Phriends or Friends

No, that is not a typographical error in the title.  It’s one of the many life lessons my mother taught me. There are friends and then there are phriends. She also said there is family and then there is phamily. You know the type; they only come around when they need/want something or when it’s just damn well good for them.

There is a song “You find out who your friends are.” Its words are true. I think we are all guilty of keeping some of those phriends in our lives, despite that we know in our heart of hearts we would be there for them anytime they needed us; we also know that is not a two way street in that phriendship.

When Jack left, and even though I fought for the marriage, I told him, I am starting a new path, a new chapter in my book of life. You are more than welcome to come with me, we can do this together or I will do it alone.  He made his choice not to; and I set out on my new journey in life. In that new journey I have ridded him and some those phriends in my life.

If you are on Facebook I am sure you have seen the images of sayings like wish real life had a delete and block button. Guess what people….it does it’s called “I’m not putting up with being treated this way.” It’s called “I deserve better.” There’s your delete and block button in life. I kind of laugh at people who get all spastic over deleting someone on the Facebook, or they feel obligated to accept a friend on Facebook even though they don’t like them. Not me, if I don’t like you, I don’t feel obligated to accept you as a friend. People from school or classmates,  I give the benefit of the doubt, just because we may not have hung out in school or we had problems when we were in school doesn’t necessarily mean you get an automatic decline. I use Facebook a lot and if people don’t like what I post, or the frequency of my posts, guess what….there’s a delete button, you are not going to hurt my feelings. Some of my friends on Facebook we don’t talk all that much to one another.  But I like being able to be a part of their lives, watching their kids grow up or the silly pictures of their kids, animals or they post a status they are having a bad day, or something happened; it’s important to them. Whether it’s being a friend in person or only being able to catch up with the friends I have on Facebook I hope they know that I am still their friend. I have a few people on my friend list that I have never even met. They are friends of other people and we have a good time yucking it up on Facebook.

Shortly after Jack left, I de-friended some people in my life. Not because of Jack but because I no longer was willing to A) be used; B) put up with their damn drama. In the beginning I felt bad, I don’t like to be that person. Once it was done and the lines severed, it was like a weight had been lifted.  When you make that sever, you realize life is better without these types of people. The person is not a friend if they go through your phone and tell their friends in the neighborhood about the texts you and your estranged husband are exchanging, in the heat of it all, when emotions are high. That was my final straw with one of these people in my life. When that came back to me, despite it coming through a different source that told me (I had de-friended this person’s source, a long time ago), I no longer wanted that person in my life. I had backed off the friendship a little bit over the years because this person time and time again would prove that it wasn’t a friendship it was a phriendship, then it was just she was my neighbor. I saw the trend long ago, which she only came around when she wanted something. If she offered to do something for you, you found out real quick you had to pay her back. I don’t work like that. If I go to a yard sale or out somewhere and I see something that I think a friends child would like or that friend will like or they said they needed something like that, if I have the money and it’s not outrageously priced I would get it for them and just show up and “Hey was at (such and such) picked this up for you.” I am not expecting that friend to pay me back. That’s not right. It’s different if you call up that person and say “hey I am at the store they have what we were talking about for the kids Christmas here and there aren’t many left. I can get it for you while I am right here, here’s the price.” Or “I am at the store do you need anything while I am here?”

My friends and also those phriends know the type of person I am. If I can do it for you, I will. I like helping others. My mother raised me to be charitable, kind etc. Don’t do things for people because you expect something in return.  Give to others when you can. It eventually comes back around. When I would help her pack up clothes to give to someone else, or if we would put together Christmas packages or bags of groceries together for someone, or cooking something for a family who had a loved one who passed away, I would ask as a little girl, “why are we doing this?” or  “why do people cook when people die or in the hospital?” The response was, generally because the family is going through a hard time right now, or the family has so much going on with making arrangements or they are back and forth to the hospital they don’t have time to make the meals. One day we might need someone’s help, and it may not be from the people we are currently helping but kindness and giving to others comes back to you when you need it.

Mom was right. The final trip home when mom took a turn for the worst the last thing on my mind was cooking. I will never forget the kindness of others who brought food to the hospital for us. It may have been just a cheese and cracker tray or snacks for the kiddos. One person brought Coloring Books and crayons for the kids, juice boxes and things to keep the kids occupie. It was greatly appreciated by me and the others in the family.  My first trip home a month and a half prior to mom passing away, the very first people who came to the hospital were my two best friends from school and my Mom#2 as I always called her. I will never forget that. They took the time, even though they were on their way to do something else, to stop by and just visit, see how I was doing and to see if I needed anything or if mom needed anything.

When mom died, the food came pouring in. The family and I didn’t have to cook meals for at least a week. Again it was appreciated.

I will never forget those people who gave my family kindness they didn’t have to give. One of my co-workers gave her bonus checks to me. She didn’t have to; her family probably needed it as well.

Going through this divorce and Jack not helping me financially with the kids, several people have  said, “if you need anything you let me know. I don’t care if it’s groceries, light bill or gas money. Let me know,” Some just went and did it. Even strangers helped. If it weren’t for the kindness of a group of strangers my kids wouldn’t have had a Christmas. One day I showed up at work and everyone had pitched in and had a stockpile of groceries for me. It was embarrassing and I felt like a failure. (Laughing) I found out I like being the giver not receiver. I also was in the shoes of others I had helped over the years. They too probably felt embarrassed, shame or that they too were a failure when going through what they were going through. That humble pill is sometimes hard to swallow. Some of the ones that have helped me had been in my shoes; they were single mothers, raising the kids, working and the fathers weren’t helping them out financially as well. Some knew others who had gone through the same thing and saw firsthand the difficulties the single mother had. The kindness hasn’t always been monetary; sometimes the greatest kindness is listening or being that shoulder to cry on.

Some people do not believe in karma; I do. Just because I am going through a tough time right now, doesn’t mean I have done something to deserve this. Sometimes life throws us tough knocks to remind us how strong and resilient we are. Things happen for a reason. I truly believe there was a reason why my mother died before my marriage ended. Obviously, I didn’t see this at the time. Hind sight I see it clearly. I also didn’t realize during the time of my mother’s passing, I had actually started to change the course of the direction I was going.  When did I realize this change of course had taken place? Four to five years after my mom died, when Jack left.  I had tried for a year after he left to come him to back into the marriage. The more I talked about what went on in the marriage, whether it was in a therapist office or with friends, the more I realized Jack was no longer a person I was willing to keep in my life anymore. He had shown me for years the type of person he truly was; I just wasn’t willing to see it and I saw it sadly at the worst time in my life. He showed me who he truly was.

