I am going to share a little bit of personal information about my family which is a first for me but my heart is on my sleeve and this story is worth sharing. My parents divorced when I was 5 years old after being married for 17 years and together for 20+ years; I am now 27. Our family is rather different from many divorced couples with children and I feel so blessed. My parents never went to court – they settled everything between themselves, the best they could with what they knew at the time.
And 22 years later, although everything wasn’t rainbows and sunshine at the beginning – they did a great job putting their past behind them so they could focus on what was and continues to be best for my sister and I. What was and continues to be best for us (and them as well) is that my parents have made peace with one another and have built a friendship. They have supported each other through difficult times and talk on the phone every now and again. Because of this, they come together on special occasions like the one this weekend. This weekend, we all celebrated my sister’s 30th birthday – no drama – just an amazing weekend filled with laughter and reminiscing. So this is why I say that I was given a gift and it wasn’t even my birthday. I was given the gift to have my whole family together for the first time in years, making memories I will cherish for a lifetime. I truly believe that this is the most important gift parents can give to their children.
I can only speak from the child’s perspective, and I have always known my parents were/are happier not being together and I have made peace with that a long time ago. If they are happy, then I am happy. It has enriched my life so much knowing and witnessing my parents getting along and respecting each other. I understand that this is no easy feat but every child deserves to have their happiness and well-being put paramount over the parents’ bruised ego over past turmoil. And the two-fold benefit is that the parents then have a perfect opportunity to release the negative emotions associated with the divorce/ending of the relationship because as many of us know, ‘holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.‘ I have witnessed people who carry such hatred, as though it just happened, decades after a divorce. To me that would be torture, hanging onto such strong negative emotions towards someone so long after the fact.
My heart is so filled with love to have a family that is full of unconditional love. I am truly blessed. For those of you who are reading this and are parents, if you haven’t given your child this gift – no matter how old they are – please do not hesitate any longer. Everyone benefits and it is priceless!
Thank you Mom and Dad, for the gift I will cherish for many lifetimes to come! You have shown me what forgiveness and love is all about and for that I am beyond grateful.