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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I've been thinking about this post
for a few days now.

And before I go any further,
no, it isn't Rob and I getting divorced.

Early Sunday morning,
I was at church for a meeting.

We haven't been attending church very often lately
so I was surprised and pleased to see an old friend
passing through in the hall.

T, as I'll call her, and I have been the kind of friends
that fade in and out of each other's lives.

We were in the Mom's Group at my church together
and had our youngest children at the same time.
At another point, our youngest children attended preschool
in the same building, so we would see each other daily at drop off.
Now and then, we would see each other at church
and do a quick catch up, always with a great deal of pleasure.

So, when I saw her on Sunday,
I was quick to embrace her in a big bear hug
and exclaimed how glad I was to see her
and how was she?

"Thanks for that hug," she said.
"I needed that.
My husband and I are separating after the holidays.
I don't want to but he does.
He wants me to move out in January."

I quickly moved to hug her again.

"I'm so sorry," I said.

We talked a few minutes more
and then after I left church I stopped by the Hallmark store
and picked up a card and mailed it out to her.

But since then, my heart has been so heavy.

I am sad for her, of course.
No one goes into a marriage expecting it to fail.

But more so, I am just heartbroken for their four children,
who range in age from the latter half of high school
to age 5.

Life won't ever be the same for them again.

It isn't easy being the child of divorced parents.
I don't think there are that many moments
after that kind of change when you don't feel
sadness at family gatherings,
at graduations and celebrations and births.

I think you always feel a bit like the wishbone
of a turkey,
being pulled a little bit this way and that way,
trying to keep the pressure equal so that no part get slighted
or brittle or broken.

Then there is answering the questions of your children,
in my case,
who have trouble wrapping their minds around the fact
that my mother and father USED to live together
but ultimately no longer got along and had to live apart.
I think they wonder if our relationship will follow that same path.

I certainly hope not.
But as a child of divorce, I also know there are no guarantees.

I know this holiday season will be a stressful one for those four kids,
who will feel the imminent separation weighing on them
like a three ton weight.
Who will feel pulled between two adults
to try to keep the peace
and who will try not to take sides or show partiality
in the midst of tension so thick
it envelopes you like a fog.

My heart just breaks.


Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Leeann, this is a very powerful post. I'm sorry for your friend. I'm a child of divorce too, but as my parents divorced when I was only 2, and my "dad" basically ignored us, I don't think it had much of an impact on me. My mom remarried quickly after and he IS my dad. But I can only imagine how traumatic it must be to have to be stuck in the middle. I feel that way sometimes between Ibrahim and my parents (and that's nothing compared) and it's horrible. I know you'll be a good friend to your friend who's going through this.

Richard Lewis said...

"I think you always feel a bit like the wishbone of a turkey, being pulled a little bit this way and that way, trying to keep the pressure equal so that no part get slighted or brittle or broken."

This is really poetic, Lee Ann. And deep. And moving. And heartfelt. I feel for your friend and hope she, and her children, see better days. I'm sure they will in time. But, wow, that's tough to divorce around the holidays.


Suzette said...

You put a voice on a pain that never goes away. I could never do that.

I think you could be a writer.

Thanks for a good cry...and I discover another (rather big) way that you and I connect, again.

besides the twin mailboxes, that is :)