Friday, April 28, 2006

Once Upon a Love

Once upon a time there was a young girl who fell in love...

We were nothing alike: I was serious, quiet and loved books and art. He was funny, boisterous, an athlete. Still, our foundations were similar and we felt we could build on their solidity, joining our worlds and starting our own, unique family.

He could infuriate me...but he could also make me laugh. It was hard to stay angry in the midst of charming company. His practical nature grounded my romantic soul and he watched over me like a man who adores his wife.

We traveled to Canada and Missouri to fish, and weekends found us huddled in a mass of brush in chilly fall weather. We would sit in the stillness of morning amidst chattering squirrels; waiting for the soft steps of a doe or buck on crisp leaves. A camera was my friend. A rifle was his. We shot baskets at the park and watched the Celtics and Royals on T.V. It was interesting, different, fun. was him.

Years passed swiftly bringing us a precious auburn-haired daughter and an adorable and delightful brown-eyed boy. They turned our world with their joyful antics and for awhile we forgot that there was supposed to be a "You and Me". Life became more about them and less about us, and growth was substituted with sustinence.

Life is a kaleidoscope of color and complexity, swirling around in a tube of ever-changing patterns. I began to find a stranger in the mirror each morning, as if someone had crawled beneath the covers of my existance in the middle of the night and chased the real 'me' away. And when the dust cleared and I stepped back into my life, I was a single mother, checking the ugly title of "divorced" on applications and forms.

It was my idea, the separation. People think that initiating the end makes it easier and pain-free. It seemed that everyone was angry with me as family and friends fell away. They could not see from my perspective and as a result, the light went out in my perfect, unblemished world.

It took years for me to forgive myself; I came from a long line of happy and lasting marriages and knew I had let so many people down. But slowly I made my way back to a place where I was proud of where I stood and content with my life.

Though my former husband and I had some bitterness at first, we sat down together and made choices that would be best for our children and for our own lives. We put aside the pain we both felt to make things right for us all. For us, it was the only option.

Ten years ago we took a terrible road and became lost, going in different directions, unable to find our way back to the same path. But the roads we took separately have led us to a neutral place of understanding and affection that will be with us til the end. We share a past. We share a family. He is still very close to my parents and siblings, and since his own mom and dad are gone, I wouldn't dream of taking away the only parents he now has. He comes to our son's games and to my daughter's programs. He takes them shopping for dress slacks and glittery gold shoes and is a part of many moments of their lives. He sits beside my husband at games where they discuss strategy and talk about their days on the court, and people stare, perplexed that we "work" as a normal and loving family.

Our children are young people who are strong in their identity, knowing who and where they came from and feeling safe in the love we each give them. They've never been asked to choose between us, but know that love is unconditional and has no boundaries. They are bright, intelligent people who are happy and grounded and secure because we have chosen to make their lives so.

It would be easy to drum up the hurtful moments; the things that ate at our marriage and caused it to crumble. But life is too short, too fleeting to be wasted on yesterday's failures. You pick up the pieces and find a way to make them fit. It's new and different from before, but the beauty is still there. It's called forgiveness, love, perseverance....and hope.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thank You

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who continue to check my blog and who have left comments and emails at my doorstep. It means a great deal to know you are still here, continuing to read and support me.

I'm hoping to get into the computer lab here at school during my lunchbreaks and get back to writing. I have a couple of posts in draft form that include photographs I saved prior to losing our PC. Now that testing with our students is completed, I should be able to get some things posted and move ahead with my writing. That's my hope, anyway!

Bless you all. You're proof that love truly is the greatest of these.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Still here...

The warm winds of summer have been blowing early across Kansas, stirring up dust from dry fields and ushering in temperatures usually reserved for June.
The world has been spinning quickly, filling up my time since I last wrote. My daughter hippity-hopped across the stage in three performances, then said 'good-bye' to this year's play in anticipation of her first prom. Track season began for my son as he races in the mile; a 'high-profile-vehicle' running against the strong Kansas winds! I met up with my youngest step-daughter; a college sophmore trying to figure out her future as her dad and I joined her for lunch on a nice day off. We traveled down to Oklahoma for another daughter's wedding and watched as she stepped over the threshold to begin a new family of her own. Easter brought lilies and worship, colorful eggs, chocolate rabbits and a loving gathering. With teenagers in the house now, the Easter bunny skipped right over us, perhaps being overwhelmed himself with life's turns and busyness.
My prairie has changed from washes of gray to waving green wheat and blue skies, and despite the drought we are in, life is beginning anew. The past few days have brought five baby kittens as well as two new sheep: an FFA project for my sensitive daughter who will have a hard time selling them at the county fair. Life holds up her gallant chin...and time marches on.
Despite our hectic spring, my absence is really due to something else. Right after my last post, we lost our computer to a terrific electrical storm. Though I have access to a computer here at school, my time is limited. Most days, as soon as I finish in the classroom, I clock in for custodial work. Then it's home to family and chores. With many other financial obligations, it may be some time before we can afford a new computer and I can begin posting as I once did. I'm sad at the loss of my photographs and the luxury of both writing for myself and reading all of your wonderful posts. There's definitely a void where that colorful part once was.
Until it's resolved, I'll be filling my days with school and home, meetings and banquets, the loveliness of May and my son's 8th grade promotion. Thank you so much for remembering my "place" and for your kind and caring comments. I think of you all often and hope that the sun is shining brightly on each of your paths.
A hug and a prayer....I will be back.