48 years ago today I was the happiest girl on the planet. I was still a wide-eyed kid who was marrying the man that I had dated for a year. Everything was going to be perfect. We would live happily ever after.
 
Little did I know that as soon as the ring was on my finger, the courtship would end and in just a few weeks my new husband would be someone I didn’t recognize.
 
This date is always a reminder that life isn’t always what you expect it to be. People can show one side, and make all kinds of promises, but you need to look at the long-term pattern to know who they really are. It doesn’t mean that my first husband was a bad person, just that he wasn’t who I thought he was, and he was not right for me.
 
Yes, this date is always a reminder. I used to think that this date was a reminder that this marriage failed after 18 years. I used to think: “What if *I* had tried harder?” But no matter what I did, it would not have changed the circumstances. It took me a long, long time to realize that *I* am NOT a failure, even though my marriage failed. That relationship was NOT who I was, or who I am.
 
Yes, this date is always a reminder that life isn’t always what you expect it to be. But is a reminder that how you handle what you are dealt with is what matters. I wish I could have figured this out sooner.
 
So, today I celebrate this day, and reflect back on that young woman. I look at how far I have come, how much I have grown … and how much further I can go. I celebrate that the end of that marriage showed me that I could make it on my own for a while. And I celebrate that the end of a bad relationship set me up to appreciate my current marriage even more.
 
My first marriage gave me two beautiful children, whom I love very dearly. And I celebrate that today, too. ❤️