Today the father of my children celebrates a special birthday. Our children and his partner had been planning a celebration for months. The children went to Bunbury for a special surprise lunch on the weekend. People from his old workplace and other friends were there too, including his oldest son and his two children. It was the first time our son met his half brother, their sister instrumental in this memorable moment. This is something I dreamed about, for the three siblings, to generate a sense of family.
My son also wanted to do something special. He told his father to memoralise the event, he thought the two of them should build a piece of furniture, so he had something he could cherish. His father came to Perth earlier this week, they built a game table from scratch. It is the second piece of furniture they have made together. Over lunch yesterday I listened to our son talk about the memory of the experience. His father is due for major surgery early next year. Our son, it would appear, has taken over the role of main support person. It made all the past hurt insignificant.
I walked away from a marriage with nothing but holding the hands of little children. Even on days of struggle, I always believed I had the better deal. My only caveat was that their father stay in their life. To his credit, he honoured this while I worked hard for them to know, they were loved by both parents.
Our son is 27. He does not remember the days when his father lived at home with us. The marriage broke down when he was under three.
It is easy to rant and rave post divorce about who gets what and why. I recall the divorce settlement where lawyers spoke for us. Incensed by their arguments, which I felt disrespected all that was before the breakdown, I walked out. I made my own choice and declined a more equitable financial settlement. Despite being a student with limited money and even less time, my thinking was guided by maternal instinct. I trusted we would survive temporary financial hardship, but long term, the gains of peace, were immeasurable.
So on this day of celebration of his life. I am thankful to my ex husband for the gift of motherhood. The gift has been an ongoing experience of learning how to forgive and how to articulate being safe and loved in family. I believe we both achieved this as parents of little children, now young adults.
To those who struggle with distress, I’d recommend a peaceful resolution. I’ve found, when we let go of pain, love takes up so much more room in the heart.
So Happy Birthday Dr T. May you live the coming years in peace, comfort and happiness in the knowledge, your children love and respect you.
Despite our big feet we proved, we can still walk on water.
Acknowledging this, is my gift to you.
Until next time
a dawn bird