Happy birthday, Dr T

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.

DSCN9200Despite our big feet we proved, we can still walk on water.

Acknowledging this, is my gift to you.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

 

Till death do us part

via Daily Prompt: Betrayed

I’ve been reflecting on the word ‘betrayed’ overnight.  Initially, I thought it was the perfect word to vent but this morning I waited patiently for dawn before writing.  It arrived as expected, in the sky, and in me.

There’s a predictability to life around me when I’m home.  The currawongs, the kookaburras, the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of larger birds above as they fly to the lake.  The excited screeching rainbow lorikeets, flying this way and that way.  The cooing of the pair of doves that have a home in the back yard.  The sweet fluted call of the willie wagtail.  If I concentrated, the mild hum of the freeway in the far distance, before the sound of fridge took over.  I allowed each to grab my attention, intermittently.  Alone in the quiet of a big home, I did not feel betrayed, not even a hint of rancour.  I realised how blessed I am for acknowledging I had the strength to go where the journey took me.

‘Till death do us part’, is part of the wedding vows, taken literally and certainly one I was raised with but came to realise, sometimes, one ‘dies’ while still breathing and for some, that’s when the love story comes to an end.  Who ‘dies’ first is irrelevant but having the courage to move on, is.

A colleague recently mentioned, although there is sadness that my marriage ended, I have never spoken about my children’s father, with acrimony.  Perhaps, this is why they have such a good relationship with him.  I would have to agree.  I now see their father through their eyes that have been untainted by mine.  They see him as he is.  Unplugged.  They see the good in him, his humour, and still laugh and groan at his ‘dad jokes’.  I can laugh with them too, his humour, his strength and attraction.  It helps to keep the affection of early years remain warm as embers.  They are careful with their words.  They know he is sensitive, and that this is not always a strength in people.  I observe how they navigate their relationship with him.  They are more skilled at this than I but in those moments when they are less skillful, I step in and set boundaries on what can be said and when.  I do this because I have a deep sense of gratitude towards him, that runs deeper than any disappointment I may feel about what we had, and didn’t.  Together, we had children we are proud of, and it is on this common ground we have made our peace.

I’ve worked hard to practice the philosophy, what is meant to be, will be.  This commitment to healing helps others too.  The most consistent feedback I receive from people, is that I have helped them see things differently.  Baggage checked, they are free to move on.  I know I did and found …

DSCN0300The greenest growth is at the point of pruning.DSCN0998Solitary can be a powerful statement.DSCN1425I no longer look for permanence.  Transience is appealing to me.  What ebbs and flows, like the breath of life, is a gift.  We see this in tides, sometimes shells, sometimes, a forest of boab trees in the sand.  DSCN1347I also know a  boab tree is strong, and will wait like a friend, withstanding tide and time.DSCN1719At my leisure I read sea stories of ancient times, carved in stone.DSCN1705I’ve learned lessons from migratory birds in flight.  And, like them, I now travel light.DSCN1767Cauterised, I now watch the tide soothe ruffled edges, as the pindan cliffs bleed into the sea.DSCN1334My eyes scan roadside for three eyed monsters.  They help reconnect to the child in me.DSCN0647A red eye, is a ruby.DSCN1072A ball of ruffled vivid feathers is gorgeous, but …DSCN1251A single white feather, is peace.

May your Easter be one of renewal and hope.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird