Wednesday, December 30, 2009

then and now...

tomorrow night is new years eve..
I plan on celebrating in my Pajamas..
with my three kids!
They are anticipating with excitement
their first time seeing 'the ball drop'..
I am sure they will be hopelessly dissapointed!:)
however, we will do fireworks,
and have a grape juice toast at midnight...
and something yummy for dinner!

I can't prepare for This new years eve,
without thinking back to the start of 2009.
to be honest I was in such a broken place
I cannot recall last new years all!
BUT, I do remember .....
I was filled with fear!
fear of the marriage I had run from,
fear of the future,
fear as I faced providing for my children,
fear as I faced finding a job for the first time in 12 years,
fear as I faced the 'what will people think' of a SECOND divorce,
fear as I had no home, where would I go?
The whole future was a dark , empty page.

Now as I look back on 2009
I can honestly say;
it has been one of the longest years of my life..
a lifetime seemed to pass in a year!
and yet,
the marriage ended...and I was OK!
the future arrived..and I was OK!
I am providing for my children..and we are OK!
I found a job I love..and I am OK!
People have accepted me, not judged me...and I am OK!
I have a place to live... My children and I and our mini-zoo are OK!!

The future was dark..
and yet as I look back on this year
there is more light then darkness.
The pages are no longer empty, they are full..
and what they say is ;
Life is hard in moments..
and soft in others!
Love hurts us to the core,
but it also saves us like nothing else can.
fear is real..
but fear can be overcome.
I am stronger and healthier because of all that happened in 2009!
I am ready to face 2010..
and it does not look dark and empty..
it is bright and welcoming,
just wait..what a year this shall be!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

life is too short....

I have a friend...
she is young..
she is a mom...
she is crafty..
she is organized...
she is the polar opposite of me...

and she is dying.
she probably has days left!

When I first got to know her,
it seemed so unlikely we would hit it off,
I was the 'leader' of the ladies group..
she was the one who seemed to do it all and know how to get it all done..
and she did it well.
I liked her! A LOT!
I learnt so much from watching her..
and also learnt that I would never be like her...
she made her own christmas cards,
threw beautiful tea parties...
was creative in ways I could never even pretend to be..
she was something else!

Then she found out she had cancer..
she battled it for SIX years!
She raised her little ones
from preschoolers
to elementary students..
she poured into them.
She volunteered at their school
and spent time with them..
and went to treatment..
and NEVER said how scared she was!
She is the bravest person I believe I have ever known!

and now,
she fights with little strength,
and seems ready to let go!
and yet,
in those she leaves behind,
her legacy will live on!
We have all been reminded how special
rare friends are...
how short life is..
that each moment is a gift not a guarantee...
and we will not forget,
because she is and always will be unforgettable!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

its complicated..really!

saw a great movie tonight..
it was really funny!
and I think it would have been funny
even if I could not relate..
but I could..
and that made it all the funnier!
the premise is too ex spouses having an affair,
while I cannot relate to that part,
the movie portrayed so well,
the history shared
and the complicated emotions surrounding
the relationship with someone you spent so much of your lifetime with...

My ex and I can chat about life like old friends...
its complicated!
My ex and I can seethe with anger towards each other over something
in the present
that reminds us of the past...
its complicated!
My ex and I exchange Christmas gifts every year
not from the kids
from each other,
not intimate at all
but personal.
for me chocolate or coffee, for him pictures of the kids...
its complicated!
My ex and I know each other better then we want to,
and often more then we would like too...
its complicated!
My ex and I know we would not want to be together,
but know we do not want the other to come to harm or hurt..
its complicated!
My ex and I have three children that we love, sometimes agree on, sometimes don't..
its complicated!

The emotions are complicated!
the feelings are complicated!
But, the reality is simple!
You can like each other even when you sometimes don't!
You can be friends in the midst of less then ideal circumstances!
You can move on and yet still share your children!
You can be bigger then the past!
You can find a new 'you' and 'him' and become better for it!
It will take time..
it will happen...
and its all worth it!

