Sunday, December 1, 2013

I’m Divorced…Happy Thanksgiving

 
If there’s one phrase that will stand out on this blog’s new chapter it’s bound to be, “Nothing about divorce is easy.”
If there’s another phrase to follow its lead, it will probably be, “I just have to get through each ‘first’ as best as I can.”

My latest hurdle to get through as best as I could was Thanksgiving.

My divorce was supposed to be final a couple of months before our court date actually rolled around and the judge signed the papers. Because I’m the kind of person who needs mental preparation, some sort of advanced notice to brace myself for a break in the norm, I spent months focusing on that particular date.

I attempted to project how I would feel in the weeks prior to that date, how I would feel in the weeks following that date, and of course, how I would feel on the date itself. When that date came and went and another one wasn’t on the horizon, I tried to focus on another general time frame. When that time frame was extended, and I finally found myself with a concrete date of divorce, I was confident I had run to ground all the emotions I could possibly confront.

However, it somehow didn’t occur to me that I would be confronting Thanksgiving a mere 6 days after divorce.

As a military spouse I’ve spent countless holidays away from my husband, Thanksgiving included. But this was different. My family was more than just geographically challenged, as I used to say when the military interrupted special occasions. This Thanksgiving my family looked completely different.

I felt blessed to have my children with me as I shared Thanksgiving with my best friend and her family who made the day special in its own right while allowing me to feel whatever it was that I needed to feel and talk out whatever it was that I needed to talk out.

On Thanksgiving Day, as I found some quiet moments to play on Facebook and add my own happy moments to my newsfeed that was already overflowing with friends’ happy moments, I was reminded by one particular status update that “there’s always something to be thankful for.”

Although I went into the holiday not feeling particularly thankful for a 6-day post-divorce Thanksgiving, I ended up realizing that there truly is always something to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my happy, healthy children who are dealing with this divorce with grace and strength and appropriate questions and acceptance and the knowledge that they are greatly loved and supported by both of their parents.

I am thankful for my parents who have been there every step of the way and answered the phone whenever it rang.

I am thankful for my dog who cuddles with me and makes me smile when he nudges my arm with his nose.

I am thankful for the job that I love, the flexibility it offers and the co-workers I love to work with.

I am thankful for my friends I call family and my family I call friends.

So it may not have been the greatest of circumstances for a holiday celebration, but underneath that sadness I still managed to uncover a wealth of goodness.

I’ll remember that as I mentally prepare myself for the next holiday hurdle: Christmas without my children.

No, nothing about divorce is easy. But I got through this first Thanksgiving as best as I could.

And I'm still standing.

6 comments:

  1. I think you're incredibly strong for making it through your first post divorce holiday. You should be proud of yourself! I want to let you know that you are not alone. I have never been divorced (I am an Army wifei), but my children came from previous relationships. My husband came down on orders that moved me and my children across country. While the courts allowed me to move my kids out of state, I had to forfeit holidays, school breaks, and summers. This is the first year that my son (my kids have different dads) will not be spending the holidays with me in his entire life (he is 7). I, like you, will have be having my first Christmas without my children this year. I'm not going to say it's not going to be hard, it will be, but I know that we CAN do it! I will celebrate the holidays early with my kids. Santa will still come here for my step kids.

    I don't pretend to know what it is like to go through a divorce. However, I do know what it is like to go through custody battles and to spend holidays without my kids. If you ever need to talk, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am here to listen.

    *hugs*

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  2. I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving amid what must be a tough time/transition for you. Hang in there! Big hugs!

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  3. Divorce is rough, but look forward to the day when you'll look back on it all. Even the horrible days fade into the memory of this sort of weird, bittersweet time in life, overshadowed by better moments.

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  4. Divorce is very hard. I remember when I first announced I was getting one. Then one by one it seemed every military spouse I knew turned their back to me (not all but majority). During the process it seemed like I lost my feet, I'm glad I had friends to pick me back up. It seems you and I were in the same boat.

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  5. I wish I had something more comforting to say but I'm sorry you are going through this and I think you're incredibly strong not only because of your actions but also in putting your story out there for the world. I think a lot of people will be able to connect with what you're saying.

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  6. I found you via your "At War" post, which was very insightful. I wish you all the best as you work through this time of transition.

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