Those years of sleeping alone night after night; insults whether made directly or indirectly; him going off and doing whatever with his buddies; or being so highly insensitive to my feelings, thoughts, goals; were nothing compared to what he displayed when I found out my mother was sick with breast cancer and most especially when I needed to go home to help her and then finally that last drive home when she was dying and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it in time. It’s not that I didn’t point it out to him, he just flipped the blame onto me and I believed him for a long time. It wasn’t until a year ago through talking with others, through processing it all that I realized; it was him. Unfortunately, I allowed it to happen. I allowed him to make me feel inadequate. When you hear it so much, one starts to believe it’s true.

Have you noticed those negative friends you have around you, their negativity starts to rub off on you? People who are in our lives constantly, we begin to mirror. This doesn’t just happen with our children; this happens to adults too. How many times as a child did you hear from your parents when hanging around a particular friend you may have seen them talk to their parents a certain way, and well you tried it. Did your parents set you back a notch? I know my mom sure did. I’ve said the same thing to my two children.   There are some kids in the neighborhood my children are not allowed to interact with. I’ve sent a few children home in my days as a parent. I am sure I will send a few more home, in the days to come.

I’ve seen also Jack’s way is rubbing off on our son. I am not thrilled about it. I can’t talk to Jack about it because he feels it’s not wrong and I, at this time refuse to talk to him because it doesn’t matter what I say, he will belittle and talk to me like I am an idiot. In Jack’s mind he is right and everyone else is wrong. So there is no sense talking to him, all I can do is instill in my son that bullying, belittling, talking down to people, and judging people is not the way to go. It’s not acceptable in my house. I get onto both of my children for how they treat one another and their friends.

The Phriend or Friend is a tough lesson to learn for all of us. Sometimes we honestly do not know who our friends are until the shit hits the fan in our lives. While you may drop everything or close to everything for them in their time of need; when it comes to you, truly needing your friends, take a look around you and see who is standing beside you.

For me I would rather discover that those people are Phriends rather than Friends. I won’t allow my heart to harden because of the select few. However, I proceed with caution even more so now because of it.

Quotes:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana

“True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.” – Dave Tyson Gentry

“Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” –Elbert Hubbard

“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend o keep one.” – Robert E. Lee

“In time of prosperity friends will be plenty

In time of adversity not one among twenty.” –John Ray

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It’s Mom Time

Yes it is that time once again. Jack came to pick up the kids today at noon, and he will have them until Wednesday before he goes to work.

As much as I love mom time; my time, I miss the kids while they are gone. I also know it is equally important for us to have a break from one another and also they need that time with their dad.

Don’t go thinking this mom goes all crazy while her kids are away. What’s mom time? It’s certainly not going out and partying, going on a shopping spree or even going on a date. Mom time is catching up on housework (it’s truly amazing how the house stays clean while the kids are away), doing the yard work, going to get groceries, looking through the bills I can’t pay but somehow figure out how to keep it all going.

It’s 12:44 am and where am I? Out on my front porch listening to the crickets, a few dogs barking off in the distance. A train will probably come through in the next twenty minutes. I have citronella burning in a table top torch giving me an ambiance. I’m enjoying a cigarette, a cup of coffee and writing.

Some nights I will read. Other times I will go for a walk, do some photography, watch a movie. Sometimes I might go hang out with friends.

I do the same thing I do when the kids are here. I just don’t get interrupted. I crank up my music when I start to clean. I will also sing and dance to the music. I did the same thing when Jack and I were together. But he was never home.

I didn’t get these breaks while married to Jack. Honestly I didn’t know what a break was until he left. I’m a homebody a majority of the time. He would encourage me to go out. He didn’t understand me. I needed me time, I didn’t need to go out. Can’t I just go sit out on the deck for the evening and no one come outside to bug me? Can’t I just go to the bedroom and get enthralled in a book and not hear MOM!!! No? ok. And he wonders why I was bitchy all the time. Hellu your off doing all the things you like to do by yourself, I just want me time, at home. Y’all don’t have to leave but just leave me alone for 2 hours. Apparently, the me time I wanted was selfish, his me time wasn’t.

It’s amazing the simple things that rejuvenate me. Even a simple nap rejuvenates me. I can go full throttle for awhile, but then I need some down time, some solitude.

My work days are hectic. I am on the go from the time I get into work until lunch time. Sometimes I will go out with co workers for lunch other times I just need to go and find a nice quiet spot. Then we are on the go once we are back from lunch until it’s time to go home. That was the frustrating part for me when jack and I were together. I knew his job was hectic with him being a cop. He didn’t believe my job was hectic. He thought I had a nice cushy job. I don’t do nice and cushy. When I switched jobs last years my job got even more hectic. I go right out straight all day long. I absolutely LOVE it.

By the time I get home I am exhausted. Once I am home I am off to my other responsibility; mom. It doesn’t stop until I go to bed around 9. Now that the kids are older they understand mom needs some down time when she gets home. Give me 20 minutes to just chill out and then I will make supper, and then we can go out into the yard and play soccer, throw the baseball around, take the dogs for a walk, paint our nails (my daughter), play a game or something.

The stress of the divorce, and not having the financial help I need from the kids dad is also exhausting. 500.00 a month is all he is willing to give in financial support until the divorce is settled. About 60% less than what he should be paying.

So mom time now for me is really important. Sometimes the time is not always constructive, most of the time it is. But it’s MY TIME.

Your Relationship is Over; Don’t Replace it With a New One

One of the HUGE differences about Jack and I; he jumps; I hold back. In the marriage it drove him nuts that I would have to think about something. It would frustrated me to no end. In his mind I couldn’t make a decision. I can also be impulsive, but most of the time I hold back, access the situation then react.

When Jack left and I found out he had been with another for the past few months, I was devastated. I didn’t want our marriage to end. I found a strength in me I never thought I had. I was that woman that would never take back a husband who cheated, so these were new emotions for me. I believed in our marriage. He kept telling me it was over, he was done. I still held on.

