-year-old Yohannes kissed me goodbye and said, “Say hi to Faven”. My husband held me against his chest, “Stay safe,” he said. “I wish you were coming,” I replied. 

On the 2006 trip we had found out that Yohannes had a birth sibling he had been separated from, her name was Faven. We met her briefly, and some months later decided to proceed with another adoption. With the adoption stalled, and one complication after another, I decided to go to Ethiopia and visit her. 

 

Spring 2009 – My husband and I went for pro-active parenting counselling to prepare to bring ten-year-old Faven into our family. I had studied attachment before we adopted Yohannes, and he didn’t have any problems with it. But, we assumed that Faven’s age would provide more challenges. Our psychologist taught us about attachment disorders, trauma and loss, and basic adaptation, as well as pointing out that we would have no history on Faven’s life, other than what she brought with her in memory—and she would have no english skills. Faven joined our family in September of ’09.

June 2011 – Before we’d made it through our second year together, Faven’s inner turmoil began to drive her behaviour. She often refused to eat what we provided, didn’t like the family rules—and liked the consequences associated with not following them even less. She was regularly having tantrums and hurling accusations, insults, and objects at us. She seemed to be in pain all of the time, and we awkwardly juggled her needs, often finding ourselves incapable of guiding or soothing her …(Or, quite frankly, coping.)

Most of the parenting strategies we had used successfully in the past with the other four children, failed or created more chaos. Faven often required one full parent and it became difficult to do anything as a family. 

Her behaviour affected all of us. 

Spring 2012 – We sat kiddie-corner to each other at the rosewood kitchen table. How many different times in our fifteen years of marriage had we gone for couples counselling? I couldn’t remember. I had started personal counselling in 2008, and hadn’t stopped since. 

“Maybe we would be better of apart,” he said. 

I studied the pattern in the wood grain table, and shook my head as a stream of tears fell into my lap. 

 

Winter 2015 – Turmoil turned to chaos as Faven hit high school. We careened through the weeks like summer tires across sheer ice. Oddly, we became a formidable team under the most stressful circumstances. But hands gripped to the steering wheel and eyes wide-open are hardly conditions under which one thrives. 

February 2016 – We began to live apart and go for counselling in the hopes of re-building our relationship, while knowing that the possibility of figuring out how to separate with dignity was a reality. 

***

If there was one thread to hang onto, I dropped it trying to pick up the other threads that needed to be woven into the fabric of our lives. 

I still can’t see the exact time or event that led to our decision to separate. The unraveling came from different directions simultaneously, across the years and through many experiences. 

Yours Truly, 

 Mona Lott

80673197d8408db2de2775186aa9499a

Fenced In

Dear Cherished Heart,

I am sure that, like me, you’ve probably lain in bed with your spouse or ex-spouse in years past and talked about other couple’s break-ups. It may have gone something like this:

He: I can’t believe that she is asking for X, Y, and Z!

She: Really? That doesn’t seem like her. I think he’s making it pretty hard on her though.

He: I don’t know about that. Sounds like she’s really angry or hurt.

She: I can only imagine, it’s so shitty, they’ve been together forever. 

He: Yeah. I guess it’s gotten pretty ugly.

She: How can they be that way? They loved each other once. I wouldn’t do that . . . if it happened to us.  

He: Me neither. 

There’s a false sense that “after everything we’ve been through” separation would be something we’d get through together, the final piece of teamwork in a relationship that just didn’t work out. No hard feelings.

HA!

I have said this before about other areas of my life, and I’ll say it again, “Until you are going through an experience—sitting right smack dab in the middle of it—you have NO IDEA how you will feel, behave, or react.” We all think we will handle the hard right’s of our lives with aplomb. Each one of us can create a mental image of what it would be like if we had a child, got married, finished a degree, succeeded at work, lost a loved one, dealt with a health crisis, or separated/divorced. The mental idea may come close the the lived experience, but probably not. 

Working through a separation agreement —on opposite sides of a fence that used to be shared— is a process that makes me feel gutted, time and time again. Why is this so gross? Because this is the person I shared the most vulnerable pieces of myself with; the person who had my back; the one I watched grow from good to great at work; and the one who worked on the same team as me for all of our years parenting together. And suddenly it is Us versus Them. 

We no longer have the best interests of the other person first and foremost in our minds. Not by a country mile. 

Fear is driving the train right now, and fear is not a great conductor. In fact, fear undermines intuition and goodness; it prevents a person from becoming who they were meant to be. Nonetheless, we are human, and fear of the future courses through one’s veins after a marriage ends. 

So, what to do? 

