Friday, April 13, 2001 Standing on the early morning beach, toes dug into cool sand, I inhaled salty air as the sun christened the landscape. Light orange wings of sunshine spread beacons of warmth wide in front of me, attempting to wrap me in comforting support. The sky was clear other than a few, wispy clouds mimicking my heart flutters.
Oh, how I wanted this new life.
The number 13 was an important number to him- he wore it like a beacon of strength around his neck on a thick, gold chain. When we met, I asked what the necklace meant. He shared the importance of tradition and his Italian heritage, as it relates to #13. It wasn’t a “devil’s” charm but rather, a fond memory of his family as it had been passed down from generation.
So, it seemed natural that when we agreed to marry, we chose sunrise on the magic day of April 13, 2001. It also happened to be Good Friday, and, of course, Friday the 13th. The symbolism was fabulous. A new start for a new life begins with a new day, combined with Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy. And we even snuck in the embrace of his Italian heritage. God’s blessing, right?
He was my third husband and to say I carried shame about not being able to hold 2 marriages together was an understatement. I wore a scarlet “D” on my chest. The fact that he would have me at the old age of 30 was a miracle. God brought me my knight.
April 13, 2017 16 years later.
First Step #1: I dragged myself, for the first time, into the office of a woman who saved me from my hemorrhaging marriage and soul. She looked at me after I hesitantly shared my story, and said, “It makes perfect sense that you feel pulverized.” I found validation. Knowing she accepted me, understood me, and supported me felt like the beacons of warmth I sensed on Friday, April 13, 2001. I began the staggering task of mending my wounds by stitching together the gaping lesions from another failed marriage.
April 13, 2019 18 years later.
First Step #2: I took the scary step to fly alone to a conference, where I would not know anyone. It was terrifying because I barely recognized myself. (In my past life, new traveling experiences were thrilling.) My eyes were hollow from hours in courtrooms and the many sleepless nights intent on sucking my strength. I felt like I was clawing my way through survival. But, on this day, April 13, what would have been my 18th wedding anniversary, I sat with women I referred to as my tribe and we engaged in a discussion with a man intent on telling us marriages could be saved… if we really knew how. That band of warriors and myself confronted a powerful author with courage. I found my voice.
And then there’s today, Friday, January 13, 2023. 22 years later.
First Step #3: Why this Friday? It represents my survival. Today, I completed 500 hours of Pilates. I started pilates, honestly, because I needed something- I couldn’t afford therapy but I knew, deep in my core, I had to find a way to preserve my body for my children. The first class was a blend of my body contorting into hilarious positions combined with an inner dialogue of, “Thank God no one is watching me…” And now, after 500 mentally, physically, and soulfully challenging hours, I’m pretty darn good. My brain is as dependable as my body. I found power.
It is critical we remember and honor our accomplishments- I talk to women who need to know that baby steps are HUGE. Imagine the focus a toddler musters to take a first step. She must:
balance on chubby uneven feet,
flair flabby arms out wide for balance
focus on her thigh contracting
to lift one foot a smidge
then cautiously shift her weight backward onto the unstable foot
at the same time leveraging her body weight forward so their first foot moves in front of the back foot.
And keep standing.
That’s a lot of work for ONE LITTLE STEP.
It’s ok to go back to those baby steps and learn how to walk again.
“She remembered who she was and the game changed.” — Lalah Deliah
Join me in healing groups, at retreats, or just one on one. You don’t need to do this alone. ~Kim