And this movie will make you laugh, cry and think!
and thats a hit with me!:)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Upside of divorce...

after a wonderful christmas morning..
when the presents were opened..
breakfast eaten...
wrapping paper thrown away...
my children were anticipating their dad
picking them up
for round two!
My middle child said
that she actually likes that she has two families,
that there is a good side to a divorce...
YES! the two christmas's!
I was so torn when she said it..
on the one hand
I am glad that hurt is no longer raw..
the new memories have overpowered old..
and that the silver lining evident.
On the other hand
I want to issue a warning..
something like
"don't try this at home.." or "leave this to the professionals"..
because the double holiday does not erase the lifetime
of potential hang ups and scars...
so much flashed through my mind,
but, I smiled and said " I know, how fun!"
They lived it..they know! they need no reminders...
and yes,there are upsides..
and the pain fades..
and this year I realized that Christmas was OK alone..
actually better then OK!
I have learnt that I will heal 'situationaly'
and some things cause no pain, some cause some pain and other situations cause....
just regrets, wishes, or hopes!
there is no one size fits all..
but all will pass and fade..
and each moment in time brings new hope and healing
and a healthier tomorrow!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

seems anticipation trumps the actual event...

and thats a good thing!
I was dreading Christmas eve...
and yet...
so much time has passed...
and truly
time heals..
altho sometimes you don't know you are OK;
until you get through the event,
that left you wondering JUST how OK you would be...
tonight when the kids went to bed...
I put on a movie..
I lit a fire...
and I went all GIRLY!
something I don't do often..
I gave myself a pedicure...
a face mask (should happen WAY more often LOL!)
I ate chips and salsa...
and wrote about the year past in a journal..
and now, as the house is quiet
and kids are sleeping..
and 'Santa' starts to put the presents under the tree..
I realize
that quite to my amazement
I am having a GREAT night..
I am happy...
I am at peace..
and in this instant..
in this memory,
I have moved through
and on...
Merry Christmas to all...
and to all a GREAT night!

need ideas...

so its Christmas eve..
some of this days traditions will be easy to 'duplicate'..
and some of tonight will bring me to places and memories
that will hurt...
I would love to replace them..
but with what?

my family has always had a Christmas party for Jesus;
Christmas eve,
I have been doing this with my children since they were babies...
we always give Jesus a gift!
(sometimes a character we will work on, sometimes a commitment we will keep..)
This we will continue..
we go to church..
again, easy to do!
The kids open gifts from each other..
and the 'elves' leave new pajamas under the tree..
all fun traditions that won't change..
then they head to bed excited..

and heres the void...
For the 16 years I was with my ex
Christmas eve was ours!
WE never made it to Christmas morning
with a single present left to open,
so we gave up the fight
and made it our 'tradition'.
presents and grape juice under the tree..
when the kids went to bed!
An evening I cherished for years...

first year he was gone,
I was too numb to feel anything other then the void that life brought..
second year I had remarried and was just trying to survive my circumstances...
last year
I had fled and was alone and sad...
this year..
new year...
new me..
new health..
new balance..
but still a void in the place where the memory used to be..
I hope to find something of mine to do..
something that brings me joy...
and something that starts a new tradition
in spite of the past...
still needing some inspiration
on just what that shall be!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New memory and new dynamics!

Tonight my children and I
were blessed by the chance
to go on 'the polar express!'
we happen to be one of the cities that does it!
it was a blast!

the first hurdle was getting my kids to wear PJs in public..
I, of course, wore them too!
The rest of the night was a lesson
in the changing dynamics of our family!
The kids are getting older!
so they had so much fun,
but also created their own fun!
They did not just sit on the train,
they played games of 'slap'
and told silly riddles!
My oldest went out of his way to drive his sisters crazy
and changed all the words of the Christmas carols being sung..
my youngest had some not so pretty moments
over silly things..
but out of all of them,
loved the MAGIC of Santa
and was so excited by the sleigh bell she was given...
As I sat back and watched them
I saw them as they are..
young people,
(no longer babies
or small children...)
with hurts and hangups..
and grace and compassion...
and their own ways of facing the world!
Its tough sometimes as a mom alone..
my voice is not deep or threatening...
I am smaller then my son...
and so my 'authority' is not always as easily exerted..
but I see the rhythm my family is finding..
and I am getting,
that while It may not look like I thought it might..
from where I sat tonight,
it looked pretty good!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

something big....