Around six months after he left, I got to thinking, Why the hell should he have all the fun? Every time we talked I would try to get him to come back home, or even let’s start over fresh….something. He wanted none of it. His mind was made up. When Jack jumped, he jumped. Why the hell am I sitting at home waiting? I did that all through the marriage. I was so used to him not being there, my life went on without so much as a hiccup. So I went out on dates, when the kids weren’t home. Part of me was feeling lonely, I had felt so lonely in the marriage for so long. Part of me was wanting him to see me out having fun with another guy. I’m only human people; don’t judge. Well feel free to judge it’s your right. You still can’t take away my rights for my feelings.

I learned a valuable lesson in the dating. The pain was still there. And as much as I told myself I didn’t care that I was still married to Jack, because he was out doing whatever. I realized how strong my morals, values and integrity are. After several dates and still NOT feeling any better about any of them. The fact was Jack may have been over me, and he may have been able to sleep good at night with all he had done; I stopped. It was the first time since I had met Jack (at 18), that I didn’t have to jump. My feelings were despite the marriage was over, we are still married.

Not only was there the morals of it. I also realized, I didn’t want a relationship again. My dates(and they knew I was married, they were divorced and I was totally upfront and honest with who I went out with that the marriage was over but we were not divorced), were in a different place than I was totally. I would sit and listen to them when we would go out to dinner and they were looking for a replacement. Their marriages all ended for different reasons but they weren’t out finding themselves they were finding a way to continue life how they had been used to. I am sitting across the dinner table thinking, why I am not feeling anything? They are talking about what they like and how they are finding themselves for the first time. I am thinking, I have known who the hell I have been. It’s also funny how I am sitting across from them and we are talking about the exes for a brief moment (cause I will ask what happened between you and your ex if we go out on a date), I heard she didn’t understand him, she cheated on him, he cheated on her (I exited that one REAL quick), she had absolutely no interests and he had all these interests (it was funny upon my own investigation I found out that she loved painting, she did crafts, she even went hunting with him and did things with him that he liked.)…yup that date didn’t go so well when I told that guy MY opinion on that one. There were a couple I went out on with for more than one date, but in the end I just cut it off completely and said I’m not doing this to MYSELF.

I cannot stress enough the importance of staying single once you have come out of a relationship (short term, long term or marriage). You need that time for yourself. Even all of you jumpers out there you need people like me to tell you to sit down and relax stop jumping. There is a time to jump and there is a time to sit the hell down and think about what you are doing not just for now, but long term.

Today after over 2 years since Jack has left, I am still very happy single. As I have said in previous post I am not against relationship, I am not against marriage, I am happy in my life. Personally, and I have all ready told Jack this several times, I don’t see how jumping from one marriage to another relationship ever works. Jack might have gotten it right this time. I am not in competition with Jack. I no longer have to keep up with Jack. This is my life and this is my happiness. I was happy in my marriage; the marriage needed work but I was happy. He wasn’t willing to do the work because his thoughts were relationships shouldn’t require work they should just happen naturally. He got ticked when I told him flat out, they will work for a little while but they won’t last. “You don’t know that. You don’t know shit.” My famous response, “You’re right!” Time will tell on that one. For his sake, I hope I am wrong. What he did and how he did it might be right for him and they may have a long lasting relationship.

Driving into another relationship, dating has never been right for me. So why start now because Jack’s doing it.? My mother always had a saying, “if all your friends jumped off the wharf would you?” I would look at her, “depends, we talking about at high tide or low tide?” High tides jumping off the wharf would be fun; low tide I’d end up in a body bag. I have always looked before leaping, even if it’s just for a few seconds. I wanted my mother to know that even though my friends and I were doing things, she raised me right to look before leaping. If something didn’t feel right to me, I didn’t do it.

As independent as I was, the truth of the matter was I went from mom to Jack. I was 18 when I met Jack. Like I said there was no hiccup when Jack left. Despite that I went from my mother to Jack, I didn’t have to learn to get by without Jack. Some in a relationship they have no clue how to do banking, finances, the cost of living, how to cut grass, what to do with a toilet leak, the stress of having the kids all the time. I had all ready lived it. The only thing I had to get used to was the difference in paychecks. That was stressful because Jack left me high and dry. His words were “maybe now you will learn.” The only thing I have learned from Jack is he is a coward and not a real man. A real man regardless of what had transpired would have ensured that his children were taken care of and not left it all on me. Instead Jack made up his mind he was no longer going to be used by me. Two years since he has left I have virtually done it on my own.

Seeing what Jack was doing, again validated (I keep getting validated even though no one else sees it, that’s not the point. I see it), I wasn’t going to do that to my children. He put his needs, wants, desires and his girlfriend first over his children. He can say all the negative he wants to about me, I have never in the 15 years, I have been blessed with these kids put my needs over theirs. Jack has walked from one marriage and he’s going for another, but now he has taken on 3 more children. Sorry buddy but you have got a hell of a lot to learn if you think that relationships should just happen and it should come naturally. Like I said I could be all wrong, I truly hope for both of them I am. Why do I say both? I know Jack, he goes full throttle on things, then when he is done he just walks away. I hope for her sake that the two of them will be able to make it. I know she loves him. I loved him for all the same reasons she does. That is a double edged sword. It may come back to bite her. If Jack hasn’t resolved whatever is going on with him, he will make the exact same mistakes he did with the previous two marriages he has been in. For her and her 3 children I hope he is man enough to not make the same mistakes. The fact that both of them cheated on their marriages says a lot to me about the personalities of both of them. Jack picks certain woman. He likes the independent female. I see how his first wife and I and even the fiancée are very much alike. While we are three different women, we are very independent. I think out of the 3, I was the softest, because as much as I would stand up and tell him when I thought he was wrong or didn’t agree with him, I backed down and compromised. I should have never backed down on certain things.

That’s what I had the opportunity to analyze and think about being on my own without the hindrance of someone influencing this process. It’s easy to sit and talk about with friends and with a new relationship all the things that you now realize , all the mistakes you personally made in the marriage and also his mistakes. I would talk with my friends about this after sitting in my thinking spot (front porch or back deck) and then go to them and give my opinion or the realization I came up with in that thought and reflection. I am still the same person as their friend before Jack, after Jack they see I have done a lot of self growth that Jack hindered. I am a not a new person. I’m an improved person. Doesn’t mean I am great, doesn’t mean I am perfect, I am still going to make mistakes. It also doesn’t mean I am better than Jack or his fiancée. Having the time to myself, I have allowed myself to be stronger. If a relationship does happen for me down the road, there will be things I will not tolerate. Most of all that person who does get into a relationship with me will have to understand and accept the person I am. It won’t be my way or the highway. I have come too far personally to fall back into a relationship or marriage like Jack and I had.

