Cynthia Elizabeth Lee
It is just past two in the morning on November 14th, 2015. My child is slumbering about fifteen feet away on the couch. About thirty hours ago, they watched their mother pass away.
It took me a while to collect my thoughts enough to pen this tribute to Cynthia, my first wife. Our history together is so far beyond complex that it is hard to condense it into a book, let alone a single blog post. We went from strangers to passion, from passion to joy, from joy to elation, from elation to suffering, from suffering to loneliness, and from loneliness into a long detente tinged with echos of the past.
We met at a restaurant in 1998, when a mutual friend was introducing me to his social group in anticipation of entering a roommate situation with me. I had just returned to Indianapolis from Seattle, had started dating someone in Michigan but was captivated by her charm and personality.
Within two months. we had both thrown caution to the wind and started seeing each other. Our relationship caused waves around us from the get go. Some people got hurt by it, others were jealous. Some people decided to act out of anger, which ended up driving us even more firmly together. By August, we were engaged.
We had our ups and downs, as any couple does. But, we had passion. We were young and in love, after all. I was twenty, and she was twenty seven. Hard to believe I am eleven years older now than she was then.
Our wedding was wonderful, with friends coming together to celebrate with us. We had a two week honeymoon at Pensic. When we came home, we seemed to be leading a charmed life. Sure, we had difficulties, but it just seemed to be getting better. We found out she was pregnant on her birthday in 2001. By that point, I had been working at a great job for several months. She was working as a store manager. We were doing well, had moved into a decent house, and were doing pretty well on all fronts.
I won’t go deeply into what went wrong and where; such discussions are moot now. We both did and said regrettable things. In the end, Addison was just over a year old when we separated. We divorced in 2004.
It can be said that anger is born out of either compassion or frustration. For us, it was a bit of both. I still loved her, but the pain of the situation made it difficult to deal with. If it hadn’t been for Addison, I would have cut ties with her, to let wounds heal and let my love be passive and distant. As it was, I had to learn to move on while having Cynthia as part of my life due to being a part of Addison’s life. Not easy, but I am very glad I did.
Over time, we were able to come to peace with each other and move on. I had another child, and got remarried. Cynthia found love relationships of her own. I remained her friend, and not a possessive ex-husband, letting the negativity fade.
I was able to tell her goodbye before she went, and do so without anger, malice, or negativity. Whatever is beyond, if anything, I hope she is happy, comfortable, and has found everything she was looking for.
May you rest easy, Cynthia. The world has lost some of its light with your passing.