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Thank You, Alex

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Recently, I sat down in a lawyer's office on 95th Street and Central Park West to sign five copies of an agreement that would formally separate me from my seventeen year marriage. Several days later, at a dinner with our 12 and 15 year-old daughters to mark my 47th birthday, I seized on a private moment to hand my ex an envelope. Folded within it lay a list, on which I'd written by hand in its left-hand corner: "Because now I can..."

Thank you, Alex*.

Thank you for saying hello to me on the F train.
Thank you for our first date at the abandoned subway yard in Bayonne.
Thank you for "L.A. Law" and sushi in bed.
Thank you for skiing with me.
Thank you for flying up to Burlington in a hurry.
Thank you for paying my portion of the rent while I was in j-school.
Thank you for marrying me.
Thank you for the map that flew out the car window on our honeymoon.
Thank you for "Danbury Blues."
Thank you for cauliflower puree.
Thank you for space.
Thank you standing by during all those bouts of morning sickness.
Thank you for trespassing over the barbed wire fence in Maspeth, Queens.
Thank you picking up the receiver from the floor when I called to tell you
I was assuredly pregnant.
And for the pleasure of bringing our perfect girls into the world together.
Thank you for daring to buy a brownstone with me in Prospect Heights.
Thank you for twelve summers at Small Point.
Thank you for singing to me in the street.
Thank you waking me up with coffee and The New York Times on so many
mornings of our marriage.
Thank you for Rilke.
Thank you for Cat Island, Copenhagen & Cape Town, for Todi & Tokyo, for
Nicaragua, Nimes & New Mexico, for Belize & The Big Island & Bizbee,
Arizona (& for the other places in between)
Thank your for dancing wildly with me at stuffy fundraisers.
Thank you for your good heart.
Thank you for struggling with me.
Thank you for all that great wine.
Thank you for uncertainty.
Thank you for being such a passionate father.
Thank you for your sense of the celebratory, and for quirkiness and fun.
Thank you for outer borough restaurant adventures.
Thank you for Lola, dog like no other.
Thank you for my 40th disco birthday party at the Brooklyn lyceum.
Thank you for trying your best.
Thank you for Hobart.
Thank you for staying with me in the ring for as long as you were able to.
Thank you for meeting me at the hospital in the midst of my recent kidney stone
attack, even though I'd sent you a nasty email hours before.
Thank you for reinvention, for faith, for flexibility, for patience, for
mystery, for a love that is changing.

*Name has been changed.

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