To my AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL CHILDREN of whom I am so proud,
I am sorry.
I’m sorry that your father and I could not make our marriage last. I’m sorry that nine years ago at the young ages of 18 months and 4 years old I took you to a new home in a new town so that we would have the support of my parents while I looked for a job. My parents were kind enough to buy us a tiny house to rent from them so that we could “start new.” I know it was hard to be away from daddy.
I’m sorry that I had to go from being a stay-at-home mom to working long hours so that I could provide for you guys. I worked very hard so that I could buy that tiny home from Dandy & Papa Judge so that we would have it as our own. Everything I have done post-divorce has been for you.
I know you are still too young to completely get it, but I do hope that one day you see that although your father and I could not stay together, we tried to do everything in our power to make it as easy on you as it could be. I know that sounds far-reaching, but we really did. We both made you our #1 priority and we did everything in our power to work together to make sure you both knew that you would always be the center of each of our universes.
I hope that someday you do realize that although we moved away, I drove almost an hour one way to Wilson on Wednesday afternoons to meet your dad halfway between our homes so that you could spend a couple of hours having dinner with him. You guys would eat and then go play at the playground until it was time to head home. From day one, your dad was welcome in our home and I invited him to come for all important events – first day of school, birthday parties, trick-or-treating. You may not remember, but he was there. And if he wasn’t there, I would send him pictures. And you spent every other weekend with him as well.
Your dad called you every single morning and every single night from the first day of our separation. He has only missed one morning ever because he overslept on a business trip. I called his wife and his mother because I was concerned something had happened to him! So always remember that he has for over nine years now called you numerous times a day. He has never wanted you to ever equate his inability to be with you daily as an indication of his level of commitment to you.
I have worked hard to communicate with your dad so that we can both stay on top of everything that goes on in your life daily. As you know, we always have each other’s backs because as soon as I need his help with one of you guys, I know I can call your dad and he will help me. Not because he wants to help ME… but because he wants to be the best dad he can be to YOU. I would never take that away from him.
I don’t want you to ever feel like you have to choose between your dad and me. Although I know those days may happen, we have always tried to encourage you to love us both. We sit together at activities and have all eaten dinner together after basketball games – not because Joe and I are good buddies with your dad and Amy, but because we all share something very important. Our love for you both.
For nine years now I have tried to constantly remind you that we are still a family, but we just look different now. I have also tried to remind you that you are blessed with even more people now who love you immeasurably! Not only do you have mom and dad and our parents. Now you have Joe, your stepbrother and sister, and Joe’s side of the family and you have Amy and your little sister and Amy’s side of the family. These are more people who adore you and support you and want to do whatever they can to help you grow into some amazing people.
Now that you are older, your dad and I work together for you more than you are even aware. We email each other daily about one thing or another because your lives are getting busier and busier. Since we live so much closer to your dad now, we added the extra night a week for you guys to stay with dad and Amy so that you can spend more time with them. We always try to work out in our schedules anything we can for you guys – we swap and trade and add. It’s not always easy when you have as many different moving parts as we do now, but we do whatever we can for YOU.
I know divorce is a terrible thing. And when you were born and I cried while looking into your sweet innocent faces, this was not the future I would have ever dreamed or wished for you. Your father and I have worked very hard, but I do know that will never be enough. Although we tried to focus all of our energy on YOU BOTH rather than on ourselves, I am sure there were times you felt abandoned by us since we had given up on each other. Hopefully you will recognize though that even if we gave up on each other, we NEVER GAVE UP ON YOU.
Try your best to think about the good that has come out of the divorce. If your dad and I had not gotten divorced, then dad and Amy would not have gotten married. And hasn’t Amy been such a blessing in your lives? And if dad and Amy had not gotten married then you would not have your little sister. How can you question God’s plan in life when you see him make something THAT GOOD out of something bad? You also have a new step-brother and step-sister who love you and will always have your back. And Joe has been a blessing to us all. You know that God knew what he was doing when he brought Joe into our lives. Joe is such an amazing Christian leader in our home and he shows us all his love for us in every single thing he does.
We will all continue to do whatever we can to show you each and every day how much we love you. And we will do it together. As one big family. I can easily see every single one of us sitting together at graduations and weddings and births. We have already set the groundwork for that to happen. You will always be surrounded by people who love you. We are all in this together.
We all love you MORE…. I’m sorry we have put you through this, but we are working every single day to mitigate the effects. Maybe God couldn’t “fix” the mess that your dad and I made by getting a divorce, but He sure has made some good work out of the ashes.
Lovely Val. Very well stated! xxoo
Love this! Made me a little teary eyed and it makes me so happy to read that some parents who divorce work hard to make it about the children and whats best for them and not focus on the bitter part of it all. I read to many stories about how parents hate each other and it causing emotional harm to the children. Divorce or separation is hard enough as it is on the kids and I am just glad to read your post and I know that when they grow up to be adults they will look back at you and their dad and know they were loved 🙂
Valerie, your words are beautiful. I use to think my girls would have been better off if only Herb and I divorced. At least they would have had him around. Death is cruel to all. It is so right that everything is about your kids. I live for them alone. Thanks for sharing
WOW!! That’s all I can say…what a touching letter 🙂
Thank you for all of your kind feedback… my point is pretty clear I hope. I would NEVER say that my divorce has put my kids in the best circumstance, but I can unequivocally say that we are doing the best for our kids in the circumstance we are in….