It seems funny to me to be writing about my divorce after 32 years of being so. Like I had to hit the ground flying right away. Even though I had less than most to juggle and was more fortunate in many ways. A family business to work in and a family who actually welcomed me because things were kind of tough at the time, a 2-year-old son who was remarkably placid and obedient, and a car that ran. So I had a lot going for me, but I had a lot to regroup too, like most single parent women I guess.

First was I had really believed in marriage. Ultimately not mine obviously, but when all was said and done and the dust settled I had to grieve the death of it. I had never realized in my youthful naivete that the marriage itself was a living, breathing entity ostensibly nurtured by the two presumably cooperative and loving participants. But we weren’t. Loving or cooperative, at least not at the end and actually, during the 4 or 5 years of it, not usually at the same time, either. But somehow it seemed to work.

Until the baby came.

Throw a baby into an already thin-iced mix of problems and you basically go crashing through the surface into frigid depths. And the baby has to be protected at all costs from becoming collateral damage. Because it was never anything s/he had anything to do with in the first place. S/he was meant to be an expression of love, not drunken lust or selfish ambivalence. If both participants in the marriage aren’t equally enthusiastic about this newcomer one of them has to carry the heft and one can’t. It’s something both parents are meant to do together. Not the baby’s problem.

So yesterday was the anniversary of the end of my marriage and the beginning of something I was never going to be ready for- single parenthood, family business and figuring out why I’d got to that place in the first place. Most parts found their wholeness. For better or for worse my son did grow up, found a solid career which he enjoys, and a girlfriend. The family business thing did not work out because my dad and I could not find a level playing field. I never figured out what I was gifted for, so maybe now, on my own with no one but me and a devoted canine friend to be responsible for, I can.

Hope springs eternal, and where there’s life…