It’s my first official night at my mom’s house, away from my kids, in the trenches of a divorce and physical separation from my family home. The home my eleven-year-old son spent ten years building memories in, and the only place my seven-year-old daughter has ever known.
This. Is. So. Hard.
Salty lukewarm liquid pours down my face uncontrollably as I sit under my daughter’s loft bed.
A sense of relief washes over me as tears soak through my pajama shirt.
I can finally let it out.
My hope for this piece is that our sons and daughters read it someday, and it helps them let go of the pain too.
1. It’s Never Your Fault — In fact, the opposite is true. You keep us engaged and working on our marriage, even when nothing else is working. If I’m brutally honest, your sweet sunny faces are the only things that bring brightness to our black days.
2. We Are So Sorry — This was never the plan. But it’s happening, and we promise tomorrow will be better than today.
3. We Promise To Do Our Best To Heal You From Heartache — Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we aren’t able to protect you from experiencing the really shitty parts of life. Sometimes our best is not enough to take away the pain. But it will get better — we promise. The hurt will slowly fade and become overshadowed by our love.
4. You Make Us Incredibly Happy (And Deserve All We Have To Give)— The ties that bind your dad and me have come undone, but our love for you will never change. We are going to come out of this healthier, happier, and new-and-improved because you are the light (and loves) of our lives, and you deserve nothing less than the best we have to give.
5. We Never Stop Missing You — Even when you’re sleeping right next to us. You are always in our thoughts, and we never stop worrying about you. If we had a nickel for every time your well-being ran through our minds, we’d be multi-billionaires.
6. We Will Always Be Here For You — Sharing you with your dad is one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to come to grips with. Splitting you down the middle and pretending like two homes are better than one is one of the deepest pains we’ve ever felt. A broken home is not what we wanted for our children. No matter what, remember that invisible string from our hearts to yours stretches beyond measure.
7. Sometimes Stuff Breaks (Or Hits The Fan) — And we can’t fix it. Our only option is to heal ourselves first and hope everything else comes out in the wash.
8. We Will Always Be Home To You—There is nothing like the soul-shaking warmth of a mother’s love. Nothing. Our arms and hearts will forever be your soft place to land. We will always be home to you, whether your dad likes it or not.
Three days after my son’s eleventh birthday, after we gobbled my fresh blueberry pie I made him upon request, I was spinning in sadness, and asking my Amazon prime account for answers. Any answers. Anything that could alleviate the pain I was feeling for hurting my kids and cutting them to their knees by divorcing their father.
I found that answer in a book called The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. (It’s incredible to me how helpful children’s books are to an adult if we were to stop our busy lives for a second and flip through them.)
The Invisible String book explains with its heartwarming illustrations how no matter where your kids are or what they’re doing, there’s an invisible string tethered from your heart to theirs. Infinitely and indefinitely.
I’m going with it. This list and that “Invisible String” is the only thing getting me through my darkest of days.
I can only hope that those two things are a source of comfort to you as well.
Thank you for your love and support. ❤
Previously published on medium
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