I am on my second read-through of a book called Spiritual Divorce. This book was recommended to me by Dr. Fiona Lovely — “a learner, a teacher, a doctor, an investigator of body and mind, an archaeologist of dis-ease, a healer, a friend” — at an appointment late in 2017. It has been a game-changer. Author Debbie Ford writes,

The Law of Surrender tells us that when we stop resisting and surrender to our situation exactly as it is, things begin to change. We resist out of the fear that if we let go, we will be faced with circumstances we can’t handle. Our resistance is a natural protective mechanism, a shield that we unconsciously put up to guard ourselves agains pain. […] When we surrender, we let go of our pictures of how life should be and allow ourselves to be in the presence of our life exactly as it is, without any interpretation or illusion.

If I resist hearing things from my ex-spouse that I don’t like, he will continue to state the same point over and over until he’s heard. I get that, I am also trying to push my agenda. “Listening from a place of surrender requires that you soften your heart, let go of your expectations, and listen with innocent ears,” (Spiritual Divorce, pg. 45). Ford says that whatever is going on with your ex-partner—it may not be personal. That is a hard pill to swallow. It feels so personal; it feels like he doesn’t care a whit about what happens to me. 

Surrender hasn’t come easy to me over the course of my life. I have instead been on the honour roll at the school of—If I control it, I can influence the outcome. Not a school for the faint of heart, as the underbelly of control is disappointment. I might be ready to surrender. But if I wave the white flag, isn’t that like giving up?

What if surrender is what Yoga With Adriene calls “willingness to uncover authenticity”? What if I don’t surrender to anyone—but to a higher power of faith? What if I merely believe that God and the Universe has my back, that what is meant to happen WILL happen if I simply let go, and lean in to the discomfort? What then?

Yours Truly,

Mona Lott

You had your maps drawn

You had other plans

To hang your hopes on

Every road they led you down felt so wrong

So you found another way

 

You’ve got a big heart

The way you see the world

It got you this far

You might have some bruises

And a few scars

But you know you’re gonna be okay

 

Even though you’re scared

You’re stronger than you know

 

If you’re lost out where the lights are blinding

Caught and all the stars are hiding

That’s when something wild calls you home, home

If you face the fear that keeps you frozen

Chase the sky into the ocean

That’s when something wild calls you home, home 

 

Something Wild” Lyndsey Stirling, Andrew McMahon

Go-Withs

March 3, 2018

Dear Cherished Heart, 

I am just catching up to the fact that almost everything changed with the separation.

Slow to the race.  It’s been two years.

____

“Are you ready to order?” asked the server.

“Yes. I’ll have the teriyaki chicken.”

“Do you want the baked, mashed, or stuffed potato with that?

“Baked.”

“Do you want sour cream, bacon, butter, and chives?”

“Butter, bacon and chives.”

“Do you want a tossed or caesar salad?”

“Tossed.”

“Do you want ranch, thousand island, or house dressing?”

“What’s the house dressing?”

“It’s a balsamic vinegar with dijon mustard and a hint of anchovy paste.”

“Oh . . . what were the other choices again?”

There is a shifting palette of go-withs for many aspects of our lives.

A twenty-one year relationship has a smorgasbord of go-withs. During the time of our marriage we had begun to take these trappings for granted, hardly noticing what or who went with what—or who. In fact we so often picked and chose things off each other’s plates that I could no longer differentiate between what he brought and what I could claim as my own.

I did not just let go of a partner in human form, I lost all of the things he added to the plate of my life. If we needed to construct something, he added the tools and the know-how; when we were going to buy, build, or renovate, he added the finesse of a carpenter and the precision of an architect; when someone was sick, he provided the answers; his hard work and dedication came with financial security; and in times of crisis we came together like brick and mortar. Of course some of the go-withs were like lemon juice  in cream, otherwise we’d still be together.

Letting go of the power tools, the physical strength, and the sounding board was only as hard as it was inconvenient. I have to do more for myself and feign confidence until I feel it, but it’s not especially upsetting.

There have been times however that I’ve felt a depth of pain I can honestly say I’ve never felt before.

Family. Each time they gather and I am not with them I feel a searing pain through my heart that I am certain has left an indelible brand. I cannot fathom that they are still getting together without me. (Logically, I get it.)

Deep pain is difficult to describe . . .

_____

She sat with her back to the front window; her long blonde curls cascaded down her back. In front of her, her three-year-old daughter jumped and danced to an audience of aunts, uncles, and cousins, while my father-in-law sat in the pillowy rocker taking it all in. She turned and looked out the window as my daughter Laurèn got out of the car and scrambled up the steps setting off the motion light. She waved. I dropped my head and backed out of the driveway as if tip-toeing away from a conversation I had been eavesdropping on. It was my third time picking up or dropping the kids off at their dad’s, in as many days. With both of his brothers in town for a short week, the whole family gathered at his house for meals and games and who-knows-what. I would join them in a few days to celebrate Laurèn’s birthday, but until then I looked through my front window with naked longing. 