It is easy to get into the throws of a relationship. It’s familiar. Despite you may find the newness of a relationship, or you may find that the person you have gotten into a relationship is much different than your previous partner it’s easy to fall into the same familiar.

For example: This is regardless of your gender as well. Your previous partner was not as outgoing as you were. You think it’s great that the person you are now seeing is as outgoing as you. There are pros and cons to it. You find that your new partner enjoys doing the same things, and that’s enjoyable. Again pros and cons to it. In the previous marriage you may have been used to just going, the outgoing partner may have done things with you that you enjoyed but it wasn’t all the time. What happens when two people are so used to going all the time now come into a relationship. Someone is gonna have to sacrifice to be there for the kids (if there are kids involved). It might even get boring that these two individuals share all the same interests and likes because there’s no longer than individual time, either one of them had.

The same goes for that partner who may not have gotten the romance, the caring compassion, support etc with the previous partner. You may find that you now have a partner that is all those things and likes to give it all the time because that’s who they are. They even might not be outgoing like your partner.

When it comes to relationships there has to be strengths and weaknesses in both. In a relationship I don’t want someone like me and my personality. Just because I wanted my husband to be just a lil romantic doesn’t mean I want it all the time. There were things my husband was very good at and I was not so good at. And whether he wants to believe it or not…I was good at certain things he was not good at. As much as you will hear me complain about all his always on the go, there were many of times I was always on the go with him. Him and I like the same things, I am just different where I don’t want to do it all the time. I think that was good for us. I wanted to go camping with him and the kids. I loved that he enjoyed doing the things he enjoyed. However, it was the excessiveness of it all, that got frustrating. Go be with your friends, just don’t do it all the time. I love you despite you are not this romantic person, just do it a little. I loved Jack because I loved Jack. I didn’t want him to change. I just wanted him to notice that just a little is all someone needs. Do I still love Jack? I loved him the way he was when I was married to him. I don’t love the person he has shown me in the past two years. I loved that we were able to laugh at tiling the kitchen floor together. He didn’t do all the work with the tiling. He cut (I would have gladly cut cause I love some power tools), I placed the spacers, he spread and I placed the tiles. THAT was partnership. I recall the BEST anniversary present I got from my husband. 1999 (2 year anniversary), he had to be away for two months while taking the Gunney’s Course in Okinawa. It was the most special and most romantic thing he ever did for me. I am writing this and the tears are flowing, just like they did that day I found it. He didn’t say a word he just called me up and said he knew he was gone for our anniversary, he didn’t have much time to plan. While on the phone he had me go to the note he had placed before he left. Jack and I were BOTH not perfect in emotional parts of the marriage. He was sorry he had to be away for our anniversary. . He had hidden the gift in a different area (I had to climb on the stool to reach it) it was a picture of the two of us climbing Mt. Fuji in 1998 just 6 months after we arrived in Japan with our family. That was the last ( first and last time) we as husband and wife went anywhere withput our son (at the time) and then our children. That picture of the two of us together, was the MOST romantic, from “his” heart gift he could have ever given me. Still crying at the thought of that day him and I were on the phone together and he had made it like a treasure hunt. He could have given me the world, all the diamonds, all the money and that out of 13.5 years of marriage was the best anniversary gift he had ever given. I didn’t need a bouquet of flowers, or a fancy dinner at some restaurant that was what I wanted from him; from the heart for what felt right for him.

For our 13th wedding anniversary I also remember what “we” bought. We were together when we bought it. We went to Barnes and Noble, we found ourselves in the journal area. He just said which one do you want. It wasn’t the monetary value of it, they were leather journals at 40.00 a pop. My first reaction was I wasn’t buying one, looking at the price tag. If he wanted one that was ok, but we couldn’t be spending this money we were in financial shit ruins and as much as I loved to write in my journal I couldn’t justify spending 40.00 on a journal. He convinced me to buy one. We weren’t leaving until I picked one out. He was even asking me which one I thought he should pick out for himself. All these years of me writing in a journal almost every single day at the 13 year mark he took interest in a journal. I looked at them all and I suggested (not told him he should get it) one that had license plates. It was him to a tee. He smiled and said “you were thinking the same thing I was thinking.“ Without thought I said “I know you and I love you.” Why was that journal so special to me? He showed me that even though he was not a writer, he knew I loved to write. Writing was not his thing. The 2nd and the 13th wedding anniversary presents I will always remember. The 13th one is also a little hard because it was that very journal I found out that he was in love with another woman. I also remember what I told him when we came up on our 13th years. Something is brewing. I do not know if him and the other woman were together when I said it. I said just off the cuff, without thought, I felt our 13th year together was going to be a rocky one. He thought I was crazy when I said it. He even looked at me when I blurted it out. This year was going to be hard. I do know that on our anniversary night she was texting him. I also know she too enjoys writing. I know longer think about it now but when I found out about them, when I looked back through the phone records I always wondered, was it the fact of him giving me that gift because it was from the heart, or was it the fact that she too enjoyed writing. I don’t know I don’t care, it was the perfect gift he could have given to me. Honestly, off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you what the other years gifts were. Year 2 and Year 13 were the ones that meant the most to me.

Despite the fact that yes those memories brought me to tears, that’s life. That’s real. You can still move on and cherish those memories from your ex. I can rant and rave about ALL the things that ticked me off during the marriage. I can tell you the most hurtful moments in my life in that marriage. The one that sticks out the most when my mother was dying of cancer. The affair he had…didn’t hurt as much as what he displayed during the time my mother was sick, when she died and the however long it took “me” to get stronger from that.

Jack is not in a position anymore to tell me how to think, feel and react. They are all mine. Over him? Yes I am. Doesn’t mean the love, and concern for him fades completely.

Letting Go; Moving On; And Loving Every Minute of it

The Loving It Part:

I’m not discovering a new me. I’m still me with the same likes, interests, values, morals and goals etc. However, in the marriage I sacrificed some of the things that I enjoyed doing, not just for Jack but also for the entire family. I know I will sacrifice more, that’s part of being a mom.

