Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Summers Away

I've never begrudged my ex husband spending time with the kids. Something that I have firmly believed in was that they should have a relationship with their father and his family. It opens the door for Zac and Abi to realize more of their heritage. Aunts, uncles, and cousins for them to meet and have fun with.

Last Saturday we woke up at 4:00 AM in order to get to the airport in enough time to go through the necessary procedures for a 7:45 flight from Michigan to New Jersey. My kids were going away for the summer.

At first it was just a couple of weeks in the summer with their father and his family, and again another couple of weeks at Christmas. However, Mike happened. Or at least Mike didn't happen. And really, praise the Lord for it.

June 7, 2002 I broke up with him.

By June 15, I realized that the decision to get him out of my life would entail a lot of work on my part. I was still coming off of a maternity leave. My employer decided to conveniently "eliminate" my position. I was jobless, homeless, and having three babies to care for.

So...I did the best I could. Which included swallowing my pride and asking John to take the kids for an extended summer vacation...until I could get back on my feet. I was bound and determined to do it by the end of the summer.

So it was just me and Kimi. We lived with my grandmother. During the day I relentlessly looked for a job. By the end of August I was at the point of just taking anything I could get my hands on.

John, unsure of my situation offered to take the kids for the rest of the year so that they could start school uninterrupted. I was afraid that the idea of them staying in New Jersey would come up. I was hoping that it wouldn't. It scared me. Here...only months before I lost Mike to his addictions. I lost my job because I was an unmarried mother. I lost my house because I broke up with Mike...and now I may lose my two oldest children.

Actually it didn't just scare me it shook my being.

As a result of my frantic state I had two car accidents--and one unsavory incident at the local Kmart.

It was along this time that Jesus came and saved me.

He came to me in the form of a long time friend...who seeing how lost I really was decided that I needed to hear the truth instead of turning to false paths that would lead me further astray and further into my own self destruction.

After hearing the truth...I asked God to come in and taking over. It was apparent that I was unable to do it on my own...

And soon the landslide that had been my life turned into something more stable...and scary but in a comforting, exhilerating, and much different way.

I found love in this friend at the top of a roller coaster.

And soon enough I also found a job, then a place to live, and then an even better job...and more importantly my children could come back home...and I could breathe.

They started school. They made friends.

But now, since that summer I needed them to go away..., it has become a regular summer event. Their father comes for them...and they are gone for 6-7 weeks.

I tell myself that it is summer vacation for them. I tell myself that they need to see that side of the family. And I tell myself that it really isn't that long.

And all of these things are true. However, it doesn't stop the longing I feel, or the emptiness I have when they are not here.
I am reminded of that first summer when they went away, and how completely messed up and small I felt. I would have been no good to them that summer. And they needed to be some place safe.

So their going isn't just a going away. It is a reminder of what was, and how much more life is now.

But even more than that...

It is also a reminder of humility and gratitude. Because that summer I needed help. God gave this to me in the form of family, friends and it gave me a chance to realize that my joy is someone else's pain. And for every time I say hello, someone else has to say good-bye. For all the time that I do not have to miss them...I know that they are missed by someone else.

And that is a strength I do not think I could have.

Not all year long.


At 00:40, Blogger desertUndine said...

Wow. How hard is that? You are stronger than I.

I think that it is wonderful that you include their dad in their lives. It would be wonderful if more people had your attitude about divorce.

At 05:43, Anonymous JgPoet said...

I am very grateful that I do get the summer. Even more so I grateful that we can still communicate after divorce..... Thank you for all that you do all year long. It really shows in the kids.

At 10:13, Blogger AfricaBleu said...

Wow, Kassi, what a great testimony. Thank you for sharing it.

Isn't God GOOD?


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