At a very young age my brother, sister, and I went through the divorce of our mother and father. My father basically abandoned us. I didn’t see him for about two years after the divorce. I remember most of it and it was very tough times for us all. I am the oldest of three, so generally I took on the role “the man of the house”. At the age of eight, I had absolutely no clue what to do; I just wanted to be there for them. We lived in the country, which allowed my brother and I to find many things to do and take our minds of what was going on at home. My mother was and still is a nurse, inevitably working a lot more then to support her family. I really do not know how my mother found the strength, courage, and perseverance to perform this job alone, but she did, and did it well.
We started to go to church a lot more often than in the past. I became more involved with church as well as the whole family did. My mom was very close with our pastor, Sue, and us kids became closer with her too. My mom found solace and strength in the church. I actually began to like church and found myself looking forward to Sundays. The sermons, the stories, and experiences I had in church began to change my way of thinking and how I related and dealt with my own problems. It created a balance for me, something I was missing at home. The church activities, fundraisers, chicken Q’s, and a multitude of other things I was involved with allowed me to take my mind off of everything. It was almost like a new family for me and my family. I know, besides my siblings and I, church and friends is what allowed my mother to get passed this devastating hardship.
As the months and eventually years passed my mother started dating again. I hated it and started to rebel against any man that wasn’t my father, until we met Roger. My mom had known him for a while and they started to date. One thing led to another and they got married. They have been married for almost twenty years now. They have created a life together. Roger became my father and I his son. He taught me how to be a man. He taught me of life. My parents helped us mature and grow up. The major thing Roger taught us was the importance of education. My brother, sister and I are in college and my brother just graduated.
About a month ago my mother took my brother, sister and I out to lunch and dropped a bomb on us. She said that Roger, my dad, and her where getting a divorce. I felt like I got hit with a ton of bricks. The feeling was mutual among us all. There were a lot of questions with out many answers. I felt lost and feel lost now. I thought, and was told growing up, that marriage is forever. I believe marriage is a bond between two people for better of for worse, something that does not fatigue or get old. I thought of commitment and I was let down, again. I don’t understand why people make commitments and break them. I do not think commitment is related to convenience. I know now that when I decide to get married it will be forever. I still do not know what to say to either of them. I wrote my mother a letter explaining to her what I could not tell her in person.
I know I have not been the greatest son in the world. I have made many mistakes. However, I feel I have learned from most of them. I know that I have been short with you the past few times we’ve been together, I apologize. I just don’t understand what is going on with you and dad. Whenever Jamie and I have asked, both you and Jocelyn about the situation, neither of us are given a straight answer. Maybe you feel it is none of our business, but we believe it is, and an answer would greatly help us to understand. I want you to know that I love you very much with all my heart! I know and appreciate all the times that you have been there for me. But, maybe it’s time to be there for someone else.
Roger took us all in when we were very small, unaware of what this world had to offer. Roger showed, sheltered, explained, and taught us about this world and a few things we probably didn’t need to know. He has taught me, in my slow and agonizing way of proving, but getting there, how to be a man. He has explained, affectionately (in a Roger way), how to deal with the best and worst of situations, with people, and with myself. He has taught us of consequences, taught us of a true work ethic, that he is very fast for a fat man, where to look for I don’t know and it wasn’t me, when we have a family of our own, and of course, that he was, yes, self-appointed, with a little help from you, our Father, “the King.” Jamie, Jocelyn and I probably fought, kicked and screamed, deliberately tried to sabotage Roger’s true virtues of life; honor, integrity, morality, decency, generosity and honesty, in which he tried his damndest, to instill in all of us. All of which has made me the person I am today. He has been the only true father figure to us all. The only disappointing truth to all of which I have mentioned is it took me so damn long to say, not just to you, but to him as well. Don’t get me wrong I love my real dad, just in a different way than I love Roger. Mother, I do not look past the fact you were a part of this, all the way. Why do you think Jamie and I are so upset?
You can’t take for granted and look past the times, the years; you’ve both spent together, for some sort of mid-life crisis dilemma. People have bumps and detours along the road of life. It makes the drive worth taking. It’s where you end up not where you’ve been, how bad the drive was, and who’s fault it was for not stopping to ask for directions. Mom, not to sound like a cliché, but life isn’t easy, you have to make the best of it, and with the person you committed yourself to, on your journey. That is who, I believe, succeed in life. Not the people that race to the finish line, or why they even presume life is a race or why you have to win or finish, but the people who love, forgive, trust, laugh, help and believe in each other along the way. And I never, in a million years, thought both of you would take the easy way out. It saddens me deeply, how things are going and believe that maybe, you both, behave a little hastily sometimes.
I’m sorry but, one of the most significant life lessons I have learned, from both of you, throughout my life is; do not get married out of foolishness, haste, or convenience, wait for the one you can stick it out with. And if the position of life have reversed; remember all the sacrifices, all the dedication, and devotion someone has given to you and return it. That is integrity, which you taught us.
I am older now and have experienced some long term relationships. I know how difficult it is to make them work. I think my generation knows the statistics of divorce and are more apt to wait for the right person. I hope my experience will help you decide to wait for the right time and person for marriage. I don’t think people should give up and believe it is all right to quit. Sometimes people have to work at making things right.
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