Growing up, there was only one person in my class whose parents were divorced. I remember when they were still together, and can vaguely remember the time when they split. We were still in elementary school and it was not at all common for couples of that generation (at that time) to be separating.
My parents were married more than thirty years when my mother moved out. Joey and I shared their anniversary date, 27 years later. Messy circumstances gave rise to bitterness and hardened hearts. Eventually the bond that once seemed impenetrable gave way and we saw it for what it always had been -- utterly broken.
I don't think I've fully processed the whole situation yet. It just so happened that I ended up smack dab in the messy places with them as the separation unfolded and became more and more likely. I was definitely given a measure of grace for that time, and did not falter when it came time to do the things that had to be done for the integrity of both of my parents.
Last week as I cleaned out the junk drawer in my kitchen, I came across two Easter cards given to Rowan last year. (Yep, cards from April 2014 that have just now been discovered in my house. This accurately reflects my skills as a housewife.) One was from my grandmother, and the other, signed "Neenee & Poppy". I sank to the floor in a puddle of tears as my three year old sidled up to me and asked if I was alright. These little things are what hit me hardest -- the fact that each day there is less of a chance my children will receive a joint card from their grandparents.
Maybe it's less about me, and more about my children? I only knew married relationships throughout my formative years; my parents and grandparents were all still on their first marriage, and the only thing to separate couples was death. I grew up close to my extended family and thinking that sticking to marriage was basically the rule, and I know that has helped shape my marriage and my commitment to my husband. How will having divorced grandparents shape the ideals of my daughters? I would love to hope that my parents will be the only divorced couple that my girls know, but that seems quite lofty.
Lord, here I am with few answers, so much hope, and an even greater desire to cling to You.