Divorce — the collateral damage.

I’ve been divorced long enough now to be somewhat comfortable in my skin again.  I have friends and family and church and mobility and … everything I really need to be a happy, helpful member of the human race.

I don’t always accept what divorce has delivered to me on a not-so-silver platter, but I have found peace with most of it, most of the time.

I find it interesting that each time I become resigned to what is, a new form of loss washes over me.  Lately I have thought of the many acquaintances whom I no longer have contact with because I have no contact with my ex-husband.  I miss them.  Many of them were repeat overnight guests in our home and I had come to think of them as friends.  These were business associates who worked regularly with D.

Sometimes they would take D and me out to dinner, their way of paying for their lodging, I suppose.  Often we stayed in and I cooked dinner.  Some of them, I knew, seldom got home-cooked meals.  A few came to know me well enough to request a particular meal.  I always suspected they were encouraged by D when he knew they liked the same meals he did.  I was comfortable with that.

Perhaps, as cynical Maxine says in the cartoon above, these old acquaintances are better forgot.  I should sweep them up like so much shattered glass and toss them.  Forget them.  Fortunately (or not), I’m not that much of a cynic.  Well, a few of those characters were forgettable.  But some were not.

I’ve thought recently of my favorite of the lot, T the Swede.  Let me say first that he was pleasant to look at.  Now that I’ve settled that, I can tell you that it wasn’t his good looks that captured my attention.  I think D and I liked him equally.  He was kind and thoughtful.  He listened and became totally engaged in the conversation at hand.  He asked questions as if he really wanted to learn the answers.  Everyone who knew him seemed to feel the way we did about him.  He invited us to visit him and his family in Sweden.  They had a place on a lake.  I think the invitation was sincere.  I wish we had gone.

A while back, D sent me an email telling me that T had suffered a horrible skiing accident and his injuries now confine him to a wheelchair.  I keep thinking about T’s love for his wife and boys and of the tender care he bestowed upon them.  T and his wife L and their first son A spent a few days with us once when they were in the States.  We enjoyed having them.  Little A was still a baby and T was an expert parent.  As I reflect on those days long gone, I find myself hoping that T is now receiving that same unselfish love and care that he so effortlessly gave to others.

It was kind of D to update me as to T’s condition.  It tells me that he remembers how much I favored T over all the others.  He also sent me T’s email address.  I think it’s time I should send T a note.

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15 thoughts on “Divorce — the collateral damage.

  1. Hi bye2. Thanks for reading this post. I haven’t heard from you in a long time, but I think of you and wonder how you are. If you start to write again I will be here reading. I hope you’re well.

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  2. I don’t mean to over run your comment area but I meant to say before how much I like your beautiful photo blog header. It is almost identical to a view I had of the mountains, from my back deck, in TN just before moving here to NC to live with my son and family.

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    • Hi Betty. I’m in a bit of a hurry right now but I just had to say to you that my header photo was taken about 25 miles from the Tennessee state line in NC. It’s only a mile or three from Great Smoky Mtns. Nat’l. Park.

      Thanks for coming by; I’ll be back in touch.

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  3. Hi, I followed your link from my son’s blog (Chris Martin). You are a very good writer. I don’t have a lot to offer on this particular post, but I’m sure you will know what to do, and I too think T will be glad to hear from you. After losing my husband several years ago, I have lost contact with a few of his friends and even family. But, I was able to make contact with his daughter from his first marriage and now she and her family, and mine are very, very close. She even calls me Mom and is thrilled to know her brother, Chris! It’s amazing how connections work out sometimes.

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    • Hi Betty Jo. Thanks for your kind comments.

      I’m glad to hear a happy “reconnection” story such as yours. I haven’t contacted T yet but I did communicate with my ex-husband about the extent of his injuries. He sounds as if he’s doing quite well. I guess that doesn’t surprise me. It was his attitude about life that always impressed me.

      Oh, and I visited your blog today. I’ll go back soon. Love your designs.

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  4. I agree that T will be happy to hear from you. I was reminded that after my brother-in-law and his first wife divorced, we, as a family, missed contact with our neice and nephew for a number of years. Just an awkward situation. We were able to reconnect with them as adults and last holiday season actually had dinner with B, the ex-wife, and both the kids (adults now). How wonderful it was to just have that connection. We’ve never talked with my brother-in-law about it, but I’m friends with all of them on Facebook and there is a wedding in the works for the nephew. He just texted me today for an address for the save the date card. How wonderful that we’ve all be able to move on.

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  5. T will be happy to hear from you, Pat. Sometimes people drift because they don’t know what to say or how to act because of the divorce. But if you contact them they will be glad. You are a memorable person.

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  6. Yes, it is strange the people you lose when the relationship crumbles. I have found that I have lost some people because the contact was mainly through my husband anyway (colleagues etc) but others because they knew us both as a couple and they simply cannot fathom out me as a single individual person. So they shy away….. yes, one of the losses.

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    • Hi Elizabeth. I appreciate your comments. Sometimes others don’t know what to say and sometimes I am the one who doesn’t know what to say. I think the abruptness of my separation and divorce put me into shock. I guess that’s common but it takes a long time to regroup.

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  7. I still live with these shadows. I know I should move on, and I have, but there are some people I miss and it saddens me that because of the end of my marriage we are no longer in touch. In truth we do move on but I also believe we should cherish the links to our past. I am sure your T will be glad to hear from you. You are more fortunate than me your D updated you and passed on T’s email. I think you know what you need and want to do. Much love to you Pat. I’ve not been in blogland much but I think of you often. J x

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    • “…we should cherish the links to our past.” You are so right. Even when contact is not possible, we shouldn’t forget our history. That’s been a difficult notion for me. I think I’m getting there.

      I’ve missed you on blogland, Jacqui. I look forward to your inspiring writing but understand how life sometimes crowds out the opportunity to write. Take care of you!

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