It's funny how you mourn the loss of that. I'm grieving the loss of the relationship for many things, but this week it seems like shared history, or just intimate knowledge is the topic.
A couple of nights ago, I hit a dog. He was lying on the highway seriously injured, there was no way I could have dodged him without killing me, my passenger and possibly others. I saw his tail wagging right before I killed him. I couldn't believe it for a moment, I had to ask my passenger what was it, and she confirmed it was a dog, to which I promptly wigged out. She was an awesome friend and likely in fear of her life in talking me down and to a place where I could pull over and I really started bawling. It was the type of cry that just comes out of your chest and leaves it sore for a while. My friend rocks, she hugged me, reassured me that there was nothing I could do, and logically I know she's right. I managed to get her and myself home safely, downed a couple of shots of tequila and cried myself to sleep.
Where the shared history comes in is, that I love dogs....I mean I really love them. I still mark the anniversary of my late dog Banzai's death. I used to show dogs, I used to work for the Canadian Kennel Club, I used to live, breathe, sleep dogs, no one knows this more than my ex who was dragged through living, breathing, sleeping dogs...mind you, when we split, we only squabbled over the custody of one item, and that was Banzai's urn. I won. Anyhow, ex did come over knowing how broken up I'd be about this to chat and console me. It was good, because we have been trying to get along, and nice gestures go a long way.
So as I finished this last paragraph it dawned on me that I needed to do the same (I'm quick like that). As most Canadians who pay attention to the news knows, NDP leader Jack Layton is stepping down (temporarily, because we all know Jack will kick cancer's ass!) due to the illness. What you don't know is that Jack has been a good friend of ex's for the past 20 years. He was one of the ex's professors back in university and they hit it off. Since, they've worked on oodles of projects together and Jack would check in twice a year trying to get ex to move to Ottawa. So I knew that this news was going to hit ex hard. Now believe me, there is still a whole mess of hurt feelings, sadness and even crustiness that I'm feeling, but sometimes that has to be put aside and I have to remember that I'm hurt because I do genuinely care about the guy and he's hurting, so I have to suck it up and give him a call, see how he's doing. He remarked...now remember this is mid post, that only I would know exactly how this would impact him. Kinda creepy huh?
Looks like we both had our "shared history" type moment. It's hard because even with the most awesome-est friends in the world (and I have them) you cannot replace that person with whom you've spent the past 17 years of your life. And in a way, we're even lucky that we're still talking to each other and can share a few words of support. I think ultimately our kids are big winners in that department, in that mommy and daddy aren't trying to kill each other. However it's pretty different now. It's not that we cannot support each other, but the scope with what we do is pretty diminished. That said, I guess the challenge in going forward is creating new histories with friends, family (including ex) and my new husband Alexander Skarsgaard (he just doesn't know it yet) and filling that gap.
And on a very important and serious note, I'd like to offer my thoughts and positive prayers to Jack Layton in getting better. You are an amazing and inspiring man. Your energy, tenacity and optimism has seen you motivate millions of Canadians to build a party to speak for the people and values taking care of each other which I also hold dear. I pray that those qualities in you, will see you through this and you'll be back leading the way in no time.