This weekend was so difficult and wonderful. My life is sweetness and sorrow constantly vying for my attention. The quality of my day depends upon my willingness to see the stuff to be thankful for rather than the stuff to complain about, but sometimes its hard to choose the right one.
This weekend began with a college road trip with my oldest son. It was such fun. And yet, it was another time when I felt my single parent status acutely. There were plenty of kids with only one parent there – although all had wedding bands on. I almost switched my ring to my left hand ring finger just to fake it. It’s just so awkward having to respond to a question about my husband with, “I’m not married.” They feel awkward…I feel awkward …awkwardness abounds. But I don’t know how else to answer.
It bruised my heart to sit in the financial aid meeting knowing that all of it was my responsibility alone. Filling out forms, filing forms, figuring out scholarships, loans, grants and work-study possibilities is daunting in my already cluttered mental world. I know I’ll be fine. I’ll get it done. It’s just another burden I’d like to share with my husband, but even saying that seems ridiculous because he isn’t my husband anymore. I could say ex-husband, but I don’t want to share it with HIM…I want to share it with my husband – that guy I married 20 years ago. He doesn’t exist anymore so there is no point in going there.
The next day found us racing back to Fredericksburg for my younger son’s bridging to Boy Scouts ceremony. My ex-husband had made reservations for all 7 of us for the event. Another thing that was weird but shouldn’t have been –it’s how it should have been…should be…but it isn’t. We sat together, took pictures together and celebrated together. As a family — but not.
Later that day we attended my son’s basketball game. We again found ourselves sitting together and cheering for our son’s team. At one point, after the game, my little girls scampered ahead and my ex-husband and myself walked side by side to the end of the game huddle. I thought, “This is what it should be like.” Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want that man I was walking beside as my husband. He isn’t the man I married –not sure who he is. It’s more the idea of what it should be. We look like a big happy family but we aren’t. We are a get along despite these terrible circumstances kinda family. I don’t want to be that kinda family. Unfortunately unavoidable.
I’m not sure what to think half the time. Thankfully, we can walk side by side down the hall without tripping each other on purpose. Thankfully, we can sit together at a game and comment on our children without glaring at each other. There are many things to focus on that are heartening, but I can’t seem to get past the actual circumstances which aren’t really positive in the grand scheme of things.
So what now…make the best of it I guess. Believe that God can and will turn all this gunk into something good. Our family is a mess in many ways, but the fact that we can sit together and celebrate together is a huge blessing. Thank you Lord that you work in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please give me eyes to see opportunities to practice thankfulness even in the midst of struggle and sadness.