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. But....it 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.

17 comments:

alan said...

Only someone as beautiful inside as you could inspire the love that radiates through this post! To have done what you needed to to save "yourself", to make peace when it was over, to continue sharing your family with him, as well as your life, to inspiring the lucky new man in your life to share his life with you with your ex; you are truly a most amazing woman!

I'm hoping the photos mean you managed to save things from the old hard drive?

alan

Rebecca said...

That was beautiful Lori.....
And while it clearly took some time to get to where you are today, ideally that is how divorced families should hopefully be - coexisting, rather ceasing to exist. It isn't easy, and isn't always the case - but how very fortunate you are to have it be so.

But honestly, from what I know of you - I couldn't imagine it being any other way. :)

srp said...

Each situation is different. I'm glad you were able to keep a relationship with your ex-husband and that your current husband is accepting of his friendship. Sometimes that isn't possible when the physical well being of a child is at stake. This does show your loving spirit and your children are the better for it. He is obviously a caring and loving father with as much interest in rearing his children as you are.

Michael said...

:-)

Thanks!

martie said...

The way it should be for everyone....but I think only a special few (like you) can achieve this end. I admire you, GF! Hugs

Networkchic said...

Such a wise woman...I can tell - you always put love first.

Lori said...

Alan - thanks for the sweet comments. No, the hard drive is still in limbo. I had posted these pics in a draft the afternoon before the storm, and thankfully, my blog wasn't touched. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Rebecca - it did take some time, but I decided that I didn't want to live w/ bitterness. It's a poison and frankly, life is just too short. I still love my former husband. It's just different now...

srp - You are right. Sometimes it isn't in the child's best interest to keep the father in the picture. You have to do what is best for them, whatever that is. I always said that I wouldn't make them suffer for my decision and that's what made my choices crystal clear.

Mike - You bet, buddy! :-)


Martie - When both sides are good people and love the children, it's the only way to be. It's less amazing than it is simply "right". Hugs back!

Chic - Thank you. Wisdom comes with age and experience and sometimes, a crisis or two. Love is the most important thing, and when you come right down to it, all there really is.

naive-no-more said...

Lori, it seems that I'm always saying, "that was a beautiful post", but that simple statement does not do your posts justice ~ especially this one.

I wish sometimes we could talk in real life.

Jacqueline said...

Thanks Lori, for sharing this inspiring, personal tale!

Deciding to forgive and to love unconditionally is an enormous, daily task! You've all shined through and proven it's possible to build happy, loving and peaceful families with positive choices made.

clew said...

Lori, this is exquisite in every way. Alan said it all up above!

Love you, gf! *hugs*

clew said...

P.S. I'm thinking of doing a post about your post. Do you mind? I'll link you.

Ocean said...

wow what a heartfelt storie. It's good to hear things are working out in an orderly manner. So many that don't and tear kids and families apart. Sounds like you all are very loving and mature people to make this work out. Bless you and may this peace continue to stay with you all.

Beverly said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

Autumn said...

Thank you for writing this. It was beautiful and fabulous to read.

FishTaxi said...

Beautiful Blog!

Pete Mitchell said...

We have both been busy, but you have most definitely not been forgotten. Just swinging by for a quick hug.

oregoncelticlady said...

WOW!!!