A funny thing happened on my trip to Israel over the summer. I got in touch with my ex-husband, whom I hadn’t seen in over – well, let’s just say, I hadn’t had any contact with him in literally a lifetime.
We had gotten married when I was doing my Masters at Northwestern. We returned to Israel, lived there for a year or so, then returned to NY. The marriage didn’t make it much longer after that.
We split up, he returned to Israel, and though the first year or so, we spoke on the phone occasionally, calling Israel wasn’t the “no big deal” that it is today. He married, I did a Ph.D., married, he had two children, divorced, and we had no contact and no friends in common– so the years flew by and I actually didn’t even know if he was alive.
Then I’m in Israel and we speak and his voice is exactly the same. He was in the north, David and I were in Jerusalem, we couldn’t work out time to meet, but no matter, he was coming to the States in December.
And so the other day, there he was. He was flying back to Israel that evening, so we simply sat in his hotel lobby and talked. How do you bridge the years — so many years? Almost everything that I am is a result of things that I did after we were together. How do you start? Ph.D., CUNY, CBS, Bravo, cats, Emmys, David, death of my parents, marathons, triathalons, DIVA!!! Impossible to compress, highlight, consolidate?
When we sat sharing a piece of chocolate cake, I was at peace. I am grateful for the life I have, and grateful for the fact that the person that I was so many years ago had made two good decisions– one, in marrying a man who turned out exactly how I expected- hardworking, incredibly loving, kind and generous, and the second, in divorcing him, knowing that however much a mensch he was, however utterly committed to me he would have been, it really wasn’t the right time for me. I look at him with affection, not longing; respect, no regret; happy for the life he has, and utterly grateful for the life I chose and have now. Tomorrow at 2:30 pm, my mincha moment, I will stop and think of him and I will be grateful for the path that took me to meet him, for the quest for knowledge that forced me to leave him, and for the incredible blessing of good health that allowed us to meet and embrace one more time.