I had seen these scenes dozens of times before they solidified as a frightening analogy for my own family’s story. Just months before my own wedding, I sat with my mom in the living room of the home I had grown up in, as she explained that divorce was the next exit on the highway of our family’s history. It had been several weeks since she had told me that her and my father’s marriage was in serious trouble. Now, she told me more: They had gotten married way too young, noting that if she could do it all over again, she would have chosen another route for her life, someone other than my father to share life with.
I couldn’t help feeling a shadow come over me. I looked at our family portrait hanging on the wall across from us, and wondered if I might be disappearing. I glanced at my hand, wondering if I was becoming translucent like Marty did. My parents’ impending divorce made me feel thin, as if now that my parents’ marriage was disappearing, the divorce was becoming our shared identity, and I too was disappearing.