Another document to add to the filing cabinet, in the compartment that says 'Passports, Births, Marriages, Divorce'. It's official, The End. From the proposal on 16th July 1994 to the Absolute 16th February 2011 and all of life's little ups and downs in between. Neatness in it's ending if nothing else. The beginning of another chapter, yet, yet...
Yet I can't help looking back to all those precious moments shared. My wedding day, for years ranking the best day of my life, not for the act itself but for the joyous day spent with all my favourite friends and relatives. So long ago now, but still precious, with hundreds of snapshots stored in my brain: My step fathers speech which was embarrassing and not a highlight; the Best Man's speech which made me cry; hoovering in my wedding dress between daytime 'do' and evening (we had the reception in our enormous ground floor flat comfortably sitting 35 for lunch with the rest of the guests arriving for an evening buffet); the smell of lillys wafting through the summer afternoon; the fire-eater as entertainment at night; the inebriated friend cross-legged on the lawn communing with the stars at midnight; the last drunks to leave at 2am. Vivid as though it were only yesterday.
And births, who could forget all the emotion of those days? "Mind his ear" the midwife shouts as the student nurse cuts the cord from around Small Sprogs neck! Another snapshot, shared with another now unrelated.
So no, when the solicitor rang me today and told me my Decree Absolute had arrived on her desk last week I did not shout with glee. "How does it feel?" she asked. I could have said numb, but it took a while to realise the feeling. In a way that piece of paper made no difference at all, for the marriage was over years ago but it is still sad. Something held so precious for a while, now spent. Yet my days go on the same, nothing really has changed at all, moments always there; never can be erased by a piece of paper.