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I’m sorry I’ve been away.  I miss you all.  My computer died.  I can’t afford to replace it.  And, it’s really difficult blogging from my phone. 

And, I’ve been dealing with a lot.  Physically.  Emotionally.  Financially.  Relationally. 

I’m working six days a week and am also trying to get wood in for next winter while battling the last few pieces of wet wood we have left this winter.  We’re cold all the time.  The breaker for the dryer finally went, so I’m hanging wet laundry in the cold living room and also driving into town late at night to a laundromat.

I’m tired all the time.

My ex bought a really nice truck, a TV, sound bar, a Harley, a tablet, and two pistols…..he has a girlfriend and hangs out in the bars a lot.  I shake my head at the unfairness of it all. 

He glares at the kids during visitation.  He lays on them.  Puts his head in their crotches.  He talks incessantly about taking them places and teaching our teenager to drive. ……. the kid he tried to kill in his car.  Yeah, the teen is really excited about getting in a motor vehicle again with him.  Not.  They HATE visitation.  They develop headaches and stomachaches the day before they have to go, and, a month ago, my youngest suddenly developed an obsession with hand washing upon returning from vistation.  She can’t get clean enough to satisfy “whatever” is bothering her.   Where is their justice?

One of my closest friends rarely has anything to do with me anymore and only makes snotty remarks when I do see her.  She has money and social position.  Her friends have money and social position.  And, the ex has wormed his way into their circle.  They look past the long, unkempt hair and beard, the dirty clothes, the lecherous expressions, and self-indulgence.  They feel sorry for him.  I’ve become a “story teller” in their eyes.  Where is my validation?

There seems to be no rest.  No peace.  No end to this nightmare of a life he forced upon us.

But, in the middle of it all…… my second son, the one who suffered the worst and most severe abuse, asked me to do the flowers for his wedding.  He and his fiancĂ© trusted me and gave me creative license to create something with no direction from them. 

Their wedding was sweet, tender, and beautiful.

Then, the time drew near for their baby to be born, and my son let me know I was to be there with them as they welcomed Little Man into the world. 

When the day arrived I got off work, showered, and hurried to the hospital.  It was a long night of terrible suffering for my tiny daughter in law.  My son, too.  He threw up.  He nearly passed out.  He left the room to go to the chapel and pray.

In the final moments I watched as my son stood at his wife’s head, wringing a cool cloth onto her forehead, and as her angry mother stepped back into a corner, hurt that her laboring daughter snapped at her.  I recognized those dynamics so well!  This was supposed to be all about her mother, but the young wife forgot that in her pain.

I lifted my daughter in law’s upper body with each push, encouraging her as she worked to birth her firstborn son.  I could feel the power and strength of every muscle in her body. I could see my grandson making funny faces before his body was out.  And, I was in awe of her. 

Until that moment I cared for her.  But, suddenly, I loved her fiercely and respected her immensely.  I bonded with her.

She gave me the most beautiful gift.

She let me witness the amazing strength and beauty of femininity at its fullest.  She loves my son.  She brought him to his knees before his Lord.  She let’s me love her son.

I stopped by their house after work yesterday just as she was leaving for urgent care.  In her exhaustion, she fell asleep with a contact in and her eye is full of blood.  So, I sat with my son and held my grandson.  My son and I visited, though it was obvious I was disrupting his TV show on Bible history.  We just relaxed and talked while the baby slept cuddled to my chest. 

The beer bottles have been replaced by the Bible on the coffee table.  My son’s pained and angry expression has been replaced with a mix of worry and contentment.

And, I was content.

In the home they’re making together, healing brokenness and looking ahead, I found an hour of rest, fairness, justice, and validation.  And, hope.

My ex devastated our lives, but We’re Still Here.