Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Breaking the News

Now that the holidays have passed and apparently despite the economy, people are beginning to think about summer travel plans. Among those people are some of our repeat guests, particularly the ones who come every year. They are the ones who know they need to reserve early in order to get the dates and/or room they want. Because we have established something very close to a friendship with these frequent repeat guests, every one of them, in their call or email, asks me how I am and then asks about Adam. As difficult as it is, I'd rather tell them up front about the split than skirt the issue and have to deal with it during their stay, possibly in front of other guests. Adam has been a strong and constant presence here, making breakfast at least two days a week and interacting with guests. They like him every bit as much as they like me. His absence, and his skill as a storyteller, will not go unnoticed.

It's an awkward thing, telling people about the divorce. I've almost gotten good at saying the words, but I've had some practice and time to get used to the idea. For someone just hearing it I think it's harder. I frequently hear "I don't know what to say." That makes me sad, but it's honest and I appreciate that. Several people have told me they've been through it themselves, which is surprisingly reassuring. I see them with their current spouse and I see how devoted they are to that person and it gives me hope for a future relationship. Not that I'm wallowing in sorrow or actively searching for anyone new in my life, but is good to see that happiness with another person can be achieved. That is something I will never get tired of.

One of my absolute favorite couples arrived for a stay about a week after Adam moved out. When they arrived, my assistant Nancy was covering check-ins and I was at my weekly riding lesson. By the time I got back, the husband had dropped his wife off at the seminar she was attending, so I knocked on their room door to at least greet him in person. The third sentence out of his mouth was "And where is Adam?" Ouch. I knew it was coming, but this was the first time I'd had to actually do this.

"He's not living here anymore" I told him, and I was literally choking back tears. Adam & I both love this couple, we even exchange gifts with them. And then he told me the oddest thing.

"Ah," he said. "I had a dream the other night that we got here and Adam wasn't here."

I was speechless. Fortunately, he was not. And he broke the news to his wife, who I didn't see until the next morning. They were very supportive. I knew they also wanted to see Adam and I knew that Adam was going to feel uncomfortable about seeing people after they were told what was going on, but I did make sure he came to see them before they left and I think all three of them were happy that I did. But that doesn't change the fact that it's awkward all the way around and it will continue to be so for a while.