I can’t start today’s Grateful Sunday without being grateful for the mother of my two beautiful daughters. I have never regretted my choice when I asked her to be my wife and the future mother of my children. I knew from the start that she was the one I wanted to raise my kids. Out of all the women I had dated before, I never felt so deeply, in my soul, the desire that this person was the one I wanted to parent with. This was also confirmed today when I read the gratitude my youngest daughter posted about her mom on Instagram. Today is Her day.
The other night, when my wife was dealing with our older daughter, my younger daughter told me, “Mom’s in her calm mood. I like Mom when she’s like this. She handles conflict well.”
In many ways, my wife has modeled the type of parent I have strived to become. I had always been reactive (well, still can be), not regulating my emotions well, and using shame and guilt as my methods of discipline (this is what I was raised with). For many years, when my wife would catch me parenting in an unhealthy way, I internalized her critique that I couldn’t do anything right and became defensive. These past few years, I’ve been able to change my story and view her comments more as constructive criticism. Stepping away from that belief, I’m now able to hold better boundaries as a father, ground myself faster, and parent from a healthier place. I have my wife to thank for that.
And since it’s Mother’s Day, I think I’ll add the Grateful Sunday I posted last year. Can’t say it more eloquently than that.
I’m grateful that this week I finally stepped outside my comfort zone instead of just talking about it. I’ve resisted divorce for so long, waiting for my wife to take the steps that needs to be done to finalize it. I’ve held back because of my own fears and my own self interests. My wife has expressed that the divorce is something she’s needed for years, a way to allow her to heal from staying with someone who went against her morals and values. I’ve been in fantasy and denial believing our friendship would be enough to salvage our marriage. Three years ago, I told my EMDR therapist “I can’t let go.” She responded, “there’s a difference between can’t and won’t. You can let go, but you won’t let go.” Two years ago my EMDR therapist screamed at me “You can’t have hope and grieve at the same time”. A year ago, my therapist told me I needed to step out of the boat. The day I had that session, my wife admitted that was something she needed.
And, here it’s been, a year later, and I still haven’t granted her that one wish. Well, until this past week.
I’m grateful we met with our realtor to talk about what needs to be done to our house so we can put it on the market. I’m grateful we started taking the steps he suggested. Using a pressure washer is really awesome! I’m grateful my roommates are on board to help out with prepping the house and are planning to look at other homes so we can rent together.
I’m grateful my wife and I were able to schedule two dates in June to meet with our mediator and counselor to discuss what we need to do to finalize the divorce. My goal is to have it finished by the end of June. I’m grateful that my wife’s new schedule allows her day shifts and weekends off. What a blessing God has giving her!
I’m grateful that I’m able to grieve the loss of our marriage, rather than dwelling in the destructive beliefs of rejection and abandonment that has kept me stuck in pain for so many years. I’m grateful that instead of seeing a future of loss and shattered dreams, I see a future of hope and infinite possibilities. As I near half a century on this planet this year, I’m grateful I see that my world is only just beginning.
I’m grateful two good friends and my wife came over to join my daughters, my roommates, and I for cupcakes and beer pairing. What a fun evening we had! The Lemon Cupcake was paired with a sour beer, while my daughters paired it with a Bellini Mocktail. We paired a Porter with a Chocolate Cupcake. And a Samoa (coconut – yes like the girl scout cookie) Cupcake with a Pale Ale. We need to do more evenings like this. Once life settles down (with selling the house, the move, and the divorce), we’ll do more entertaining at our place.
I’m grateful I tried my hand at song writing. Who knows where it will go, however it was a healing process. I’m also grateful for my brother-in-law’s incredible BBQ. He always cooks the best food. A wonderful way to end Mother’s day, with family, and this time, real Peach Bellini’s – YUM!
Of course, this week’s childhood grateful is about my Mom.
My mom was one of the most caring, gentle woman I have ever known. She had a heart of gold, giving her time and creative energy to others. She loved crafts and all her Christmas gifts and birthday gifts were something she made by hand. She went extra far for friends and extended family when they were newly married or if they had a newborn. In fact, newlyweds got a themed monthly gift for the entire year.
My mom may not have been as comfortable with physical connection and yet, I always knew she loved me immensely. While she was not the outgoing type, more timid and shy around others, people still thought highly about her. She had an inner strength that was displayed in her work ethics and dedication to her job. She was told by her father that she couldn’t be a dental hygienist because a woman’s place is a secretary, and yet, she was the office manager working the books and managing the staff at the dental offices she worked for.
My mother had a lot to offer the world and was gone way before her time. I would have loved to see who she could have become as I’ve gone through recovery. I wish she was here as I struggled with my divorce because she would have given me the love, nurturing, and understanding I have needed during these incredibly hard years. She would have grown and changed with me. I do miss my mother. And I wish her the best Mother’s Day. Today, I pray, she will paint me one of her amazing sunsets.