Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Divorce Just Happens
A friend brought a book with pages full of questions with her to our church's youth overnight. We all took turns reading a question out loud and answering them. If you could have your own club, what would you name it and what music would you play? Would you help a friend cheat for an exam? If you were in a party and saw someone you wanted to ask out, how would you get the person's attention? The questions got more and more ridiculous until the last question was asked. What would you say to anyone who was going through a divorce?
The person who had to answer the question was one of our youth group leaders. Of course, her answer was a mile long and several feet deep, yet it prompted several members of the group to react, to share and to give their own take on divorce. Some had parents who were going through it. Another was a child who had to deal with a father who was unfaithful. And one just wanted to know when to stop praying for her mother and father to reconcile. They said that as the child, you never stop praying and you never stop hoping for that reconciliation. And their stories about wanting their parents to get back together went on and on and on. Someone made a comment that the topic was so close to home. Well, this topic is what makes my home. If divorce (or annulment) destroyed the families of my friends, divorce (or annulment) gave me a mother and a father plus two ancient half brothers.
Am not sure when I realized that my ancient older brothers were my mom's children from her first marriage. Maybe I found out when I had to talk to my ancient older brothers' father on the phone. Or maybe I found out when I realized I would only see my second ancient older brother only during big family reunions. Actually, am pretty sure my first ancient older brother who lived with us for a few years shared some family gossip with me. All I know is that my ancient older brothers and I belonged to the same mom, but we had different dads.
And I sat there thinking about my own messed up family and how we've all learned to deal with the divorce (or annulment) in our own crazy way. Some of us have learned to deal with it better than the others. But have dealt with it and continue to deal with it. My dad has a way of detaching himself from everything that has to do with my mom's divorce. When she talks about it, he just shuts up. Maybe he thinks that just because the law says the marriage never happened, he can pretend it never took place. My mom still has open wounds from that divorce (annulment) that will never fully heal. I know she cries about it and still feels its heavy weight. The first ancient older brother has pain we all know about but will never comprehend entirely. The second ancient older brother seems to have let his pain fuel his desire to have a beautiful family. And I may not feel all their pain, but their pain has affected my views on life and marriage.
I thought about how one ancient brother wished for mom and their father to reconcile and how the other ancient brother did not. Thought about all those times mom wished the second ancient older brother also lived with her when he was growing up. Recalled those moments when one ancient older brother would call my dad Papito and the other one called him Uncle. Looked back on those times my mom begged God to please change one ancient older brother's mind about marriage and children. Recalled all those times I would have to explain why our last names did not match. Thought about how my dad loves his wife's children even if they are not his own. Tried to feel the regret my mom is undergoing for having a divorce (annulment) and also her happiness that she is free from that marriage.
Their talk went on and on and on as I tried to make myself disappear in the mess of blanketss and a pillow. Because what can someone say to a person who is going through a divorce? What can someone say to a child whose parents are divorcing? What can someone say to a child who has a parent who has gone through a divorce and has re-married? What can someone say? What can someone really say? Nothing. You can talk and talk and talk, but that may mean nothing because each situation is different and because there will never be a right or a wrong divorce (annulment). You can pray and pray that reconciliation takes place, but sometimes God does not listen to prayers like those. You can question and beg, but sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes divorce (annulment) just happens. Sometimes divorce (annulment) it is meant to be.
So I came back from that overnight depressed as ever.