When I first started this family tradition, taking a photo of us holding a photo from the year before, starting with our wedding day, I was full of big dreams and massive amounts of hope for my marriage and my family. Things haven’t turned out quite how I had imagined, to say the very least. Nevertheless, this day, November 10th, will forever be the day that my family began. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this process of love and loss its that it’s up to me to choose what I am going to carry with me as well as what I am going to let go of. It would have been easy to just not continue the tradition this year, to let this one go and accept it as a loss. But I decided not to. I decided to celebrate what once was and to embrace all of those big dreams and massive amounts of hope I once had for my marriage and shift them towards being the best mother I can possibly be.
There is no erasing the past and there is no desire in me to do so, no matter how painful a process this has all been and continues to be at times. Times like today, a day that I once believed would bring me pride and joy at my accomplishment of maintaining a marriage. I do not get to celebrate that feat but I do get to celebrate my family and that is something I am proud of every single day.
Next year I will take this photo with two little boys, Harvey and Holden, and we will celebrate our love for each other and for this tradition and that will be enough. Things don’t always work out the way you hoped they would but in the end, the beginning photo will be so small you won’t be able to see it and what will matter is that the photos existed at all. I mourn the loss of my partner and my marriage on this day but I am choosing to celebrate the beauty that is my opportunity to be a mother to my favorite person and very soon to his little brother.
Life will go on and I will continue to choose happiness, even on the most heartbreaking days. It’s the best option although it is also the most difficult at times.