An open love letter to my ex-husband

The entire time I was in the hospital with ketoacidosis, everyone called you Mr. Powell, assuming you were my husband. I don't even know if we had been dating a month at that point (time has made all those memories fuzzy). I was 18 years old. I fell in like with you because you were funny, clever and weren't afraid to dance around in a kilt. I fell in love with you because you were honest, kind and always tried to do right by me. Our relationship from beginning to end certainly gets an A for effort, if nothing else.

Our time together seems like a different world to me. I didn't think I was really old enough to have lived multiple lives, but I hardly recognize the people I see in photos of us. We always had music playing in the living room, but the TV was in another part of the house to keep distractions at a minimum. The other day I had a flashback of patching the crotch in your jeans because we were too poor to buy you new ones when they wore out. I don't know that anyone has seen your upper lip since you were a teenager and could grow that luxuriously long red beard over it, but I remember that you had the softest lips ever. We cooked and ate many meals together, grilling even in the snow, and I have fond memories of sitting across a table from you over our plates and having your full attention.

As we spent more time together, I met more of your friends and family. I found more and more wonderful people who thought the world of you and only wanted the best for you. You have a great PR campaign of compassionate people surrounding you. Everyone was on Team Jeremy, trying to help you catch a break. It seemed like a great team and one I wanted to be on too.

You were a good player on Team Genie as well. I changed jobs and we moved across the state to a town you knew nothing about and hardly anyone there. From the moment we moved into the house, I was gone on the road, spending more nights in hotel rooms across the country than in our bed. You stayed home to tend the fires there, caring for our neurotic dogs and grumpy cats. There are lots of men who would have balked at my game plan and stubbornly stood in the way.

But you never stood in the way. You never yelled. You wouldn't even really fight with me, sitting stoically on the sofa while I stomped and ranted and worried the pets. And up to the very end, you never lied to me. No matter how many times we had a conversation about breaking the proverbial lamp, you always admitted any fault and were genuine about it. I always knew what I was getting from you. Unfortunately, it turned out to be not enough for me.

We went through more beat up old cars and W-2 tax forms each year than I'd care to remember. Together we got you a bachelors degree, almost all of a graduate degree and your first full time job with benefits.

You are a good man with a good heart. I always tried to get others to see what I did - that even if you were a bear who happened to enjoy dancing, you were much more than a dancing bear. A friend told me as our marriage was falling apart, though, I changed over the years but you never did. I think I changed into a person who could no longer be on Team Jeremy. But you never stood in my way.

Love, Genie