Tonight I finished up something big..
and it was big in so many ways..
I participated in our church dinner theater...
a good sized church..
five shows..
packed out...
but thats not what was so big..

many years ago my first husband and I
started doing this together...
the year he left
I did it alone..
and felt his absence..
then I remarried,
and knew days of drama and dinner theater were over,
he would never stand for me being out of his sight
with other men..(GASP)..
and so I reluctantly said good bye in my heart,
to this outlet I enjoy!

so here I am..
relationship one and two over,
the first a part of this..
the second the reason I could not be involved..

and I am back doing something I enjoy
and this time alone!
Thats big!

BUT even bigger,
is that tonight
my first husband and his girlfriend
came with our kids
(his and mine)
to watch..
and it was harder then I thought..
but I got through it!
I had a lump in my throat all night..
but spoke through it
and managed in spite of it!
why the lump? I am not sure!
BUT, I believe its based on what was..
and what was lost..
and the loneliness I sometimes feel now..
the end of the shows, feeling the excitement
and then going home alone with no-one to tell..
the memories of years past
doing this exact same thing..
with someone I loved..

however, in all this,
I did something I enjoyed!
I managed it while caring for my children
and working my full time job..
the house..well, that was let go:)..
but, the rest did OK!
I invited my ex and his love into my 'safe' place
my church..
and I made it through!
and I met new, wonderful people!

and was reminded that I am so much more
then the heartbreak and brokenness,
there is so much hope and life ahead,
there are new challenges and experiences..
and possibly one day,
there will be someone
that I will be able to share these things with..
and until then
I am learning to face the loneliness
and know that it shall pass,
and the experience is so much greater then the moments of hurt
that surround it!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

reprise on ugly word...

as I thought and rethought
and 'listened'
to a wise person..
I realized that,
the 'we' that hurts
is not the 'we' that represents the couple..
it is the 'we' that represents the other family!
It is the 'we' as would be in
'her mother and I'...
and thats the 'we' that hurts!
when you realize
that another 'couple' are invested
and have a thought and opinion
on your children..
and half of that other couple
was not someone you chose..
or loved..
or committed yourself and lifetime too..
and yes, this goes both ways!!
I fell in love once with another..
and hope to one day again!
its the reality of a divorce..
but it is one of the realities that is hardest to swallow..
because long after you fall out of love with your ex..
you are still daily falling in love with your children,
so sharing them..
hearing from another
whose 'we' can change the direction
is a battle that will be faced and faced again!

Friday, December 18, 2009

ugliest word when you are divorced..

I am learning there is a word
post heartbreak;
that is uglier then a four letter word..
that word is WE!
and it is said by your ex
and does NOT refer to him and you!


'we' were wondering..
'we' were thinking..
'we' have an issue..
'we' would like....
blah blah blah blah blah...

Its not that I am surprised...
hes been with the gal a long while..
but always without true commitment.
living together on and off..
but he was HE
she was she..
he left me as he did not want to be committed!
So whats the 'we' stuff?????
I know that if they marry there will be more of it,
so I guess this is the initiation..
but for whatever reason,
hearing a sentence
beginning with 'we'
from the person you once believed
was your forever...
is just,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 ouch!

my daughter comes home today..
she said they are making presents for their families in school!
"But, its so hard" she says...
"whats hard honey??"
"well..who to give it to? you or papa?"
does he take out their baby stuff and cry over the memories?
has he been carrying a container filled with their art projects since birth?
did he ..ummm.. birth them??
but , he IS their dad!
and it sad for them!!
and they love us both the same..
and I get that!!