I enjoy much of the same things Jack does. Hiking, camping, fishing (from time to time, if they aren’t biting I lose interest). In the time we were married I also found new interests because they interested him, and found I also enjoyed them. I learned to play golf, I started running, while in Japan we did a lot of biking around (I don’t really enjoy it as much here in the states as I did in Japan). There are also other things I like to do and haven’t done, growing up I used to go horseback riding, I loved being on the water. I grew up on the ocean. I didn’t care if it was fishing boat, sail boat or row boat,. I loved hanging out with my family no matter how nutty we are. Unfortunately that was a sacrifice I regret deeply and I should have NEVER sacrificed. We always went to his family.

The going home part was partly my fault, when I left I didn’t want to come back. However, I realized as I got older those roots were deep within me. I don’t want to go back there to live, but I needed to go home. I only went back 3 times in the marriage, twice with the family (2001 with the whole family, 2002 by myself when my best friend got married, and 2006 when mom was sick). Jack would say if I wanted to go home for a visit then I could, but I would go by myself. I DIDN’T WANT TO GO BY MYSELF. I wanted my children and my husband to enjoy what I did and had when I grew up. I wanted my kids to roam the shores and see crabs, sea cucumbers, periwinkles, clams etc. I still have family back home, but since mom has died it’s not going to be the same. I wanted my kids to enjoy their nana on her turf. Jack never got that. He didn’t like the people, he didn’t like my friends and it was too slow paced for him. I don’t know when, I don’t know how because money will be tight for quite awhile, but I will be taking my children on vacations back to my home. I will be taking them on vacations that I have always wanted to take “the family” on. Some might be out of reach for a single mom, but if I can financially do it; I will.

In this new chapter, like I have said, it’s not discovering a new me; but I am understanding me a lot better. For years (even before Jack) I knew I was different than other people. From the time I was a toddler I danced to the beat of a different drum. If my mother were here she could attest to that, I’m the reason she got all her gray hairs. I was a very independent child right from the start. However, I was also shy, until I felt comfortable around people, I didn’t always have to be playing with friends. If I wanted to play with the neighborhood kids I did, if I didn’t I always found something to do. I was never this person that needed a lot of friends to make me feel important. In my school days (Grade 1 to Grade 12) I had 2 best friends. They are still my friends today. Sure we had other friends come into the group, but it wasn’t a big group.

My mother always said I wore my heart on my sleeve; I was her Tenderheart Carebear. I would get more upset at how others were treated, or that others were hurting, than I ever did about myself. Despite being shy, if you ticked me off I would come at you. I don’t like confrontation, I never have, but when I have had enough, watch out. The Irish in me comes out. I can be nice, compassionate, kind, loving and all those wonderful things in a person; take advantage of it, hurt me, my kids and at one time my husband; you messed with the wrong woman. I come from a long line of strong, independent women. I will stand up for what is right even if it means I am the only one standing for it.

I don’t always have to be doing something. For me I am just as happy reading a book, hanging out with a group of friends, having a bbq, or just sitting around talking. But also I can be in big groups and enjoy them just as much. I just don’t need it all the time.

Personally I think being an independent woman is hard, especially in a relationship. I never needed this person to be all over me all the time, that is just as much a turn off as someone not giving any of it. For me I just need equal balance. I also see that because I wasn’t getting the “equal balance” of it from Jack, I would be all over him. I can see how he thought I was needy. If he had just given me a little it would have satisfied me.

I can also see how some could see I am uncaring, selfish etc, because I am very private for the most part. I don’t always talk about my emotions. I learned a long time ago my feelings and emotions would get shot down. I can be abrasive when I need to be; mainly it’s to protect myself from getting hurt. I have this tough exterior but on the inside I have this soft center that needs to be protected.

I have never been this woman that couldn’t do for herself. I can be a dreamer, a thinker, and I can hesitate however, when it’s something I want; I go after it. Don’t tell me I can’t do something because I will show you I can. For me going after something I want, doesn’t mean hurting people. Achieving something isn’t worth it, if you push your loved ones away, or pull someone else down to get to the top. A person can be the best in their career field and work long hours and dedicate all their time to it and it will make them feel important. Of course however, they have put their loved ones on the back burner, they alienated the ones who supported them through it all. They find when they are at the top they are alone. That’s another area where Jack and I differ. He calls it lazy. My job, my career doesn’t make me feel important. I love what I do, I love interacting with the people, I love helping people. My career doesn’t define me though. I do love it though when I get appreciation for the hard work I have done. I don’t expect it but it makes the soul feel good that your hard work, dedication is being noticed. It’s a simple, “thank you for taking the time to explain this to me,” or “thank you for making me feel so welcome.” I’ve had co workers come up and hug me or thank me for just being me. I have had them say they enjoy coming to work because they know I am going to be there with my jokes, my smile, my hard work and everything about me. I will shrug it off “it’s nothing.” For those people it is. That makes me feel good that just the little things help my friends, my co workers and the customers. I might not do great things, but the small things are what count.

For so long I thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t like Jack. I kept hearing there was something wrong with me because that’s what Jack said. I wasn’t and I am not personable all the time. I don’t always strike up conversation with a stranger. I don’t always have to be in a conversation with someone. It’s funny a co worker who I now call a very dear friend and I sit at lunch and hang out. There are times we are chit chatting like you wouldn’t believe and other times we just sit in the silence and enjoy each others company. I do not always have to be involved in something.

The comical part for me, I didn’t understand who I was by sitting in a therapist office. It was at a workshop for my new job. The instructor had us do a test; the Meyers Briggs test. It’s a personality test. If you have ever been interested in psychology or taken a course in psychology; Carl Jung and probably the Meyers Briggs personality test rings a bell. Why did we take the test and why did they feel it was so important that new employees take this test. In life we deal with many different personalities. It wasn’t just to understand our customers, it was also to understand our co workers and their personalities. I gained a wealth of information that day, not just about myself but even about the person Jack is. Amazing! I wonder if Jack and I had taken this test as a couple years ago and learned our two personalities, if life would have been better. I was the far end of the spectrum and he was on the other end of the spectrum (while in the work shop I did his evaluation). The instructor even said that these two personalities are the hardest, work and personally, to jive. Often times though despite the differences, they are the best matches if the two can understand and accept the huge differences in their personalities, work and personally. If they don’t they will always come to blows. Despite the realization and understanding of the two personalities, I have all ready let go and moved on. I have no doubt that as things come up in life without Jack, I will analyze and say “we should have done that.” but it no longer matters. Again I have been validated that nothing is wrong with me. It was Jack who felt there was something wrong with me. Jack’s opinion no longer matter. Jack no longer matters to me. I don’t wish him ill, I also hope he doesn’t get hurt, how he hurt me. Just because Jack hurt me, doesn’t mean I still do not care for him. It sucks caring about people when they don’t give a rats ass about you. That’s me; not Jack.

