Day 219

There’s this box, you see.

It’s about the size of a Bible, I’d say.

Pale purple.  Lightweight.  Tucked away in a drawer, although I’m not sure which one.

It has followed us around the country for the past ten years.






and finally, to Charlotte.

Charlotte was supposed to be home.  A forever home.  A place where family–our little family and his extended family–settled to land dream jobs and make babies and turn bare, unpainted houses into family homes.


Anyway, the box.  That f*cking box.

It’s filled with all these little papers.  Surveys.  Printed on acid-free paper, and written on with indelible ink.

In the weeks prior to our wedding, our family members and friends completed these surveys.

They made predictions about where Drew and I would be on our tenth anniversary.  What life would be like for us.

Where would we be living?   How many babies would we have?  What kind of jobs would we be doing? Would we be rich or poor?  Would we drive a sports car or a minivan?  Would we sleep on the left or the right side of the bed?

We also filled out surveys on behalf of ourselves.  All hopeful and giggly and anticipatory.

God, we were so young.

None of the questions asked if we’d still love each other in 10 years.

If we’d struggle to be kind to one another.

If we’d hurt one another in such a fundamental way that there would be days when we’d look in the mirror and barely recognize ourselves in  the reflection.

None of the questions asked if we’d hurt our children with our selfishness.

If our spouse’s family members were pissed at us for saying and doing and writing the wrong thing all. the. damn. time.

If we’d google words like “divorce” and “child support” and “alimony” and “loneliness”.

Our tenth anniversary is in four days.

This f*cking box haunts me.

But I know I will open it.


  1. Katie Miller says:

    Oh god Tara. I remember the box. I’m so sorry. You don’t have to do it.

  2. Amy says:

    A very real and honest post tara. I appreciate you sharing this. Love you

  3. Ashley Taylor says:

    Thinking of you. Wish you weren’t where you are right now. You won’t always be, but for now you are and that is just really really hard.

    • Ashley Taylor says:

      Because you are female, I know you will open the box (let’s face it, we are nothing if not predictable), so I hope that when you do, you have some frosting and some Kleenex and you let yourself release your heavy heart and then close that box, my friend.

  4. Liz says:

    Thinking of you.

  5. Mandie says:

    Praying for you, sweet Friend.

  6. Amy K. says:

    If opening it will bring nothing but sadness and pain, I agree with Katie – don’t open it.

    If you must though, at least let yourself and those of us that love you write new notes to you as we reflect on all the amazing things you have accomplished and become in the last 10 years – an amazing friend to many; a loving mother of two beautiful delightful children; a brilliant woman who obtained her PhD through hard work and perseverance; a respected school psychologist; a witty, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny writer making a name for herself; a woman of strong character with a big heart; a 5k-er; a woman who has enriched and blessed my life tremendously over the last 8 years.

    Love you.

  7. mandie says:

    So sorry tara :( should we have a burning party? We can use the fire to roast marshmallows and make smores! See how i turned lemons into lemonade…or suveys into kindling?

  8. MommaKiss says:

    Well shit.

    I like the writing you new notes suggestion.

  9. Jen says:

    Not sure what to say – other than we are thinking of you this week.

    I preedict that in ten years you will be taller, thinner, and have whiter teeth.

  10. Charles says:

    I am a bit intrigued by this prophetic box you seem to own. One of my coworkers has an electronic fish that is an oracle.
    Anyhow, I would recommend (a) asking Drew if he wants to open it with you, or (b) lighting it on fire and using the fire to light a pipe that lights from the bottom (filled with weed) and then smoking the pipe while listening to Enya music.
    Hope this is helpful.

    • Tara says:

      I’m totally going to tell your kids you advocate smoking weed, Charles. And I can’t even imagine what they’re going to think about the Enya music.

  11. Kelly says:

    I wish there was a like button so i could like these comments…your readers…your friends… know you so well. You are an amazing person. One of the most capable women I know. You can do anything you set your mind to. I predict that in ten years you will be a published author, with a beautiful loving family, one that nurtures you and makes you better. All your friends will still be here cheering you on. Print these comments and make a new box. Save the old box for your kids… And don’t put yourself through any more pain. Love you

  12. Jen M says:

    You are such an amazing person and someone I look up to as a great role model, mother, and friend….you are liked by everyone you meet!! I do understand your wanting to open the box, and if you must, you must…..but at the end of it all, I want you to remember how AWESOME you are and that you are the better person for all of the circumstances that have come your way that you have been able to get through like a champ!! HUGS!

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