I have decided against waving my hand in the air
"pick me!pick me!"..

instead I wrote the school principal..
I suggested that in the age of broken families
and blended homes..
maybe children should have the opportunity to create gifts
for both families
rather then choosing between them..

and somehow
I will find a way to help them with their choice,
maybe help them 'make ' a second similar gift..
or suggest that this year they give them to their dad..
as much as their hand made things matter..
their handle with care hearts matter more!
so my role is to swallow the lump
and help my children
deal with the cards they did not ask to be dealt!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the parts that stick.....

I wonder about letting go..
I feel that I have..
and yet I realize that its not complete..
I have let go of my hope of reconciliation..
in fact I have accepted this is better!
But, what I have not let go of yet,
is the lack of understanding as to why this is better??

When I imagine what a divorce does..
I see it this way!
When you marry
its like a blue sheet of paper being glued right on top
of a pink sheet of paper..
during your marriage the glue dries
and you are two sides of one sheet..
one side blue, one side pink,
Then you divorce,
you rip the sheets of paper apart,
but you cannot make a clean break.
The blue sheet has little pieces of pink paper remaining on it,.
the pink sheet has little blue bits of paper remaining on it...
eventually each sheet absorbs the foreign 'paper'
and you can no longer tell whats pink and whats blue..
but what you know is that neither sheet of paper will ever look like it did before...

and so, after 16 years together..
some of the pieces are still there.
and sometimes I wonder
at what it should have been!
NOT at what it was or what it is now..
but what was meant instead..

BUT, where that leads me
is not to the past..
but to the future..
is it possible
that what was meant to be is still out there?
that fairy tales exist?
or at the very least
a relationship of equals..
where love is paired with like..
where respect is paired with desire.
where commonalities are paired with differences.
where hurt is paired with grace.
where forever is a real possibility???......

the pieces still left remind me of what was not..
and what maybe one day shall be!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

when will I not find it surprising??

three years ago my children s father left..
and he is still happy!
I think deep down I always believed that one day
he would miss me...
I gave him my all..
loved him completely..
it took me a while to grasp
that I was not what he wanted..
my love was not the love he desired...
neither one of us have wanted a reconciliation
in three years..
for me the reason is simple...
he hurt me deeply.
I cannot be hurt like that, by him again..
I do not believe that my heart could withstand it...
We both fell out of love in the process of dismantling our lives..
and yet,
still three years later...
when I see evidence of his new life..
his carefree, stay out late, party if you want to..
I am surprised...
how is that what he wanted more then what we had?
I still wonder how its enough..
and I still find myself fighting tears
when I drive away
from dropping my kids..
my hurt is not the person,
it is the rejection of what we had,
and the choice made instead!
Certainly, it has lessened in time,
but I wonder will it ever sink in?
will I ever not be surprised
that he has found happiness in a life so different..
from the life we lived??

Friday, December 11, 2009

What I LOVE about fridays...

so many things...

Friday is normally a good day at work...
its art day for my little kiddos...
my own children are relaxed as it is dress down day at their school..
so Friday starts well...

When I leave work on a Friday
I walk out the doors take a deep breath
and the relief I feel STILL is huge!
For 13 plus months I carried a feeling
of having to answer at all moments to another..
I carried the weight of an obsessive relationship...
when I walk away from my day job
and head to my home
it is with lightness and relief!
The gratefulness I feel at no longer living in daily volatility
and walking on eggshells,
so deep...
I feel that most on Fridays..

then there is my Fridays with the kids..
tonight being one..
we watch movies, get take out, light a fire, drink hot chocolate..
there is no more perfect place for me to be...
and of course,
there are the Fridays with out the kids..
and funnily,
the routine is often the same.,
my favorite thing is renting a movie,
getting Thai food
lighting a fire..
and enjoying my Friday alone...

