Posts Filed Under Divorce

A few years ago I wasn’t much of a traveler. I was kind of scared to venture out and about with a sick kid at home. And we definitely didn’t have much money. For seven years, I didn’t get on a plane.

Divorce is hard. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but a really beautiful thing happened on the way to the courthouse. I reconnected with an old friend who (spoiler alert) I fell madly in love with. But, before I fell in love with him, he helped me fall in love with traveling again.


A few weeks after we started dating he brought me along on a work trip to Tennessee. I had been to Nashville as a kid, but my only Grand Ole Opry memory was arguing with my mom because I wanted to wear jeans and she wanted me to wear a dress. I think Loretta Lynn was there, but I’m not sure because I was seven, and I WANTED TO WEAR JEANS.

Enter Andy.

So, two years ago, he brought me to Nashville. And, when I write that sentence I get a giant lump in my throat, because it was a turning point on this journey I’ve been on. The lump is so big that I can actually feel it sitting on top of my soul. That’s a really big lump, because my soul is, roughly, right under my diaphragm. Roughly.

I have always loved live music. I’m an experienced concert attendee and have hundreds, if not thousands, of them under my belt. I used to travel all over the country (even the world) to see concerts, but I had never seen anything like Nashville. If you like live music, GET HERE. It’s amazing.

The talent is incomparable. The food is fantastic. The people are good. It’s clean. The weather is perfection. And, they make one hell of a bloody Mary.

But, what Nashville really gave me is a deep love for travel again. It reminded me how much I missed new experiences, and music, and meeting people, and having a spirit free enough to dance. It led to trips to nine more states and Mexico. And, it led to me coming back to Nashville over and over again.

Thank you, Andy and thank you Tennessee. You are both life-changing gifts. I’m just fine with that giant lump. It’s a reminder of how fortunate I am.

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My Sunshine

posted by Momo Fali on December 29, 2016

Dear Ali,

You didn’t come into the world serenely.

As I was being monitored in a hospital room, 10 weeks before your due date, a team of doctors, nurses and I-don’t-know-what-else came running in. They shoved meds and catheters in, strapped my arms down, and in a matter of minutes my belly had been cut open, You were pulled out and whisked to the NICU where they put a tube down your throat to help you breathe.

Two days later, I was allowed to hold you. The nurses said I should “kangaroo” you and hold you skin to skin, so I came to the hospital every day and I’d pull the curtain around your isolette and hold your tiny body firmly against mine.

I told you so many stories about the things that awaited you at home. Hours and hours and days and days about our crazy dog, Blue, my Grandma’s rocking chair and your very own room. I sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” Despite my horrible singing voice and your beeping monitors, it was very peaceful.

But, all I wanted was for you to come home.

Of course, in the last couple of years, your definition of home has changed a lot. I’m sorry for that. I hope that by what you have lost, you have also gained understanding, compassion and forgiveness. I’m still working on that last one. Looking for the bright side will serve you well, and when you can’t find the bright side, keep working on it. At least you can say that you tried.

Through your many different homes, and all the chaos into which you’ve been thrust, I hope you have always known how very much you are loved. I can’t really express it by holding you in my lap and singing to you anymore, but if it wouldn’t be odd for me to hold an adult in my lap and belt out tunes, you’re the adult I would pick.

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And, let that be your constant. In the future, when life starts an uphill portion of its roller coaster ride, remember that you are, and will always be, my sunshine.

Love,

Mom

Take My Hand

posted by Momo Fali on July 5, 2016

As a best friend’s father lay dying last winter we gathered around the edge of his bed and I grabbed one of his hands. I held it in mine and traced the lines and sun spots dotting his skin. Those hands were like a glimpse into his past; of a life well-lived. And, it was one of the first times I’ve talked out loud about how special I think a person’s hands are.

Mine are typing this post right now. They have typed, or handwritten, thousands of stories, letters and postcards to friends and family all over the world. They have held crying babies, laughing babies, and a dying baby. They have cooked countless meals and, in the case of tonight’s dinner, burned a few as well.

I used to watch my grandmother’s as she rolled out her own noodles, or carried my handicapped cousin through the house. My children have used theirs to make me homemade cards. My dad used his for manual labor. My mom uses hers to work logic problems, or wrap her loving arms around the back of her very dirty grandson.

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Hands create, they comfort, they caress and they betray. I can’t help but think of the love they promised, the ring mine wore for 18 years, and how they held the pen that signed that all away. I remember another relationship when they were used to hurt me. I think of the guns they fire and the harm they can do.

And, I can’t help but think of the new hands I hold; stronger than any I know, calloused and worn, but gentle and giving. They have rubbed my shoulders during tense times, held me in the midst of darkness and danced with me in the light. They have been quite wonderful at prodding me to do new things in this new life. I love them.

They say eyes are the window to the soul, but I think it’s the hands. Next time I see you, take my hand and give me a glimpse into yours.

They Aren’t Here

posted by Momo Fali on June 2, 2016

It never gets any easier. This is not how it is supposed to be.

They are often silent, watching shows on a tablet with headphones or reading in bed. But, they are here.

They frequently argue about silly things to the point you think you can’t take it anymore. They make messes. They use all the hot water. They leave their shoes and balls by the front door where everyone trips over them. But, they are here.

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And, it never gets any easier when they aren’t. It doesn’t matter that life is really good; work is fulfilling, school is going well, you’re in a great relationship, you have friends and family you can always lean on. None of that matters when they aren’t here.

So, you tell yourself you’ll stay busy. You go to the gym, you study, you run errands you’ve been putting off and end up at Target trying to spend the $75 you always spend.

Instead you come home with empty hands and an emptier heart and there are the shoes, and the ball, and the messes. Now the ordinary silence is deafening because they aren’t here.

And it never, ever, gets any easier.