In less than an hour, I will leave my apartment to walk down foggy streets to the courthouse here in Keene for my date with Judge John P. Arnold. I will arrive early; I will meet somewhere in the hallway with my lawyer. And at 8:30 am, in the matter of Lorianne Schaub and Christopher Schaub, Judge Arnold will oversee a 10 minute Uncontested Divorce Hearing.
All this will occur today, October 26, exactly one week before what would have been Chris and my 13th anniversary, a timing (and numerology) whose irony I fully realize. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or sit down and sigh with relief.
I suspect that over the course of the day, I’ll do some semblance of all three, potentially (if possible) at the same time.
I’ve been nervously awaiting this court-date for months now, ever since Chris moved out at the beginning of August. On the one hand I’ve been looking forward to the closure I hope the official paperwork will bring; on the other, I’ve been on pins and needles fearing that some last minute snafu will derail the deal. Emotionally, I’m moving on past the divorce; on a practical level, our belongings and assets have been fairly divided and we each are moving on with our lives. But something as simple as a court-date and a slip of paper is the one last tie keeping everything “in process.”
Until 8:30 am today, when there will be nothing (legally) keeping either of us tied to any of that.
I’ve vowed not to cry at the hearing…but yesterday when I strolled past the courthouse, dog in tow, just to acclimate myself to the place where this all is going to happen, I admit I got misty-eyed. This is where it happens: this is where Lorianne Schaub will somehow legally–somehow magically–revert to being Lorianne DiSabato. Yes, over the next weeks and months I’ll be going through the paperwork hassle of changing my name, again: a symbolic new me, one who is (I hope) both older and wiser than the old me. I’m not the same person I was when I last was Lorianne DiSabato…but I’m certainly no longer who I was when I first became Lorianne Schaub, either.
In the end, I just want to be Lorianne: Lorianne who will be strong enough not to cry during a 10 minute hearing, and Lorianne who will have the courage to sit on the steps outside this very public courthouse and bawl her eyes out if that’s what she feels like. Either way, at the end of the day, I’ll be Lorianne, whoever that is. And at the end of the day, I trust that being Lorianne, simply Lorianne, will be enough for today and tomorrow and the future that unrolls from here.