I have included here an image of a small wood carved piece that spoke to me at the Hallmark store as it was closing up for good. I am father to four children: Dawn, Jill, Doug, and Mark. From the day each was born, I treasured each. I did my best to help raise them and be supportive as they grew from infants to young adulthood. I deeply love them all in spite of some really rough times along the way. Their mother and I were divorced in 1979 after 19 years of marriage. This was an action I was advised by a clinical psychologist to take some 9 years earlier, but I just could not leave my children. Following the divorce, my two sons and I lived within a mile of our original family home for many years. Some 7 years after my divorce, I married again. This time to a remarkable and very loving woman whom I feel is my soul mate and whose daughter became as precious to me as my original four. Our marriage is now in its 38th year.
The monstrous and grotesque problem that has existed for now 44 years is my first wife never came to mature terms with the divorce. She made it her goal in life to never allow a blended family. She was not having any of that. She successfully prevailed over all of her four children who became adults over the years and then on to the grandchildren. What a tragedy. And the children, now middle aged adults, seemingly never questioned what was going on. They catered to her every wish and about literally worshiped the ground she walked on.
I cannot, however, absolve myself from responsibility. Had I been forceful and direct from the beginning with her and with the “children” and not allowed lies to stand, things may have been different. That I did not do at now a great cost. The mother of the four was not an innocent victim as she so successfully made herself out to be.
The result of her actions and attitudes — and my lack of forcefulness particularly early on — is they, the “children”, have now only one living parent, the father, and one living step-mother; both of whom were exiled long ago. Their mother and her subsequent husband of decades (their step father whom they ultimately embraced) died this year, 2023.
This entire story is sad and all laid at the feet of now one who is deceased as well as at my feet. Nice going. Of course, the “children” will continue blindly on as will the grandchildren. Again, sad.