Okay, it’s not stormy. But it sure is dark and damp—the heavens really opened up this afternoon and dumped on us. Swell last day of school for the kids. But it’s a good day for deep thoughts.
I’m not the critic of Facebook that so many are. I find gems there, sometimes buried deep in the hate and profanity—you have to look for them. Today I read a moving tribute to her first marriage written by a woman twenty-eight years after the end of the marriage. She cited all the good things that marriage had done for her—given her four beautiful children, shaped her into the person she is today, with memories of good times and good experiences. Good for her—I’m afraid I didn’t see that until my ex died and it was too late to tell him. But I remember writing a blog about not being the person I am without my years with him—he brought me to Texas, encouraged me to get a Ph.D. while he did a residency, encouraged me in the outrageous idea that I wanted to be a writer. And oh yes, four wonderful children and today seven grandchildren. I hope in our years together I did as much for him, though I’m not sure.
I carried anger around with me for too long. After all, how could he say, “I’ve taken care of others long enough. Now it’s time to take care of me” when we had four children, ages twelve to six. How could he carry on an affair with one of my friends so openly that everyone knew but me. I didn’t want to be in the same room with this man that I had once loved so much that I defied my parents to marry him.
Time heals…and mellows I guess. There came to be many times when certain things came up—locally, in the news, among our friends—that I really wanted to talk to him about. When I once told him that, he said, “I wish you had called.” Maybe I was the one who was being stubborn—certainly I hadn’t been blameless in the marriage.
We parted ways because he wanted a new lifestyle—like the hippies of long-ago Haight-Asbury. But more than that I think we parted ways because we had grown in different directions, had nothing in common, and he’d found passion in another bed.
Several weeks ago I read the statement that when someone disappears from your life, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It just means their part of your story is over. I think it’s a great way to look at “failed” marriages and lost friendships. The Lord puts people in our lives for his own deliberate reasons. And when they move on, it means their role has finished, their part done.
Hmmm. I know one or two people I’d like to ask if they don’t think their part in my story is done, and it’s time to move on.