For my husband’s children

Sometimes when I’m alone, or when I’m with your father, and he’s particularly sad and missing you, I talk to you.

I compose messages to you in my head.

Sometimes those messages are ones of love. Of kindness and of hope that one day you will be the people I have heard you were. Or maybe are, but hide.

Sometimes those messages are angry. I rail at you for hurting the father you were told not to love, and for believing the things your mother says about him. I give you stern talkings-to, about how much love you are rejecting, when so many around the world would kill for the privilege to be you. To be loved unconditionally and without reserve by so many.

Sometimes, I imagine you showing up at our door, and I turn you away. It’s not right, but deep inside me is a part of me that wants you to hurt and understand the rejection you have caused.

Often times, I remember that it’s not your fault. That it was your mother who decided to create a binary life. Him or me. No “and” there. That your father didn’t fight when he could have, and that exhaustion and resentment and old wounds created a world in which you can’t see truth.

But then I wonder–for how long are you going to use your childhood as a crutch to excuse bad behaviour? At what point do you look around and see that you have needlessly caused hurt?

Do you not hurt too? Do you not miss the father that gave you all of his love, all of his life?

I know you don’t like me. I know you are unlikely to ever respect me. In your world, I represent the end of your stability and serve as the harlot to your mother’s martyr. That’s fine. I wish it weren’t that way, but I don’t know you anyway.

I’ve been told you are kind and warm and caring, but I haven’t met those versions of you. I have been told you are young and impressionable, but I haven’t encountered anything less malleable than when you have made up your mind.

So I wish you well. I wish your mother well. I wish you all could find your way to a happiness you are all clearly seeking in the demonization of your father. I wish you didn’t feel that his demise is your way to salvation.

I wish you love. And I’ll use all the love I have to help heal the holes you left in my husband.

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