A “Prayer for Relief”

I am a lawyer.  When one files something with the court, you are usually asking the judge to order something, to help your case.  At the end of the paper you file, are what they call “prayers for relief.” This is a bit of a play on words, but it does come from the heart.  This is not intended for my usual readers, so if you are looking for knitting, come back in a while.
Dearest K and S,
In the past few months, I have felt a great many things – a lot of sadness and grief and anger and pain – because a marriage is breaking up, and that is a sad thing, but not necessarily a bad thing.  Most of that pain is about the sadness I see in both of you and most importantly, your children.
I want you both to know that I wish you happiness in this world, and – God willing – the next one. When I first learned you two were splitting up, I told a colleague and friend about it – and my very first – and last – thought was, “My role in this is that of Grandma and nothing else.” It was a promise I made myself and my grandchildren.  I knew that when the dust settled and this “case” was over, there would be years ahead of fashioning the broken bits of our extended family into some sort of coherent whole for my – our – grandchildren.  Have I done this perfectly? Of course not.  I get angry and upset and feel things are unfair, but I will make amends and resolve to do better.
Your marriage will never be a mistake to me.  Certainly you both continuing as married would be a mistake, but the fact that you two got together in the first place was no mistake at all.  There are three very big reasons for this your three beautiful and precious children.  Our daughter will always be our daughter and we love her and are so proud of her.  Our son-in-law will always be a member of our family and as long as I live and breathe, he will be included in the big moments of our family’s life, no matter what  – because he is a good person and because he is our grandchildren’s father and yes, we love him, too.

You are both good people who do not belong together.  But you have done at least one outstanding and beautiful thing: you have created three incredible kids.
I am writing this because I want to see them continue to be happy and healthy. You may have differing ideas about what that means, but basically what I mean is this: they get to be with both of you and know that they will never EVER lose either of you, no matter where they may be living at one time or another; they will never EVER experience one of you putting the other down, calling each other names, or disrespecting the other – because when you do that, you disrespect a full half of each of them.
I remember being a kid and hearing my parents “fight.” Even though my “mom” at the time was a stepmother, it still tore my guts up hearing them argue.  My stepmother used to treat my father with disrespect and it made me terribly uncomfortable to say the least.  I am 61 years old and I remember these things. Because I was certainly no perfect parent, I imagine you have some similar memories. Can you imagine your children’s anguish and pain right now?
So stop this crap.  Share them.  They are each on loan to each of you, and they belong to no one but God – or if you don’t believe in God, then to themselves. Either way, you will both have to account to them for your actions right now.
Let me share a strange and wonderful vision I have:
That you will both move on.
That you will love your children more than you might detest your soon-to-be-ex right now.
That you will share in the important and everyday moments of your childrens’ lives without inflicting your pain on them
That you will respect each other (note I did not say like each other) and consider each other’s feelings
That your children will grow up secure, happy, and brilliant, without groundless fear and anxiety
That you will not use up their future in litigation
That you will recognize the good in the other parent and make sure your kids know about it
That you will learn the incredible beauty of forgiveness and letting go.
That OUR family – both sides – will be a beacon to all the others who have to walk this rocky path and not another divorce cliche’.
If you believe it, I know that you can receive it (thank you, Andre’ Crouch and rest in peace, friend).
May it be so. I love you.And God be with you ’til we meet again+

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4 thoughts on “A “Prayer for Relief”

  1. The type of letter that does not surprise me coming form you. I would so love to meet you meet you and selfishly wish you could have been here this last 7 mths to mother me despite the 5 year agree difference!
    I am with you in praying that children are first. You and I are products of parents who messed up big time but I know that they will experience only a prt of miy experience if their parents fuck it up but it will be enough to leave them scarred for life. Just sas you were.

    with love and hope
    colin xoxoxo

  2. You can wish, but you can’t legislate your desires for certain outcomes. RESPECT and selflessness are the keys to a “successful divorce.” Achieve that, and all will benefit, even grandparents, in their due time.

  3. Absolutely, but it’s not about grandparents benefiting. It’s about children maintaining their relationships with both parents and both parents acting like adults who love their children more than they hate their spouse.

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