10-Rory Moves Out
We continued following our itinerary and in Switzerland we met a couple, Lance and Cher, from the Bay Area. They also had a VW bus and were our age. We got along very well and traveled together the final three weeks of our trip, sharing meals, exploring the countryside, sitting around the campfires in the campgrounds. This friendship was a godsend and helped compensate for the strain Rory and I were experiencing in our relationship.
A funny story: Whenever Cher and I looked at each other we felt like we were looking in a mirror! We looked so much alike, and the men agreed, that we laughed self-consciously every time our eyes met. I thought she was really cute and she felt the same about me! But neither of us liked our own looks particularly. Crazy.
A scary story: After the trip, Cher and I kept in touch. The next summer she and Lance were going back to Europe and she asked me to house sit. They had a gorgeous above-the-garage apartment with an abundance of large windows and beautiful thriving ferns and grape ivies and flowering plants. I was so excited to have a few weeks to myself in that lovely place. I drove to their home in my VW bug, my little car packed to the brim with clothes and books and crafts. They had already departed and had left a key for me, but I did not spend even the first night there. A great trepidation descended on me that I did not understand, but that I could not shake, and I bolted. A couple of months later, one night when Cher was alone in the apartment something very bad happened to her which I cannot even write about. She was devastated and the marriage did not survive the tragedy.
As rude as my hasty departure had been (most of their 50 plants died), I may have been saved from the same experience she had. Why was I warned and she was not? Or, did she have a premonition and dismiss it? I do not know. I shudder to remember. I hope she is okay now.
When we returned home to the states, Rory moved out. Our housemates, Brad and Jilly, had separated while we were gone, and Brad had moved out.
Jilly and I continued on in the big house.
I worked long hours in my classroom, but I became very depressed every evening, convinced that I was a complete failure and drowning in feelings of rejection and sorrow. I felt like I had let myself and my family down by not being able to make my marriage work. Jilly and I sat night after night in our darkened living room, drinking wine and watching TV. On the weekends we would go to certain bars where we had made friends and felt safe. We usually did not come home alone.
My job kept me sane. Every morning I woke up with a purpose for living. My school children loved me and needed me to be there for them. I was committed to teaching them to read and write, and helping them learn how to get along with each other. I was using foster grandparents and sixth graders in the classroom to listen to the kids practice their reading. I was mentoring student teachers, making home visits to every child’s home, and planning field trips. I had good friends on the faculty. I was surviving.
I was putting up a front and I was living two lives. Without God in my life all of my thinking and all of my decisions were worldly and vain.