Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

A New Kind Of Mother’s Day

I hope that everyone who celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, had a wonderful day.  If you are a mom, or a dad in the role of “mom”, you earn this day every year.

Holidays for me have always been difficult for me to deal with, but I get through them.  When we adopted our daughters, those issues seem to disappear for awhile for the sake of our children.  In recent years, those issues have returned  Having had to deal with several major lifestyle changes, I have found it difficult to focus on the meaning of the holidays, let alone celebrate them.

I made a choice last year, to move to another state, following the proceedings of my divorce (the reasons will not be discussed in this post, as they are inappropriate for this topic).  So I am more than a thousand miles away from my mother for the first time in my life.  Situations being what they are, she was more than glad to get a simple phone call, wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day, as well as some other chit chat.  It has been nearly six months since I have seen her, and currently, there is no time frame when we will spend time together anytime soon.  Here is a recent picture of my mother with my daughters at a school function.

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Okay, so for those following the score at home, yes, my daughters are also more than a thousand miles away from me as well.  And it is very difficult for all three of us, but it currently is what is best.

Now I will not post any picture of the girls with their mother for one reason only, that I do not have permission to do so.  And it should be expected, after all, when two divorce, it is rare that the couples do not become adversaries.  If they could remain allies, then the need for divorce would not be there.  And while last year, was the first Mother’s Day since the divorce filing, and court proceedings were held during that month, along with the passing of my father, I really did not pay any attention to Mother’s Day last year.

But this year I did.  The one thing that my STBX (soon to be ex) and I will always have in common, is that we will always be our daughters’ parents.  There will be no others.  Sure, there is likely to be at least one step parent at some point, but they will have only one mother and one father.  Husband and wives divorce, but not parents.  Parents have a responsibility to continue to co-parent their children.  And even though I am so far away, I remain in their lives whether it be in school or personal.

I make sure that our daughters know that I stand by most of the things that their mother decides, and for those that I do not, I am careful not to criticize their mother because one parent should never undermine the other.  They do not ever hear anything bad come from my mouth about their mother.  Anyone who should come into my STBX’s life, I let my daughters know that I am happy for her.  It is important that my daughters know that I will never put them in the middle of what is going on between their mother and I.

So yes, yesterday, I did wish my STBX a Happy Mother’s Day.  And I also told my daughters that I hoped they had a fun and enjoyable day with their mother.

Of course, I also encouraged them to call their grandmother to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day as well.

But for many, there are those who have very understandable reasons to find sorrow in this day.  I know many people who are dealing with this holiday for the first time without their mother due to illness or tragedy.  And just as painful, if not more so, is a mother trying to deal with a day, having lost a child, again, due to illness or tragedy.  My heart definitely goes out to each an every one of you on this day.

On a final note, someone who came into our lives more than ten years ago, was a merchant in China, named Anne.  One of the more friendly locals we met, and still keep in touch with today, has something to definitely be thankful for.

49 - Madison and Annie DSC02731

We met Anne on our first trip to adopt our oldest, and then ran into her again when we adopted our youngest.  Anne has probably met more than a thousand families and will be forever remembered for her friendliness.  But today, it is her turn as she finally becomes a mother herself.  So, Happy Mother’s Day Anne, and congratulations!

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