In a civil tone…


My dear friend Betsy, to whom I owe much of my mostly-successful assimilation into these parts, told me – and I am paraphrasing here – that she was impressed my former wife would read the missives posted here.  It must mean, thought Betsy, that things remain civil between the two of us.  That they have, and hopefully our exchanges will remain that way.

During the whole painful legal ordeal that called a halt to 24 years, letters took a back seat to verbal means – much better suited as the bearer (and explainer) of bad news – to apprise the kids of events as the process tumbled forward.  But here and there was a paragraph that, rather that chip at the soon-to-be-ex spouse, reminded the kids that we were still a family, that we would stay in some respects a family, that they played no role in the dissolution and that rather than try to pin fault or fling mud, it was time to heal and time to simply move on.  Hence, the civil tone.  It seemed to me then, and does now, that to use the pages to rail and state my case would force the kids to pit one parent against the other.  Why put children in such a position?  That is hardly a position at all.  It was just time to deal with it, hopefully learn from it and get on with whatever lies ahead.  Which we continue to do as we speak.

In all the years of writing letters, there has only been one that was never mailed.  It dealt on this very topic.  It sits idly in a folder, and someday it may be posted here when I’m up to it.  But not yet.

Here are two of many paragraphs that tried to soften the blow for Ellen and Reid.

Your mother and I continue to talk and try to work through the situation.  I’ve had my first session with a counselor and she’s already had a couple.  We’ll continue to plug away at it.  You never know.  Conversation is a good thing.  Holding things in is not…

Your mom and I are to have all the legal work finalized today.  A tough end to a good 24 years.  I think we will stay in touch with each other, I would hope, and you never know what the future might hold.  If you guys have any questions or thoughts about it, be sure to pipe up with those.  Ask us anything.  It is been a long, hard, uphill battle with emotions and legalities and such.  If there are any lessons out of this, it is communicate-communicate-communicate.  Do not hold anything in…

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