and lastly I love
that Friday when the kids are in bed..
I feel the freedom to let all the chores be,
I know that Saturdays coming..
so the dishes can wait,
the laundry can sit,
the dust can collect..
and for tonight
I relax...
and read...
and enjoy the fire..
and love that its Friday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

time for me??

there really always is time for me.
Sometimes something is left undone..
and sometimes something is deemed
just not that important,...
but I have found that I can find those moments
in my day...
on my 30 minute break
I chat with my best friend...
or read in a comfy chair..
or stare into space,..
or pray!
At night,
sometimes I watch a 30 minute show..
sometimes I blog..
sometimes I exercise...
but always something!
I used to measure time to myself by quantity,
I have learnt that sometimes its in stolen moments.
Always, I build time in to read until I fall asleep,
sometimes thats 10 minutes
sometimes an hour..
but its all mine...
this season I am doing something BIG for me..
I am acting in my church's dinner theater!
While doing dinner theater is not new...
it is the first time since being on my own
that I have done this..
the kids come watch the practice and enjoy..
dishes pile up a bit..
laundry is a bit behind...
but, I am having a blast!
NOT at the compromise of anyone or anything..
I need make no apology...
I am learning
that I am mom, and daughter, and sister and friend and employee...
and in all that, best not forget thatI am also me!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

tis the season to be busy....

really,I cannot believe that we are more then one week into December!
I am learning some important truths
about being a 'work outside of the home' mom, this season.
Because there is alot of fun things to do
sometimes weekend 'housework' gets pushed aside!
Here is the problem..
if you are gone ALL day..
and there are functions at night...
well, you don't get to catch up!
however, the functions are seasonal
and this Christmas will be extra sweet...
so what if we don't have any clean clothes to wear..
and the bathroom needs a serious makeover..
it will all still be there in January!
It might be a bit scary..
but it will be there none the less!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merry Christmas to all....

I have decided to take blogging to a new level. I will be skipping Christmas letters and emailing my blog instead! In truth this is actually good for me, as it has been 3 years since I so much as mailed a Christmas card!
This is better!
So, where to start...
A Christmas letter would normally cover all that happened this year!
so much to say...
so I will start with the kids! Thats traditional right?? :)

My kids are amazing!
All are excelling in school. All are involved in things they enjoy! Tristan is loving Boy scouts! And all three enjoy theater! They have over come all the challenges thrown at them this year, and the year before and the year before that.... and have shown grace under pressure and character through adversity! Tristan plans on being a black smith when he grows us, however, if that falls through he will fall back on mechanical engineering!! seriously!! :) Shyla wants to be a teacher! She will be a great one! And Brenna, yes...of course... a Rock star! She is the Diva in training and takes her role very seriously!:)

I have had a great year! The kids and I moved in May to a little home
with a big yard! My favorite feature is the fireplace and we use it constantly! I am working as a preschool teacher and loving it. I love my church and love my friends. I see my parents and family quite often and could not ask for anything else in life!

our 4 legged friends. This letter would not be complete
without the other family members in our lives!
So, in no particular order... We have 2 dogs. Theodore, a yorkie, and Simba a Golden retriver! neither listen AT ALL. But , both bring us great joy! We have 3 inside cats, Skipper, Gilligan and Stellaluna. Then there is Boet-Boet the African tortoise, and Sofeara the water dragon, Fireball the bearded dragon and lastly, Patroum the rabbit! Phew... no wonder people think I am nuts! Ha ha!

Our home is full...Our lives children have refound their laughter and I have found my smile..not the one you paste on, but the one that touches your soul.
This Christmas brings new memories and takes me back to old ones. It is a season of learning and pressing through, but also a season of new hope, new blessing, new purpose and above all a renewed faith in the one who has carried us through the storm, loved us through the pain and provided for us in the midst of the drought! God has shown himself in all his glory and this Christmas we celebrate his love and his faithfulness.
Merry Christmas
Debbie and kiddos!