_____

In my lengthy contemplation about separation, it never dawned on me to take specific note of the people that he had brought into my life and who would follow him when he left. Honestly, given the pain and stress under which I felt myself living toward the end of our marriage, I thought mostly about what would be best for me, and how to mitigate the pain and change to our kid’s lives.

The whole menu has changed—though I can still order the teriyaki chicken, the go-withs are not the same. When I removed myself from my husband’s life, I let go of the privilege to enjoy the baked potato, sour cream and so forth in the same way. If you have not been through a separation or divorce you might say, “But you can maintain all of these relationships . . . You just have to work at it.” It is true that with well-placed intention and willingness on both parts, a relationship can continue, however it will not be the same in quality or depth.

I did not expect such intense pain around the family losses. I had felt like such an essential component.

family-reunion

Recently, I walked and talked with a good friend to process these thoughts and emotions. She told me of a friend who had divorced some years ago. He told her, “I knew I was separating from the person, I didn’t know I was separating from the life.” That is it. I didn’t anticipate that the life we shared would change as much as it has.

“Hold on,

hold on to yourself

for this is gonna hurt like hell.”

Sarah McLachlan, Hold On

 Yours Truly,

      Mona Lott

 

 

Umbrella Grace

umbrella-_pano

Dear Cherished Heart,

When I got married I took my husband’s last name because it represented the umbrella under which we would exist as a family. I was thirty-one and fully independent. However, tradition felt like a comfortable bedfellow and I sunk into my new last name as if it were God-given.

Now, friends have asked me why I changed my name so quickly after separating from my husband of two decades. I think most mothers presume they will keep the last name of their children regardless of marital status. I thought that too.

I have had protective coverings for my kids and myself throughout our lives. When they came to watch me play soccer, I threw a pop-up tent into the air and we watched it land softly on the sidelines creating a little house, safe from the elements and filled with pillows, blankets, snacks, and games.

Whether the kids watched me play soccer from their nylon haven or I watched them play in rain, sleet, or snow, we were protected. At one game the rain fell as if the pipes in heaven had burst; if not for the over-sized golf umbrella I kept in my vehicle year round, we would have been soaked. My husband and I stood side-by-side underneath the wings of the canopy, held momentarily secure and dry.

But with separation, someone has to move out from underneath the umbrella.

*****

When we gathered our kids together after a seven-month trial separation to tell them that the counselling, date nights, and attempt to re-build had fallen short of its goal, and that we were separating for real, our thirteen-year-old son had one question, “Will Mom have to get a job?” 

The air paused, I mean it COMPLETELY stopped swirling. 

“Your mom’s job hasn’t changed,” my husband said, “She is still going to look after you guys. Because of my job your mom has had to work harder. She does her job and part of mine because I have to … no, I choose to work so much.”

We had decided long ago that I would manage the home-front; I wanted to be a full-time mom and it made everyones lives more manageable if I “stayed” home. My husband appreciated how hard I worked and often applauded my efforts given some difficult situations. Never had he spoke of his propensity for work as a “choice” before, nor had he stated that I covered for him.

My take-away was that we all understood my “job” would not change. The umbrella of support would remain. 

Six months later we sat across a large glass table from each other working with a financial divorce specialist. In the middle of the table sat a small mason jar filled with red heart-shaped suckers—a caustic joke. Beside that, a magazine, Divorce: Is Your Life Changing? flashed like a beacon, lest we forget why we were there. 

This place of discussion would not provide a legal document but one that would reveal our intentions and sort through twenty years of shared living. Over four meetings we catalogued assets and debt and then divided them like pieces of a rich chocolate bar, neither of us wanting to part with the goodness but knowing that sharing was the right and only option. 

My heart’s position beneath a plate of armour allowed me to stay emotionally balanced. My has-band* came dressed in a jacket of starched professionalism. Given our long-standing ability to get along no-matter-what, conflict retreated to the corners of the room until the final moments. And then my has-band leaned back in his chair, clasped his hands together at his chest and spoke to the financial divorce specialist about me and my job. As each syllable rounded and fell from his lips, time slowed down and I became aware that everything had changed. 

The ribs of the umbrella snapped as if a fist crushed them from above. My head and heart slammed into the wall of my own denial. I never imagined a life without him. I knew that separation meant we would no longer be married, that we would not live together, but I had no idea that I would lose the backbone of him in my life. I felt like a fool. 