At this point in my life; I do not want to be in a relationship. I do not want to be someone’s girlfriend, fiancée or wife. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen. In life I have learned to never say never. I’m happy with it just being the kids and I. Easy? It’s not easy doing it on 1 pay check. It’s not easy doing everything yourself. However, it is a hell of a lot easier doing it on your own, than doing it on your own in a relationship. It’s also easier to know you don’t have help when you are by yourself, than asking for help and not getting it when you are in a relationship. I do the same things I did in the marriage. I mow the grass, edge the lawn, do dishes, laundry, clean, shuttle the kids here and there when I can, take care of them when they are sick; dash out of work if the school calls (unless Jack has them, then it’s on him), I referee the fights the kids have, I do things with them, go get groceries, pay the bills as best as I can, get up go to work, fix a toilet if it’s broken, fix a bike if it needs fixing, make supper. At the end of a long day at work, I can say I am tired and not hear “you don’t know tired.” If I sit down on the couch, I don’t have to feel like I am being lazy because I am not doing something. The kids have chores, but I don’t run them like a military camp. If they do wrong, they get disciplined. I don’t put the fear of God in them. The three of us bump heads at times. I might say the wrong thing, or they might lose their mind and think they can talk to me a certain way. If I hurt their feelings, or if I say something wrong, or do something wrong, I apologize to them and work on not doing that to them. I have seen that my example has rubbed off on them. They have both come to me an apologized for what they said or did, and I know they truly mean it.

I don’t want my children to feel that my way is the only way. I don’t want them to feel that Jack’s way is the only way. They too have their own opinions. It’s not being soft to allow your children to have their own opinions if they do not jive with yours. However, I do expect them to have respect for me in when they are voicing their opinions. Even adults have a hard time respecting other peoples point of view and opinions. I also teach them to respect one another. Just because my son doesn’t understand where his sister is coming in her feelings, doesn’t mean they should be discarded and vice versa.

As a mom, I want them to think on their own, have their own dreams, be who they are. I want them to know that I love them no matter what. We may not always agree. At times, it might feel I am knocking their dreams and their thoughts down. That’s part of adolescence, we think our parents are knocking us down when they give advice. It’s only when we become adults that we realize they wanted us to have those dreams, goals, opinions, but life doesn’t always go as planned. We can think one way, or have this plan in life, but we also have another plan or another path in case what we want takes longer to achieve or doesn’t happen.

Having a boy and a girl, I have to instill in both of them different and yet the same thing. I don’t want my son to think that he will be the bread winner in the family. I also don’t want him to judge his wife (if he chooses to get married) if she wants to stay home and take care of the kids. Or feel inferior if she is the bread winner of the family and he is taking care of the kids. I want my son to be a good person in whatever path he chooses. Being a real man isn’t being tough, the bread winner, the leader. I hope that my son will have the compassion, love, respect, intimacy and all those emotions that aren’t easy, not just for a partner but for others that come into his life as well. I want him to be independent. Most of all I want him happy in his life.

For my daughter, I want her to be also independent. Like my mother wanted for me; I don’t want her to feel she needs to have a husband or a relationship to be complete. At 8 years old she doesn’t take much crap off of anyone; at two years old she didn’t take much crap off of anyone. I want her to be able to do for herself. I don’t want her to think that she is weak if she cries about something, that hurt her. I don’t want her to feel she needs a man to fix the toilet or mow the grass. I want her to be able to figure things out for herself.

As a single mother I don’t want either of my children to feel they lost a part of their childhood because of what has transpired. In these past two years they have had to grow up more than they probably should have. Right now it might not seem fair to them, but when they become adults they will appreciate it more.

I see over the past few years how they have developed. I am SO proud of them. I make sure I tell them and show them everyday. Last week I gave them both a chore; my daughter had to have her room cleaned by the time I came home from work, my son had to have the living room vacuumed. That’s all I asked of them. After an exhausting day at work, I was thinking crap I have dishes to do and get supper ready. When I came home, I saw what I had asked them was done. Then my son said “go look in the sink.” I walked into the kitchen, all the dishes were done. They both beamed. I hugged my son kissed him and I thought I was going to cry. Of course he was like “Jeez mom it’s just dishes.” It wasn’t just dishes, it was the two of them worked together, one washed, one dried and it was one less thing mom had to worry about after a long day. It was small, the rest of the house was a mess…I didn’t care. The small things are what matter to me the most.

I was complementing a friend who had lost weight and my son spoke up; “mom has lost weight too, she looks awesome.” Pride, beaming from me and my friend gave me the look of pride.

My daughter will come snuggle in the bed with me; and I will ask why she won’t sleep in her bed. Her response, “you make me feel safe mama.” I can look horrible and she will tell me how beautiful I am.

My children are TRULY awesome. I am so proud to be their mother.

I don’t want to have anymore children. I don’t want to be someone’s step mother. Like I said that might change down the road. The guy will have to be truly amazing for me to even consider any of those. My mother said to me when I was a teen I was picky when it came to dating. My response was “It’s not picky, knowing what you want.” The bar at this point might be set to high for anyone. It’s set higher than it ever has been before. I know what I want in a relationship, I won’t settle for anything less than I deserve. If a man wants to be with me he will have to understand and accept who I am; as I will also have to do for him. In a relationship I want compassion, support, respect, appreciation, intimacy (not just the physical), fun, enjoyment, learning, romance, independence and so much more. That person will get the same from me. I am not ready to give anyone other than my children that, at this point in my life. I have a right to be picky because it’s not just me that a relationship will affect; it will also affect my children. I don’t want them to go through what they went through and are going through with their father and I. They deserve better and I also deserve better. The three of us are a package deal just like it would be a package deal if the person in a relationship had children of their own. I don’t want that package right now.

