Sunday, January 17, 2010

I woke up this morning thinking of my Nana and Pop-Pop and how many years they were married. Both are gone now, but I remember asking Nana how she and Pop-Pop met, what they did on their dates, how long they were engaged and what their early married life was like. My oldest child was six months old at that time, I was 23 and began to see my Nana as a woman—not just a grandmother. I realize now the legacy of love that they both left for me.

When my grandmother was dying, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with her. She’d kept the love letters my grandfather had written to her and she let me read them while I was sitting with her. I was in awe of the love my grandfather had for her and the fact that he was able to express it in writing. Every single letter I read touched me. He’d begin all of his letters with “My beloved Mary.” I left that visit with a new respect for my grandfather, who had passed almost 15 years prior and a deeper understanding of their marriage.

One of the things (and there are many) I hate about divorce is that, if there are children involved, those conversations are not likely to take place. If you’re divorced, your children only see the “during” and the “after” and, you know what that looks like. And if you’ve remarried (we both have) it seems almost weird to talk about what you used to feel.

The truth is, at some point the two of us were in love and we had dreams for our marriage and our future family. I’ve realized I’ve never told my children about how much love and fun their dad and I had together. Yes, there was pain, too, but what relationship doesn’t have that? He was so different from my own father who left us when I was 10. Their dad knew who he was, what he stood for and what he wanted. I knew that I could count on his honesty and his integrity and that because of those things, I could always count on him to be who he was. Somewhere along the way, though, communication between us stopped. I didn’t value what I wanted and needed enough to stand up for myself and went silent. And, that doesn’t mean he was a bully—he just knew what he wanted and if I wasn’t going to speak up, it wasn’t his fault, right? So, here we are today, both of us remarried with children who don’t know the love they came from.

Time to change that! I want my children’s children to wake up one day thinking about their Nana and how they admired her and saw her not only as a grandmother but, also as a woman—a woman who loved deeply and was deeply loved.

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