I had a close friend who I had recently helped to move into a new house in the subdivision behind where we lived, at the time. It seemed like the perfect place; it was a nice area, and my boys could continue to go to their old schools. I checked online and found a house for rent, in the same sub-division. It was amazing! The home had four bedrooms and a loft, with two and a half bathrooms, which was perfect for our family. The house had a nice-size backyard, and with three active boys who love the game of football, that sealed the deal. It also had a two-car garage for my Tahoe, the truck of my dreams; it was metallic blue and looked purple in the sun. It was so beautiful in the sunlight …
Thinking back to the day that I got it, my ex-husband asked me to come to his office, which was in the back room of our house. He said that he had some papers for my Chevy Blazer, the truck that I had at the time. I went in wondering what on earth the papers could be about. We often had repairs made on the Blazer, as it broke down quite a lot, but it was running fine at the moment. I took the papers and looked them over, and I said, “These are not papers, for my Blazer; they are for a Tahoe, a new Tahoe!” He said, “It’s a surprise for you.”
In all the years that I had known him, he had never been one for such a surprise. I hugged him. I couldn’t believe it, and if that weren’t enough, he was having a moon roof installed and a DVD player for our boys. It was exactly what I had always wanted. I was so happy and so thankful for it—not just for the truck, but that he had made sure that it had everything included and that he had been so thoughtful and caring.
When he took me the next evening to pick it up, it was the most beautiful truck that I had ever seen. When we all got inside and he handed me the keys, it was like a dream. Though it was just a material thing, it meant so much. It was the thought and the care that he had taken to make sure it was what I had always wanted. It was the look on his face as he looked at me in that moment, and in that moment, I knew I would never forget …
Presently, I filled out the application for the house, as we were all so thrilled with this new opportunity. My boys were so excited about it. When I was approved for the house, we walked through it— my children, myself, and my parents—and were so happy for a new life. When moving day arrived, my ex-husband offered to help, even though we were getting a divorce. It was an extremely nice gesture. Unfortunately for me at the time, I could not see past the pain and did not believe any of his promises to change. There had been too many failed promises in the past, and the hurt of my boys was the one thing that I could not live with anymore. He had always been hard on our middle son to the point of some physical abuse, and I thought that my ex-husband seeing my boys once in a while, even if I couldn’t be there, was better than what we lived with on a daily basis. I always tried to be the barrier between them, to protect them, but there were times when I wasn’t there.
When we moved into the new house I sat down and had a talk with my boys about our new life on our own. Our home was filled with a newfound peace, tranquility, and happiness. Though it was different without a husband, we were so excited about our future. My boys were so happy in our new house. My son once said, “Mom, I don’t know why you ever married him.” He was upset with his father and angry at the time. I explained that I loved him and that sometimes people hurt our feelings and let us down, but we are still able to love them. My son had such deep pain in his heart; he wanted his dad’s approval and affection so much, and it was hard on him that it was often denied. There are times that you may not realize how you are hurting someone. I explained to my son that his dad loved him and didn’t mean to be so harsh.
I explained to my boys that there would not be any yelling here— that we would respect each other and talk about things. We were very happy. The house was filled with their laughter and the wonderful sounds of their little feet as they ran through the house. It was nice to put all the rooms away and decorate together: all the little things that you do to make a house a home. It was early fall, and we decorated the outside of the house for Halloween. The boys loved putting the spider web all over the trees out front.
My ex-husband would call quite a bit, but I could not see past the pain, and I didn’t believe that he would want to change. I was hurt from all the pain and from all of the times that he was angry and mean. I was still angry about the past and trying to come to terms with what was happening. I didn’t believe what he would say; the anguish was so deep in my heart, and my heart was so broken.
My boys would usually go over once a week to see him, but they didn’t stay overnight at first. My ex-husband would often call and cancel; he would say that it was too painful to see them. It became a once-every-other-weekend visit for the day, and while I still worried about them, at least at the time it was only a short visit.
I missed them so much when they were away. We were always together. While they were at school, I would take care of the house and run errands, and once they were home, it was homework, and friends, and time just being a family. We often spent much time with my brother and his family, and with my parents who lived a short distance away.