Since Richie threw all of my belongings in the living room, and I had to put it all back, I thought that I may as well go through it. I found a lot of things that were way too big, which was nice. I also found a lot of things that I was holding onto because they meant something to me.
There were a lot of shirts that I kept. There were a couple of halter tops from the summer we dated. The one with the glittery palm tree on it (I know, I know...I was 19) I wore to the craft fair up north. We walked around and bought matching hemp necklaces, and then we went to the harbor and climbed out on a pile of rocks. It was really nothing special, but for some reason it was special to me. I'm sure that it was because that was one of the first times that I took him to some of my favorite places. Places that represented my childhood, and my amazing grandparents, one of my little heavens. Then there was the black and white one that I wore to the Detroit fireworks. We weren't even dating then, just together all the time. I don't know why, but almost every detail of that day sticks out in my head. There are a lot of pictures of us together that night. I'm beaming in all of them. Then there was a tshirt that Richie had made for me. I always hated it, and it never fit right, but he went and had it made especially for me...there was thought behind it. Those ones went into the garage sale pile.
Then there were some things that I kept. There was the shirt that I was wearing the day that I met Richie. He never wanted me to get rid of it. For some reason he made me hang onto the shoes that I was wearing that day as well. There was the shirt that I wore in my 11th grade picture. I had just gotten braces, and wouldn't show my teeth when I smiled. Richie stood behind the photographer and got me to give him a real smile. There was also the sweater that Richie wore in his senior pictures. There was also a zip up sweatshirt that Richie got me for my birthday after Tristan was born. I found it on the clearance rack at Meijer and loved it. We were so broke I couldn't even buy it. So he got it for my birthday. All of these things I set aside. I'll put them in a rubbermaid, and I'll save them for the kids. I want them to have some tangible proof of our life together. Maybe that seems stupid, but maybe one day it will be a comfort to Victoria to put on the shirt that her mom was wearing when she met her dad. Maybe Tristan will wear the same sweater in his senior pictures. I want them to see that even when I was most angry and hurt, I loved their dad anyway and our memory still meant something to me. I want them to know that my marriage meant the world to me...every second. Even the hardships were special to me.
But as I kept sorting through I started to get angry again. I found all of the clothes that were wearing out, and saw that I went without a lot. I realized that 90% of the things hanging in my closet came from the clearance rack. I like to save a buck, but sometimes I didn't have a choice because he would blow half of his paycheck on something that he wanted, and I was left with nothing. Maybe I loved him so much I chose not to see some things. Maybe I didn't want to watch him slowly drift away. Maybe I didn't want to acknowledge the fact that there was always something else that was more important than me.
The stupid things that I held onto say that he loved me...at some point. The memories prove it. Part of me wants to wipe those memories out of my mind completely, and then the other part of me wants to remember forever.