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6.20.2011

OLD AND NEW COLLIDE

It happens with a bit of regularity.  I would imagine that eventually, with enough passage of time, enough spread of the rumor mills, it will stop.  Sitting in the yard several weeks ago in our beach chairs, my husband and I were enjoying the sun on a Sunday afternoon.  A van pulled up to the edge of our property and began a dialogue, "So, where is your husband?  How have you been?"  I turned to Doug and told him I can't see who it is, but whoever it is doesn't realize that I am divorced and now remarried.  I walked across the yard to face whoever and let them know my life has moved forward.  It is some college friends of my ex-husband that live not far from me.  I approach the van and with frankness and say, "Well, that man in the beach chair is Doug, my husband.  I'm sure you don't know this, but Chuck and I divorced last year.  Maybe it is hard for you to hear.  Maybe you have processing to do but I have already processed things and have moved forward.  Sorry if this is awkward for you."  They looked a little shocked but he responded with grace and positiveness, "Ok Lynn.  I'm sorry to hear that, but if you are doing well then I too have already processed it.  No questions asked.  Let's get together for dinner some time."  I thanked them for their gracious spirit and we caught up with each other for a time.   I have found it best to be open - to move people to where I am by facing them (it just took me awhile to be able to do that).  This past weekend was my twin niece's high school graduation open house.   We helped my sister and her husband with serving and cleaning up the food for their 200 guests in attendance.  I warned my husband that there would be plenty of people there that know me but might not know that I got divorced and remarried.  There could be, I told him, some moments of awkwardness.  He assured me that there was no awkwardness on his part as he loved me and my family.  A dear elderly lady who was influential in my growing up years and means the world to me was in attendance that evening.  I spoke with her, now almost 90, and shared what she meant to me as a young person - the influence and love she gave me - what a difference she had made in my life.  She hugged me and told me how she had always loved me, asked about how my health was (adorable for a 90 year old!), and I asked about her life.  Later, seeing my husband standing beside me, she asked him how his parents were.  I knew she thought he was my ex-husband and therefore knew nothing of my divorce let alone remarriage.  With grace, gentleness and an open spirit I responded, "Elta, that is not Chuck.  We divorced last year and I'm sure you did not know that.  Chuck's parents I believe are well.  This is my husband Doug - the love of my life."  I could tell it threw her for a momentary loop as she responded, "Oh, I did not know that.  I'm sorry."  There were a few other encounters that evening with people from my hometown, home church, growing up years.  I faced them all confidently, trying to lessen the impact and the awkwardness I saw on them.  There was a time a year ago when I wasn't confident, wanted to hide, couldn't face a few of their condemning spirits which didn't fit with their religion and broke my heart at times.  I looked at my husband that night so glad for the decisions, gifts and passage of time.  It was good to show that crowd that I was well, happy, loving my life and delighting fully in this gift of love I was experiencing.   

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