Some days, editing a post down to five-hundred words is the challenge.
Not today. Not this morning.
Not since an hour ago when I fired up instagram and saw a picture of Caroline, my ex, with two of my daughters and a couple old friends I’ve known thirty years.
It was a group shot, probably taken by a waiter, at the restaurant.
A grey storm cloud overwhelmed me instantly.
I began mourning my losses. I felt like Marty McFly at the “Enchantment Under The Sea dance”, when be begins disappearing from a photograph because his parents haven’t met and fulfilled their destinies.
That’s a bit dramatic. But it really isn’t far from how I felt staring at Instagram.
For two decades the five of us, Caroline and our three girls, traveled abroad with another family. They have four kids. Minimally, ten of us, usually eleven, on the road. Our friend’s son, Carl, the only boy amongst the kids, brought a buddy along when he was younger, a girlfriend when he was in his late teens.
We went to Europe a number of times. Rented houses that could fit the whole group.
These trips are some of my fondest memories of my life. And now all I can think is we will never do it again. We will never have a family vacation, much less an adventure of that scale.
The five of us, my wife and three daughters will get together at major holidays, at weddings. Funerals.
This is a bad morning.
Luckily, I had a great Sunday. One of my best friends was in town for six or seven hours and we made the most of the time. A great lunch in the Penn Quarter of DC. A visit to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
We walked at a very healthy pace. Neither my friend Robert, nor I like to linger, so our museum visiting rhythms are simpatico.
Then we made our way, via Metro, to Union Station to visit the obscure Smithsonian Postal Museum.
There’s an exhibit about Frank Warren, an artist who started soliciting people around the world to send him postcards, with one condition. The postcard had to contain a true secret.
He started a blog about the postcards. So far he has received over 500,000 postcards and his blog has 700-million hits. Check it out. here.
I’m feeling better now.
Not great. But visiting the postsecret blog site and reading other people’s secrets reminded me how many curves there are in the journey I am undertaking, how sometimes the road seems to go backwards.
It is okay for me to mourn. I just can’t let it control me.