Monday, August 19, 2013

Picture purge...

Yesterday, Bill and I were going through the garage, where we had some boxes that hadn't been unpacked since our 2007 move from Virginia.  There are still some things I'm looking for, namely my diplomas.  But one box I found yesterday was full of stuff from the past.  I found my prom invitation, high school graduation announcement, a letter I got from the Appaloosa Horse Club in 1988 when I wrote to them about my horse and wanted information on his genealogy, an autographed Broadway Playbill, college acceptance letter and a letter from my college's English department, old cards and tons of old pictures.  The pictures were both mine and Bill's.

There were photos of mine that were taken when I was in Armenia and after I earned my master's degrees.  There were photos of Bill when he was posted in Germany the first time.  He found pictures of his mother and her ex husband and other long lost relatives.  And there were also photos of his kids, his ex wife, and even a couple of her current spouse.  The box also had a copy of his divorce decree, which Ex had drawn up herself, and an unfortunate shot of her in a bathing suit and chambray shorts.

Back in 2000, Bill went to Arizona to visit his kids at Christmas.  Ex had her new squeeze shacked up with them.  There were photos of ex, her now husband, and the kids opening presents.  The previous year, Ex had told Bill's mother, stepmother, and father that he was a pervert and that they should reconsider having him over for the holidays.

I also found a couple of old cards Bill had sent Ex.  One was a Valentine's Day card and the other was a birthday card.  Both were from 1998 and Bill had professed his undying love for his ex wife.  It amazed me that they were separated the following year, given how gushy they were.  I now know it was Bill trying to keep the relationship going.

Bill's mother came by while he was going through all this stuff.  I was upstairs uploading a few photos to Facebook to give some of my old friends a thrill.  While I was upstairs, Bill ultimately gathered up all the photos of the kids and threw them away.  He cried when he did it and his mother said, "What you don't have with the kids, you have in spades with your wife."

He's carried around those photos for years but looking at them causes him enormous pain.  So he finally let them go.

This morning, he told me that for a brief instant, he felt some regret because he had the thought that maybe one of the kids' own future children will find him.  Then he said, "I'll just tell them the truth."

At the very least, we managed to get rid of another box that was all beat up and full of old memories.


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