This is the how the Alfred P. Murrah federal building looked on the morning of April 19, 1995, prior to 9:02am.
This photo could also easily represent my life at the time; neat and orderly, shiny and functional, everything happening according to plan.
But sometimes, the unexpected happens.
This is how the Alfred P. Murrah federal building looked after 9:02am of the same day. The unexpected had happened. The most unthinkable, unexpected happening anyone could have possibly imagined. After that day, nothing would be the same.
This is also what happened to my life. It blew up. I spent six months feeling as if I had been gutted. I encountered the unexpected and I faced the winds of change, taking me from the person I thought I was to the root of the person I am now and nothing would be the same.
This is the site of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building today, fourteen years later. It is a peaceful place, as calm as the waters of the reflecting pond. It represents those we lost, those who survived and those who came to help, to rescue and to recover.
Hearts were broken, blood was shed, our home was invaded by terror, lives were forever changed. But out of the devastation came humanity, out of the destruction came strength, out of the chaos came charity and out of the ashes came a kindred fortitude to not let this insidious act prevent us from once again finding peace and new life within our hearts.
Mr. Dependable was devastated when I left him nearly two years later. We had continued to work hard to put the pieces back in place but no matter how hard we tried, the pieces simply didn't fit together anymore. A few years later, he found the perfect woman for him, he found his Ms. Dependable.
#1 son visited them one summer when he was around 15. He returned home telling me how alike they were, two big recliners, a large screen TV and a massive movie collection was all they needed. Then #1 son asked me why/how I had married him. You are so different, he said - I can't imagine how that could have worked.
Mr. Plentiful's wife eventually found out about our affair. They went through a rough patch but managed to pull it out. His daughters, who were preschool age at the time are now both in college. Our paths occasionally cross. He seems to be doing well.
I had an opportunity a few years back to ask him what it all had meant. A part of me retrospectively viewed him as a predator. He seized an opportunity, noticing an impressionable, vulnerable, somewhat naive, easy target. He assured me that was not the case, promising his words and actions were from his heart. He confessed having loved me then and continuing to love me throughout the years. I share the same feelings for him and probably always will.
As for me, I am free and I am not afraid. My hair went from stick straight to curly, seemingly overnight, as if to usher in the person I would eventually become. I am unconventional yet traditional, wildly abandoned yet grounded, sexy in a natural way, self-supporting, self-loving and self-taught. I have risen to the top of my industry and now I am imagining and pursuing a life I have always known would be my destiny.
I am a writer.
(Just to keep you begging for more - up next: Strike Three - Meet Mr. Sunshine With a Chance of Pain (Part One)!