Embracing the Good

My children’s father lies in a coma, stricken by a stroke in his brain stem.  Although we are no longer tied by marriage, and we are each happily married to other people, our children are like double-sided tape–they bond us in some way forever.  If they are mourning for their father, I am mourning with them, and I assume he would do the same. That’s what parents do.

This I know. Their father loves his children deeply. He thanked me for his daughter when Amy was born. He thanked me for his son Justin. He did his share of diapers (in the day when we washed them, yuck), and both  kids inherited his sense of humor. He gave my kids great aunts, uncles, and cousins that I, and they, still love to this day.

Divorce is never easy, but loving your children prompts us to act like grown-ups, and we worked at helping our children respect both their parents.

Their father and I met when I asked him to sit beside me in Latin class so this really weird guy wouldn’t. What can I say?! He was eager to please.

Our life journeys don’t always take us where we think we should go. In the hospital waiting room last week we talked about the ups and downs of life, divorce, and broken whatevers. In an unusually profound moment for me–jacked up on diet Coke and any chocolate I could find–I said to my kids, “Life is a lot like families. You can’t avoid the bad, but you can embrace the good.”

Their father has given them a lot of good.

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About Patti Albaugh

I grew up in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1965. I have a Bachelor's Degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. I am an Emeritus Professor at Otterbein University. In addition to writing creative nonfiction and fiction, I like genealogy, gardening, travel and Mah Jjong. I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, with my dog Tonto. I am the proud parent of children Justin and Amy and granddaughters Katherine and Zoe.
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