In 2001 I got divorced.
Helen was two and Hank was five.
That year and the year before were, without question, the most painful I have ever experienced.
This story is not a story-book-story about the joys of co-parenting and how my children’s father and I became better friends.
Nope. That’s not this story.
I felt a rage and a sorrow like none other. I threw things. I screamed. Usually when the kids were not around, but not always.
It was a tough time for everybody.
Over the years, their time with their dad got slimmer and slimmer. I’m not going to go into the details because the details don’t matter. These things just happen and because I believe in a power beyond what’s just human sponsored, at some point all that rage and sorrow just slipped away and we all let go of expectations.
I think that’s called forgiveness.
And kind of slowly and kind of abruptly, the kids and their father began re-establishing a relationship. I’m not going to go into the details of why or how it happened. The details aren’t important.
Their healing and reconciliation is. Because they give me hope. For what’s going on in the world.
Last night Hank and his dad embraced for a good three minutes.
“You’re a good man.”
I’m not going to tell you who said this to whom, because it doesn’t matter. The words were said.
Today Hank leaves for an extended trip to Japan. And then maybe it’s off to New Zealand.
I am sitting now in his apartment. It’s almost empty. He can carry everything he owns in a big duffle bag.
There’s something liberating about letting go of all that baggage.
And then of course, letting go of our children.