Life moved quickly over the fall of 2004. Ryan left in mid-September but he came back in early and late October and I was out there in late September. It was at that early October trip back to the Mid-West where I told Ryan I filed for divorce. About 1 hour later the sheriff showed up with the papers. I did feel a twinge of guilt but I also felt it was something I had to do.
It was also odd because we had an accepted offer on a house back east. We talked through the weekend and came up with a plan that we would buy the house and that Ryan would buy out my half within a year. I began to look for apartments the next week and found one close to an airport and near one of my main cities not too far from where we currently lived. I guess the thought was we would fly back and forth. I think I wanted to believe this could work. In hindsight I don’t think Ryan ever felt any of this would come to fruition and he should just wait it out, maybe he knew me better than I knew myself.
I did have a great trip to Florida for a conference in mid-October. It was wonderful being there with Brent. Even though we were busy we got to spend a lot of time together.
In late-November the day of reckoning finally came. We moved out of our home. I was gone all week. Ryan had flown back to pack and get the house ready. I simply came home on a Friday and found my life was on a truck. We stayed at a hotel that night and the next day Ryan rented a van and moved the stuff I was taking to my new apartment about 2 hours away. By Sunday Ryan was on a plane with our girls and the life I hadn’t asked for was now beginning.
A few days later I flew to our new town. Ryan met the movers on a Monday and that quickly we were moved into our new home. Five or more years ago this would have been a dream location, perhaps it still could be. But no matter how good the cake tastes it’s never satisfying when someone is forcing you to eat it.
But simple little acts can make such a big difference. I needed to work that day and I obviously couldn’t with movers and of course there was no internet yet. So I went to Ryan’s office to work while he helped the movers. Nothing of consequence happened that day as I sat at Ryan’s desk, except that unfortunately I didn’t deselect that “keep me signed in” button on my work e-mail. A harmless error would now drive much of our life for the next few years.
But the fallout from that revelation was about three weeks away. For now, it was Thanksgiving week and it was great to be just a 4 hour trip from my hometown and I enjoyed seeing family for the holiday.
Shannon had been to most of the film's ports
On Monday the real life started. I kissed the girls that morning as they were still sleeping and then got into a car in the cold of the morning to drive to an airport to take a plane back to my work and life in the Midwest. Later that morning Ryan would have the joy of waking up in his home with his girls in his new life.
Again, why did he get everything and I paid the price. Yes, it would be so easy to capitulate but sometimes you need to take a stand for fairness!