*****

I see the family name as an umbrella that guards and protects as well as creates a secure base from which to fly out from and return to. When I realized that this was no longer my base I had to step out into the elements, feel the full force, and then open up my own umbrella.

Part of that was changing my last name.

Yes, our family unit has been shaken—something every parent tries to avoid. I spoke to my teenage kids about changing my name and they understood. In re-claiming my maiden name, nothing has changed my connection to my kids. A new canopy opened in my life and at first if felt pretty lonely; all the people connected to my previous name have changed or moved in other directions. But I find that I can invite people in or leave my sanctuary and move safely under the umbrellas of those who care about me.

Yours Truly,

Mona Lott

fullsizeoutput_de7f

*has-band= has been + husband

Full House

man-walking-away

October 24, 2017

Dear Cherished Heart,

“Don’t you miss him?”  my mom asked me months ago.

“No,” I said and shook my head.

But my heart pulsed — Almost. Every. Day.

I miss the coming and going.

I miss having someone to bear witness to my life.

I miss the sweetness that used to exist between us.

I miss having someone to talk to about the kids.

Surprisingly, one of the hardest things is not to be tethered-together-by-technology. I know he is out there doing stuff and I have no link to him or to the kids when they are with him. (Of course he hasn’t changed his cell phone number! -but it’s no longer acceptable to text him every day and ask how he’s doing, or for that matter, what he’s up to.)

With alarming velocity I move between relevant and obsolete every week.

The volume of missing him has fluctuated over time, and other equally strong feelings flood in and replace this with that. But when the missing gets loud it reverberates off the inner edges of my skull and no other signal gets through. It is as if I have put my fingers in my ears—my inner voice becomes a flattened echo.

Maybe this is just another transition in a series of unplanned changes.

I underestimated the pain of letting go of our family home.

All seven of us lived there, though not all at once, as the oldest had started university when the last child arrived. But the walls held stories, and a few repaired holes; the floors supported us, and mapped the journey we’d been on together; and the ceiling created an umbrella that protected and contained us in the midst of struggle and chaos. We had built it all together.

I didn’t love our home even though it was spectacular. But, it provided a compass point to stretch out from and return to. It had fine bones and a solid foundation.

I feel so blessed now to have a new home—but I don’t know where the hell I am in relation to the lives we used to live. I feel lost. For weeks my car drove on auto-pilot and I found myself on familiar roads back to the “old” house again and again. The making of new pathways, finding new keys, and sustaining connections is way harder than I thought it would be.

Our house represented the cup in Yahtzee, and we—the dice—have been thrown end-over-end across the playing field.

Who will scoop the dice for the second and third rolls?

It is rare to throw a full house on the first try.

Yours Truly,

Mona Lott

 

Unknown

Taking Stock

 

Sept. 3, 2017

Dear Cherished Heart,

The end to our first year of separation came and went silently . . . right up until the final song at the Garth Brooks Concert on Sept. 1st.

Looking back on the memory of 

The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above 

For a moment all the world was right 

How could I have known you’d ever say goodbye 

And now I’m glad I didn’t know 

The way it all would end the way it all would go 

Our lives are better left to chance 

I could have missed the pain 

But I’d have had to to miss the dance 

Garth Brooks, “The Dance”, 1990

We had lived apart for six months prior to “separation”, trying to rebuild our relationship through counselling, conversation, and date nights. There is no doubt that hope and tenderness existed during the first of those months, but I don’t think either of us thought we could fix the repeating issues that impaired our ability to connect.

We used to dance. I came alive on the dance floor, while he gave me the strong lead I had been missing. We took several classes together; I loved the latin beats and he found his pace in swing and foxtrot. In those days it seemed that the dance would never end.

With twenty-one years together the dance included many amazing things. Closeness and space; a shared work environment; activities we both enjoyed; travel and adventure; conversations, religion, and spiritual exploration; material wealth; supported independence; and five of the most unique, delightful, challenging, and wonderful children.

Parenting and marriage are two of the most difficult relationships to navigate. Put them side-by-side or on top of one another, and you have a dance pattern that would challenge the most fluent of dancers.

For the last several years we performed in-solo on the dance floor—not aware of what the other was doing or how beautifully they carried out their steps. We synchronized our movement and came together only during times of upheaval and crisis, of which, we had plenty.

And now I am stumbling through dance patterns on my own and it just doesn’t feel the same. The decision to separate was neither good nor bad, not mine or his. Our relationship no longer worked.

The last year and more has been tough; hardest of all was the intensity of heart pain I’ve felt, even while knowing that this was the path to take.

“I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”

Thank you Garth Brooks for the memory of The Dance. I realize now that the dance continues but the music has changed.  

Yours Truly,

Mona LottIMG_1872.jpg