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4.30.2012

NEW MATH

Yesterday was the first time I had seen or been together with my ex-husband since our divorce.  It wasn't that I was dodging him because I didn't want to see him.  On the contrary, I had suggested to our daughter, the first Christmas after the divorce, that I was ok with us all having Christmas together.  He is her father and I was married to him for 25 years.  He will always be her father and I, her mom.  She vetoed my idea as I don't think she was ready to see that relationship if it was not as her parents being a married couple.  Chuck went on with his life, connecting to a woman he knew in college.  Eventually God brought Doug to my life.  That gift of love has radically changed my life.  Even though we have a grown child together there just has not been reason to cross paths.  That is until yesterday at my son-in-law's baptism and dinner.  Strange and a bit surreal to see your ex and his girlfriend for the first time while attending a spiritual occasion.  Amazingly though, it was not strange or surreal.  I had an unusual settled peace that my life was exactly where it was both gifted and purposed.  My mind didn't flood with any regrets other than that our daughter's world had been altered by our divorce causing her to have to have two separate relationships with us.  I didn't feel sadness or remorse or longing or hurt or pain or grief or really even uncomfortableness.  Simply, I felt a complete satisfaction in who I was and how I got to love and operate on a daily basis fully as Nancy.  There was a brief reminder in seeing him of the years together, raising our daughter.  But mostly I was flooded with a deep love and profound connection to the man sitting next to me, my husband Doug.  My mind wandered a bit hoping that Chuck too was experiencing a life of utter fulfillment.  A life that now allowed him carte blanche to operate fully and freely as himself.  I knew how freeing that now was for me after 25 years of not having that.  I wanted that for him too.  I wondered if this day was hard on Hannah, my daughter.  If it was a reminder of the combined loss she had experienced. I wondered if there was a part of her that was just ready to have that first joint encounter over - to take the sting out of it.  I hoped and prayed silently for her that she could find peace and feel great love from both of us even if separately.  I liked to think that though our parental love comes from separate directions it still joins together in loving her.  My husband was gracious and kind as always initiating the introduction of himself to Chuck.  Chuck's girlfriend, whom I have known for 27 years though not in a relationship sort of way, commented that the last time she saw me was 24 years ago.  She said, "Yeah, last time I saw you we were both skinny!"  She is the were part of that statement.  I am the I am still part of that statement.  It really doesn't matter what I think of her.  I hoped that in her Chuck was finding something he always had missed.  There are events in life that just are.  They may be twinged with some weirdness but they are what they are - parts of your past and your present colliding.  I thought about the years that lay ahead.  Years when, as divorced parents, our paths would ultimately cross again.  I emptied my spirit of loose ends and knew it would be fine.  Grandchildren might eventually come to us and we would share again the bond of a child.  I've never been scared of elephants in the room.  They just want acknowledgement and then they shrink away. 

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