What are my plans? I am going to go back to school and get the degrees I want to get. I’m looking at building a house that is mine and well within my means and probably not over 1000 square feet. That’s my 10-20 year plan. I have always wanted to travel and when I get in a financial place to do that; I will. I may run that marathon I was working up to ,10 years ago. The sky is the limit. Just because I haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean it won’t get done. One of the things I have always wanted to do was learn how to ride a motorcycle. I’ll do it. Jack kept promising me we would get a motorcycle for me. Guess what; I will get my own damned motorcycle.

My life hasn’t just begun; it’s only going to get better. There will be rough times, depressing time, happy times, exhilarating times. I’ll be loving it.

Letting Go; Moving On; And Loving Every

The Moving on Part:

For me the moving on part, is being happy, being a mother, being who I am. Truly there is no difference than before, I just don’t have Jack telling me and judging me. My role as a mother is different now. For years I had to hear Jack tell me how I didn’t spend time with the children. I didn’t do things with the children. Which is what brought me to write “The Special Times.” I did and I still do things with them, just not what he felt was quality time with them.

Right now money is still tight. The improvising I have had to do for the “quality time” has not been easy. While Jack is taking them to White Water, here and there and doing this, that and the other with them. I financially cannot. There is plenty to do around here that is free or close to free, but it’s a drive. When you are barely able to pay for the gas that gets you back and forth to work. Getting out and going with the kids to a park or even taking them to their friends house, I literally watch the gas needle go down. 1/8 of a tank makes or breaks me at this point. To a kid I can see how dad’s house would be more fun. I am not going to lie that it hasn’t been frustrating and down right stressful that I have to tell my kids “no we can’t do that.” The reality is the kids don’t see or even understand what it costs just to provide the bare minimum for them.

We spend a lot of time at home. Spending quality time together. Their friends come over. The kids and I will play games sometimes. I watch my son play video games or try to play a video game with him. I’ve never been a video game person, they just don’t grab me like they do some people. My son plays street hockey in the driveway and I watch him and his friends play it. He’s a sports buff and I have never been one for sports, but he loves me to watch all the awesome stuff he can do. The last time I was on roller skates (September) resulted in one heck of a sprained ankle, the kids get nervous if I even talk about skates. I am just now getting into physical therapy for the sprain because I haven’t had the money for the co pay, Jack’s insurance would have sent me probably about 1.5 hours away, and the job I used to be at, if I missed time; I didn’t get paid. With my new job, I have awesome insurance and sick time earned. Four to six weeks my ankle should be good as new. The simple things haven’t been easy with the ankle; climbing up on a stool to get something, playing out in the yard with the kids rough or even terrain I had to be careful. Before the sprain my friend and I were doing the Insanity work out and I was starting back with running. I haven’t been able to do any of that since the sprain. It ticks me off. Now that I am in a place where I can get it taken care of and I am doing it.

Moving on is not always an epiphany. I’m not this new person because Jack left me. I am still me. The epiphany for me is realizing that Jack didn’t love the person I was; because I wasn’t like him. I didn’t do things like him, I didn’t think like him, I wasn’t a mother, wife or person he thought I should have been. I still have the same friends I did when Jack left, but I realized the conversations didn’t get on a personal level as far as the marriage. I didn’t talk about the personal stuff going on in the marriage. Jack didn’t want me to. My friends and I had plenty of conversation. Then I realized once Jack left and I am telling them what took place in the marriage over the years they were looking at me saying “that’s not right. I can’t believe you lived like that.” As long as I have known my friends whether they were childhood friends, friends since moving here or new friends they have all said the exact same thing. I would even throw myself under the bus, “but I didn’t keep the house clean, I didn’t get over moms death quick enough, I was always moody, I wasn’t always patient with the kids or him, I was depressed.” etc. I’ve lost count of people who have said they would have left him a long time ago, and that it was no surprise I was the way I was because of him. They would have been the same way if their spouse treated them the way he did. Talking about it with friends didn’t give me the epiphany. Being outside of it did. Hearing my friends opinions on it, validated my feelings. They weren’t wrong. They were only wrong because Jack told me they were wrong. I can’t blame Jack for all of it, because I was the one who allowed him to do that to me. As strong and independent as I was, he found a weak spot in me.

I analyze, that’s who I am. The thinker. It drove Jack bonkers. He made instantaneous decisions for the right now. Instantaneous decisions are in all aspects of his life. What have I learned from it? There are times when a person needs to be able to make quick decisions. In his occupation as a Marine and now as a cop, hesitation could mean the difference in coming home to his family in a coffin or coming home at the end of shift to see his family. I got that, I still get that. The frustrating part he couldn’t turn off that Marine mode or cop mode. Now outside of it I see what a hypocrite he is. It’s easier for him to put someone else down thansit and evaluate his own faults. Here are some examples of the analyzing I have done.

Jack told me I would always need to be in a relationship. My thought process: I wasn’t the one who left and walked right into another relationship.

Jack told the woman he was seeing “I feel like a school boy again.” My thought process: Why the hell does a 44 year old man want to feel like a school boy again? I WANT TO FEEL LIKE A WOMAN…not a teenager in puppy love. As a woman I want to feel appreciated, supported, have an emotional connection; not just a physical with my partner, loved, cherished, admired, communication and all those stupid emotions. In reading his words to his lover I saw how selfish he was. It was all about him and his feelings. He never stopped to think for once there was someone else in the relationship who wasn’t getting what she needed. It’s a two way street people. Don’t tell me; show me. The day we had our fight and he left…13.5 years and everything we had been through; I was still loving him. I still loved him a year after he left.

He was so busy focusing on the woman he didn’t have; he didn’t see the woman he did have. I knew I wasn’t perfect, I knew he wasn’t perfect. Jack also accused me of the same thing. In the analyzing of the relationship I realize now he may have loved me, but he was never in love with me. I loved him and I was also in love with him. There is a difference in loving someone and being in love with them. A HUGE difference.

I actually had to get up and walk away just now; the tears came flowing and here they come again as I write. He wasn’t in love with me. If he had been he would have tried to give me what I needed in the relationship. The memories of the 13.5 years I was married to him I recall looking into his eyes and I see now, that I never saw in his eyes that he was in love with me. I didn’t see it when I looked in his eyes all those years, now remembering the look, it gives me chills, his eyes were empty. It hurts because why did he stay for all those years. I asked him when he said he was done 7-8 years prior in the marriage. He said he had hope it would all work out. Hope? He had “hoped” it would all work out, but he was telling me “just do it.” He got onto me when I said I got tired of being the one to initiate the emotional, the connection, communication and finally I just “waited” and he is frickin’ “hoping,” the marriage is going to magically change. It might seem selfish; I no longer care; he cheated me long before he physically cheated on me.

