This was originally written a month or so ago, but with digitally raised eyebrows wondering what the hell is going on, I think it’s time to post this publicly.

After 15 years of marriage and 18 years of being “Josh-and-Ivonne”, we have decided to be simply Josh and simply Ivonne.

I’m sure there are a lot of rumors flying around; that’s fine. But as in any difficult and complicated situation, please know that there are a myriad of facets that even we don’t quite comprehend. I have hesitated to say anything, really, because of the gravity that warps the space around us. I have to remind myself, though: The view from beyond the event horizon is one of stopped time, perpetually visible, constantly illusory.

Yet the second hand still ticks.

___

I like to tell the story of how Ivonne and I met. My on-and-off girlfriend at the time called me to tell me she was bringing a friend home from the club that night and wanted to know how I felt about it. My relationship with Morrigan had become terribly corrosive, so my dismissal was swift and unapologetic; I made no effort to make myself presentable let alone give any amount of fucks. But then Ivonne walked in.

Two weeks later we started our lives. I had nothing but whatever trinkets and clothes I’d managed to salvage from a year and a half of abject irresponsibility and drug use, so I packed them in a single bag, grabbed my guitar, and chucked them both in the back of Ivonne’s car idling by the light post about a block down from my newly now-ex-girlfriend’s house. It was as simple as that.

Nobody thought this was a good idea. Not her friends, not my friends, not our families, nobody, until they saw us together. A few weeks before she moved away, her sister took me aside and tearfully, genuinely, expressed sincere gratitude that Ivonne had found someone that was perfect for her, someone who had patience and kindness and appreciation for who she was and who she had yet to become; she just wanted me to know that we had, as unorthodox and kooky as we were, her entire family’s support and that nobody was worried anymore. They knew Ivonne was in good hands, that she was finally happy.

And she was. We were. For a long time. But not the forever we expected.

Ivonne and I have lived our lives very publicly, from LiveJournal to Facebook and a myriad of other social media outlets, so it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that we’ve had our fair share of brilliance and despair. We’ve moved cross-country twice, lost and made friends, lost and found jobs, finally found sobriety, and made the most amazing human to ever walk this earth – and that’s just a cursory back-flap summary of what would be an epic trilogy in its own right, adventures that would crush the spirit of any mortal couple and we’ve been anything but that.

But even the greatest of heroes have their weakest spots. Ours were these: We took our strength for granted; we forewent vulnerability in favor of posture; we let resentments salt our earth; we fed others when we needed to feed ourselves. And lest these distillations invite schadenfreude or the tsk-tsk’ing of the less fortunate, may I remind you of the truth: What we had was and remains magical.

Within that sorcery, though – hope, love, and red flags. Pain and anguish, hurt and resentment. Ships passing in the night. Reaching out to grab one another’s hands only to miss by a finger’s breadth. Begging for words, unable to speak. The disillusionment of knowing what’s possible. A Chrysalis. Then another. Growth, movement, and strength, only to be dragged back into the maelstrom by insecurity and depression. Alcoholism. Pride. Bodies breaking on the rocks. An entire world on fire that burns to the edge of a tempestuous ocean. Silence. Now, breath.

Here’s what I will not have: Judgement. There’s not a soul in this universe that can hold space for what we’ve done, who we are, what we’ve attempted, and where we’ve landed. If you feel you have the full view of the landscape, you are horribly mistaken. We are two people who love each other very much, who have bled for each other, who have bandaged each other, who have recognized that we stand on different paths. And in all of this, our goals are simple: Be happy. Be good parents. Heal. Grow.

So if you have something negative to say about her, our choices, our paths, or our futures, there’s the door. Ivonne is a phenomenal person who gave more than she ever should have to bring us home to safe harbor. She struggled, she fought, she wept and bled, she bore emotional burdens that were meant for me while she waited and waited and waited and waited and waited… and she deserved more than what she received. Yet, so did I.

My life is changed because of her. She is and will always be a light in the darkness. We are transforming right now; into what, we don’t know. It is my sincere hope that we will remain connected in our own unorthodox and unassailable fashion, yet as we grow, please give us the respect and dignity that such tumult requires by allowing compassion and understanding to envelop all three of us as we transition to a new phase of our lives.

It’s nobody’s fault. There’s no guilty party. But Ivonne said it best: We’ve still got plenty left to say.

 

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