I’ll never forget what started the last fight.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, in this case, was a large and still dirty from the night before sauce pan. The “soaking” pan had overstayed its welcome in the sink and, to one sleep deprived family member, this was unacceptable. In all fairness the pan was not submerged so it was technically not “soaking.” This was therefore fodder for a fight that, like always, would escalate quickly and come to an obligatory halt once Dad left for work at night. The basement was where Mason and I waited for the storm and all of these storms to pass, which was indicated by an ominous door slam, or two, or three. Nothing suggested that this argument would be unlike all the others, but it was. The threats, our worst nightmare, were real this time. After fourteen years, she was really leaving him …and we were going with her.
Family counselors suggest that children of divorced spouses may blame themselves for the differences of their parents and warn that they may not feel loved anymore. This notion is bologna. We never felt more loved. In the years to come we would be told on numerous occasions to not feel responsible for their fighting or their failed marriage. I don’t feel responsible and never did- perhaps because they made it so clear to us growing up that how they felt about each other had no bearing on how they felt about us. I feel fortunate that they made it work for so long because looking back it is hard to imagine them living together let alone being married at all. They are such different people. Eleven years later I believe that the painstaking adjustment, living apart, was inevitable for our family and necessary in spite of the heartbreak.
Although our parents tried for many years they never really could “pull the wagon as a team,” but it means so much that they tried. For so long, and up until the end, they tried for us. Mason and I are lucky to share two parents who love us more than anything.
Happy Would’ve-Been-25-Years- Mom & Dad. Thanks for bringing us in.