36 hours and 100 crossword puzzles

What is a . . .
3-letter word for weep loudly? Sob.
4-letter word for eye droplet? Tear.
3-letter for for shed tears? Cry.

I had all three of those clues in a puzzle (obviously an easy level one in my Dell crossword book, haha) I completed right before I landed in Denver last night. It was a prelude of what was to come, that’s for sure, because cry and tear and sob is what I’ve done for a good part of the last 24 hours since returning home from Phoenix.
My 36 hours in Phoenix were emotionally draining. I figured they would be, but I knew I had to go down there and just face it. Friday started out ok, though realtor drama started before I even got off the plane that morning. I received a call from one of the two realtors we were meeting with to say she didn’t want our listing (long, worthless story why). I was panicked. I didn’t know anything about the other realtor we were meeting with and if she wasn’t going to work out for us, this whole trip could potentially be in vain. Thankfully, after a crazy afternoon of calls and fretting, it all worked out, and first thing Saturday morning, we signed a listing agreement and finalized our business at the house.
I took my last walk though the house and that’s when I felt the old wound opening up and when I started to feel incredibly heavy and sad. The pit of my stomach started to hurt. While waiting for John to lock up the house, I started to get choked up and stood in awkward silence with the realtor. In an attempt to feel less awkward, I just told her how I am incredibly excited to get rid of the house, but that it’s also a very emotional time for me walking away from it. (For me, facing the finality, tying up the last loose end from my marriage is a strangely empty feeling.) She just said she understood, she knows how many wonderful memories I must have made there. I just nodded and left it at that.
Once the house was closed up, we still had a good part of the day open, and decided before heading to the airport, we may as well take a drive out to He Who Shall Not Be Namedtsdale and walk the mall. It didn’t help we ended up taking a route I used to take every day to work and reminders of that old life were just getting to be much too much. (John and I don’t have much in our new lives to share with each other, so much of our conversation was reminiscing. I had a dose of way too much nostalgia for any 36 hours period.) As the afternoon wore on, the emotional pain I felt in the pit of my stomach at the house earlier continued to grow. I knew John was silently feeling the same way; we both decided it’d just be best to try and get an earlier flight home than try and hang out any longer in Arizona.
Arriving at the airport, we learned all the flights were booked, so we were left with almost 4 hours to kill. I feverishly worked on crossword puzzles and tried to ignore how increasingly terrible I was feeling inside. The pit in my stomach grew until it was up in my throat, making it hard to breath, and I had to sit biting my lip to prevent from breaking down and wailing right then and there. While on a smaller scale, I felt like I did when I left AZ the last time in August. Yet, at least this time around I had the relief of knowing the comfort of my cozy apartment was waiting to embrace me when I got back.
When we landed in Denver, I couldn’t run off the plane and get in the car soon enough. By the time I walked into my apartment, I was drained of every ounce of energy I had. I was sobbing and crying harder than I have in months and all I could do was call my mom and try to hear a comforting word. When it was apparent nothing I could hear would “fix” what I was feeling, I decided perhaps just pacing around would calm me instead of calling around and upsetting my friends and family with emotions I couldn’t even yet fully justify or place into words.
About an hour later and swollen and stuffed from the tears that wouldn’t stop flowing, I got a call from John when he got home to the Springs. For the first time in a long time, I was really thankful to hear his voice on the other end of the line. We talked and cried for a bit together, for the first time ever, we’re finally on the same page and in a similar place about how we feel about the divorce. It doesn’t change the past or make it better, but I felt like I was receiving a bit of closure that I had been missing.
I’m still feeling empty and very teary today, but I know I’ll get through it. Just like I’ve gotten through ever other situation and emotion thus far. I may be full of a lot of tears at the moment, but on the bright side, I am also filled with a lot of hope. Hope that I will wake up tomorrow and feel a bit lighter. Hope that my house will sell and that I will finally be able to close this chapter in my life and completely move on. Hope that someday I won’t have to follow up every good memory from my marriage with five bad to reinforce my decision and make myself feel better. Hope that, someday, someone will come into my life and make every moment of this heart break worth it.
What is a 4-letter word for happy expectation? Hope.

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ~ Christopher Reeve


  1. Beautifully expressed

  2. You’re an amazing writer Alison. I hope you can find peace through all the craziness soon.

  3. Alison,
    You can be assured that all of your hopes will come true! You are an amazing gal and there is an equally amazing gentleman out there for you. I know this trip was a difficult one for you. I am here if you need a chat always!!!

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