I am reposting this piece because while I was on my trip home for my dad's funeral I found some of the vhs tapes I had created and sent out to 5 different family members in hopes of having back ups in an emergency. That emergency happened in 2010 when I started my divorce.
While itching and crying and feeling gross wading through my dad's stuff, I found a vhs tape with my handwriting scrawled on it. Then I found another, and another. Suddenly it did not matter to me what I was croutching next to, or how much dead bug dust and cobwebs I was touching. I was finding the treasure I had prayed I would find. While I did not find them all, I brought home far more than I ever expected to have again.
Now to find a vhs machine so I can watch them all. Once I am on my feet again financially and have a little extra money each month, I will have them transferred to dvd and backed up on my external hard drive. Mine forever and always! I wish you could see the big cheesy smile from ear to ear!
The Big Screen 10/9/2014
This morning I saw this image on Facebook and it struck me as brilliant. How would my movie fair on the big screen? How would it be categorized? As a comedy, a tragedy, a thriller, a drama, chick flick?
Would I even watch it? I lean towards fast cars, fast women (boobs) and guns! When I chose to sit still for 2 hours, I want to be blown away and bouncing out of my seat. Having said that, I am very happy that my life is not about fast cars, fast women and guns.
Ok, well maybe I would totally enjoy the fast cars in a safe controlled, non-patrolled strip of highway. And to tell the truth, I enjoy the hell out of my girl friends who are sorta, kinda, absolutely fast women!
I would love to watch my time with my girlfriends. From the laughter and connection to the tears from broken hearts and destroyed dreams. Every minute of it would recapture my attention and captivate me.
Truth be known, I was the queen of video taping my children.
I would give anything to watch my time with my kids over again. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!
I would give anything to get the promised copy of all of the videos I have taken of my children. When the judge gave me permission to leave my family home with my children after 7 very long scary months of living under the same roof after filing for divorce, I ran.
My girlfriend and I entered the house for one last time to collect as much of my stuff and the kids as we could pile into our two cars. Let me tell you that conversations with the staff at TESSA, our local domestic violence shelter, flooded my head as we walked up to the front porch. You know your girlfriend loves you when she agrees to walk into a terribly volatile situation after hearing the same speech about the moments after you file for a restraining order or are awarded custody of your children or are allowed to leave your family house are the moments when physical violence can be most expected. Women die in these ordinary moments.
I didn't want to die. I was fighting to live.
When we walked into the house, my ex was shirtless and had his 9 millimeter gun in the waistband of his shorts. This was the first time for me to see the large scary tattoo of a screaming in pain man on his back. I remember starting to shake. I remember feeling vomit and fear hit the back of my throat. I grabbed what I could, as did Theresa while he followed us room by room.
The house had never been so quiet. I could hear every tear that rolled down my cheek and every hushed exhaleas I tried to remember to breath. I knew I would never be in my home again. I knew what ever I didn't take I would never see again. It is an awful feeling to say goodbye to the stuff that fills your home because you chose it, picked it. We focused on clothes and some toys for the kids. He wouldn't let me near the basement where the baby books I made were or the photo albums or the small shoe size box of video tapes.
I would give anything to go back in time and grab that box. 10 years of every burp, giggle, step and performance are save in that little box. The court ordered him to make me copies or give them to me to make copies. No one seems to care. I would watch each and every moment over and over again at Christmas break when they weren't with me. Because they are important to me, he will keep them from me.
My 3 year divorce was the drama, thriller and tragedy part of my movie.
The comedy bits would be my dating life since divorce. Since 2010 when I separated, I have gone out on 8 dates. I could do a 2 hour stand up routine (and have at every Passover Dinner at the Stewart-Spiegel household). Really only 2 of the dates were funny, but they were so over the top insane. One of which was with a real live version of Gaston from Beauty & The Beast, if instead of a European countryside it was set in downtown Philly, circa 1985. Picture big gold chains, diamond stud earrings the size of a skittle, and a whole lotta super tanned rapper white boy.
I expect, overall, I would need a box of tissue to watch my movie. I have lived so much drama, comedy, and tragedy. I know I would totally fall in love with "me" and be screaming for her to stand the hell up for herself and get the fuck out of the house in the scary times and so proud of her for living through and rebuilding. I know that all of the "mama" parts would make me all teary and make me want to hug my kids.
All of this and I am only 43.
I am having the best time in this time with my kids, my friends and my lover! I would say that not a day goes by where my head is not thrown back belly laughing, loudly at something and the sweet quiet moments of love and acceptance.
Would I watch my movie, oh hell yes! I would drag all of my friends, kicking and screaming to watch it too!