Wednesday, November 23, 2011

To My Parents

It was 37 years ago today that my Mom and Dad wed.

She looked beautiful, as she always does, in a simple floor length white wedding gown framed with a matching white shrug trimmed in faux white fur holding a small bouquet of white daisies and tiny red rosebuds.

My Dad looked handsome, in his seventies-style brown and tan suit and tie, a full head of lovely chestnut wavy hair.

Bright smiles.

A wedding is always so happy.  Full of hope.  Dreams.


I am certain their's was no different.

Maybe I'm idealistic or a complete romantic (okay, I'm both) but I don't believe anyone goes into a marriage saying, "Oh well.  If it doesn't work out we can always get a divorce."

Or I don't want to believe that.

Then, when I was 5 years old I stood in the kitchen with my Mom as she fed me a tuna fish sandwich for the first time (this is what my memory recalls, I have a freakishly long memory, unfortunate for my husband, at times myself, and I'm going back almost 30 years here so memories could very well have melded into one another).

I recall her simply telling me that "Your Dad is moving out of the house."

I'm sure there was more to it, a tender tone, more questions from me possibly...I don't remember that much.  I do remember accepting that life changing sentence as if she told me we were going out for dinner that night.  Not that I wasn't upset about it.  I was just too young to completely grasp the thought of Daddy never coming home again.  To live.

With us.

Very young, I was.  And so were my parents.

Younger than I am now.

And so my life began as the child of divorced parents.

Tragic isn't it?

Possibly.  For some.  I do believe it is.  For me?

I somehow adjusted.  Not because I didn't want my parents to have a happily ever after or that I didn't adore my dad or miss him tremendously.

I was a Daddy's girl.

I do adore him and I did miss him.  I don't remember all the feelings and emotions attached.  Maybe I've blocked it out...maybe quite simply, I accepted it.

I was only 5 years old afterall.

My parents.  They made the best of a heart breaking, gut wrenching time.  Of-course I don't know what was happening in the backstage scene.  I'm sure it was full of a whole lot more than I will ever know.  Or would ever want to know.  Or not.

I don't need to know.

It's not for me to know anyway.  What would be the point in that?

My thoughts on separation and divorce are full of shades of gray, though at one time they were a stark black and white.

I will never get a divorce.  

When I get married, I will work on my marriage.  Hard.  Every day.

Those that get a divorce are taking the easy way out.  

I still say I will never get a divorce.

I do work on my marriage.  But I could work harder.  I believe we all can.

Those that get a divorce are taking the easy way out?  That's the most naive thought I've ever had.

I know that now.

Now that I'm a parent.

The tearing apart of a family....that decision is most certainly, not easy.  Whatever the circumstance may be.  And there are many.

For me to even imagine my children being away from their father permanently, on an every other week-end basis makes my heart ache in a way that darkens my soul.

I never, ever, ever want that.

And so, being a child of divorced parents, I now realize the heart ache, the dark days, the broken dreams and the guilt they went through...and possibly...maybe still do.  At times.  I can't imagine, now that I'm a parent, that that would ever, truly go away.


I want them to know.  It's okay.  I'm okay.

I will always be okay.  More than okay.

And I love you both. Very much.  No matter.

You are and will always be my parents.

Beautiful people.  Beautiful parents.

And thank you...for being so classy, full of grace and perfectly honourable in your parting and your parenting.

I am so proud to call you mine.


Jackie said...

I am the child of divorced parents and have been divorced as well. Thankfully, my ex-husband and I are on good terms, live in the same town, and speak regularly about raising our children.
Sometimes there are circumstances that lead to divorce... it's hard though. But we've always kept our kids first.

Maggie May said...

This was so lovely an d generous of spirit. You ARE more than OK!!

Tayarra said...

Wow! This shows your strength and I bet means a lot to them. It shows things will be OK and you believe what you believe as a child because you don't know the whole picture. Good for you.

Rusti said...

what a beautiful post... I have little experience with divorce, knowing only what I do from friends who have divorced parents, or who have divorced themselves, now that we're all grown up... my parents celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary in August, and tomorrow, my grandparents will celebrate their 55th... I only hope to be as lucky, and hard-working as they all are in making sure my marriage lasts, happily. thank you for sharing, I'm so glad you can write about your parents' divorce like this... wonderful writing.

Ellen said...

Sometimes people marry for the right reasons and divorce for the wrong ones. Sometimes people marry too young or grow up too late. It's a show of strength that you learned from it and moved on. Well done GG.

danneromero said...

Great post..... My husband and I live in different states - out of necessity - and we continue to work VERY hard on our marriage. I write about it in my blog....

Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!

Shell said...

My parents separated when I was 10 and it was the best thing for them and for us kids. Though, it's now been something like 25 years... and they still say awful things about each other- I wish they could get over that.