The years that I had to hear from him what would make him happy in the marriage and I did it. I did it because I loved him, was in love with him and it was important to him. He took notice that it would last for awhile and then it would taper off. At the end when he walked out, when I pointed out to him I did the things he asked, and his response was, it should have continued. “Just do it” It was then I pointed out to him he too should have just done it. I shouldn’t of had to spend many nights alone while he was off with his buddies, I shouldn’t of had to sleep alone for a majority of the nights in our marriage. And I damn sure should not have felt like I was alone while my mother was dying and 1500 miles away and worrying about her and made to feel something like was wrong with me. I should not have had to ASK to be held by him while I am tried to hold it all together so no one sees me hurting. I refused to ask, I had asked for so many years, I got tired of asking. If we were sitting on the couch together on opposite sides and I wanted to snuggle, I just curled up beside him and put my head on his chest and wrapped his arm around me….I just did it. If he was in the kitchen or somewhere else in the house, I would just come up to him and wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him….I just did it. Not because I had to, not because it was an obligation because I was married to him. I just did it because…I loved him, respected him, in love with him and I wanted him to FEEL that through it all and after 13 years of marriage he still made my heart skip a beat, my eyes would still light up. That is what being in love is. It’s going through everything; good, bad and ugly and still feeling it.

This is where I have moved on. For some who read this it might not seem I have moved on because I am writing about it two years after the fact. The reason I write about it and even talk about it is because it might help someone else. I don’t even look at the years we were married as a waste. There were some awesome times, there were memories. That’s the past. Moving on is seeing the mistakes that were made in the marriage. If he had honestly been in love with me we would still be together. That’s not to say he’s wrong I am right or even vice versa.

I personally don’t believe that starting a new relationship or jumping into a relationship, when the two people can’t even fix the current marriages they are in is solving anything. New relationships don’t breed new people. It’s obvious him and I have a difference of opinion. I’ve said all I needed to say to both of them and more than what they wanted to hear. If they are happy together, good for them. I am happy as well.

Moving on is being happy and loving every moment of it.

Letting Go; Moving On; And Loving Every Minute of it

The Letting Go Part:

I cannot say when the “letting go” will happen or even how it happens. It just does, when you are ready. Everyone is different with the healing process. I will say this however, if the healing process takes longer than 2 years consider talking to a counselor. It is not shameful; it is not even weakness.

For me personally I think the letting go took a little longer, because of the situation. Jack and I are still married! So all the crap he has done, from the moment he left me the sentence always ends….we are still married. The kids around the girlfriend, days, weeks after he left….we are still married. Him moving in with the girlfriend and her 3 kids…we are still married. I don’t care that it is 2012 and our society takes marriage as a joke by having 55 hour marriages or 6 month marriages.

The letting go for me has taken place. Is it perfect? Is it in full affect? No I am only human . It’s the best it’s is going to get at this moment. Most of the letting go is for me, to maintain sanity; but a majority of it is also for my children. Despite the fact my children were the reason I would get so ticked at Jack’s actions and stand up for them. The kids do not need to see their parent with another partner while they are still married to the other parent. That’s not the example parents should be showing their children. I don’t care if it’s Jack, a man or woman I am still going to have the same opinion on it. I’m not a perfect parent. No one ever is a perfect parent. I also realized after talking with a great friend that I’ve been trying to save face for Jack, for the sake of his kids. It’s not my responsibility. It’s also not my responsibility to throw him under the bus either. It’s very hard to do both, but if I don’t just let it all go, I will lose my ever loving mind and my kids will end up getting hurt.

When did I know the letting go was taking place? The weekend that my son and I went on our over night camping trip. That Friday I picked him up at Jack and the girlfriends house. The girlfriend was out in the yard making her presence known. My daughter came running up to me while I sat in my car on the other side of the street waiting for my son. My daughter and I were talking and out of the corner of my eye I saw the girlfriend give my son a big hug. I didn’t care. There was NO feeling what so ever. I have no doubt the girlfriend loves my children. In the mere nano seconds I did notice, I saw it was a genuine hug. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take notice cause I am a women….we notice and see everything).

Jack came over to the car handed me the 500.00 for this month that he has graciously given to help financially with the children, said he would drop our daughter off after work on that Sunday around 6. I just asked who was watching her while he worked and he said “she is,” with his eyes darting over to the girlfriend. I didn’t respond…I did roll my eyes though I am sure and didn’t say a darned word. My only response was that I would call him once my son and I came out of the mountains. Long gone are the days of me rushing to accommodate him. This was time for my son and I; I was not rushing back on account of Jack.

I am not sure if he was waiting for a fight. Before, the fact that she was watching my kids would have caused a fight. His words before, would have come on like a heart attack before. What can’t do it yourself big boy? Nope not this time. As much as I would have taken my daughter with us; my son and I needed this time together, without little sister. It might be catty but at this point my thoughts are, she wanted Jack bad enough, she gets the whole deal. That is not to say I am going to use her or even Jack for that matter. But there will come times when I may need to go out of town or want to take my son or my daughter; not both to something and Jack will be the first one I call to take care of the other one. When that does happen, I am sure I will get flack and be judged by them and I am not going to have any sympathy or feelings of guilt because for 13.5 years while married to Jack I never knew what a break was, or all the stuff he got to do in those years of marriage and I ended up taking care of the kids. Kick it on in the driveway buddy. So that weekend…I did let go. Like I said it’s not perfect.

Here’s what I have learned about the letting go part. Maybe some will not agree with me but it’s like the forgiveness and forgetting. We can forgive someone for what they have done to us; but we don’t ever forget the hurt that they have caused. Even when we stop hurting, we do not forget what was done. I recall sitting in church shortly after Jack and I separated and the sermon was about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the other person who has hurt you or done wrong. Forgiveness is for that person who has been hurt to help them heal. I do not believe in the saying “Forgive and forget.” I seriously doubt a family member who has forgiven a murderer for taking their loved one away is going to “forget” that their loved one was taken away from them. I have forgiven and let go of things people have done in the past to me; but I haven’t forgotten.