Will My Kids be Okay?

“Will my kids be okay? Will they get through this?”

A friend of mine asked me this question recently and I lied. I looked her dead in the eyes and said, “Yes, they will be fine. They will get through this. You worry too much, “ I told her.

The truth is I have no clue. None of us do, do we? Things that leave some of us battered and bruised, leave others without a single scratch. No visible scars. No signs of injury. It’s a guessing game really, or a good round of Russian roulette, trying to predict what may, make or break, someone.

My friend is going through a nasty, messy, complicated, divorce. She is at odds with her soon to be ex-husband, and her children are struggling to make sense of it all. What went wrong? Whose fault is it? Did I do something? Can it be fixed?

I remember those questions all too well. They are the same questions I needed answers to when my parent’s divorced. I can not even begin to tell you the amount of time I wasted trying to make the pieces of the puzzle of my parent’s demise fit. What happened? What piece went missing, was it love? Did they even have all the pieces to begin with?

All those questions kept me up at night, but what really bothered me was the fact that I could not pinpoint a specific moment or turn of an event when everything started to go sour. One day, they were over the moon and through the sun happy, and the next day M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. It happened so silently and so gradual none of us even noticed until sour turned to bitter. Those life events that catch you off guard are the ones that leave you constantly looking at your life through a lens of a microscope, hoping to catch that one bad cell, before it turns into a full blown flesh eating virus.

The older I got, the more I realized, I didn’t need to know all the answers. I had hoped to find some tragic flaw or missing ingredient in my parent’s marriage. If they had been doomed from the very beginning, then they were an anomaly, and there would still be hope for me, hope to succeed in love. If I could only just find it, put my finger on it, and then all my faith in love would be restored. I never found a tragic flaw or missing ingredient, it didn’t exist.

Basically, my parent’s were no different than any other couple. They fell in love, took a risk, and lost. Who knows when you say, “I do”, how long forever will last. For some love endures to the grave and beyond, for others it’s over before the ink dries on the marriage certificate. Love is nothing more than a Wild Gamble. You play the hands you’ve been dealt and pray for a Royal Flush, but more times than not, you end up folding, losing it all, including your heart.

So, how did I deal? How did I survive the “Divorce”? My parents. They loved me through it, not together, but separately. They loved me through the rebellion, the mad teenage angst, the frustration, the back talking, and the disrespect. They loved me through it all. They may have given up on love, but they didn’t give up on me. I survived and I hope her kids do too.