Monday, April 5, 2010

A Place of Significance

Jerry Uelsmann - 2
Originally uploaded by
Carol Guerini

I am posting earlier today, as I need some down time with the kids tonight. We will be participating in our last family therapy session. This is definitely the end of a significant chapter for our family. Our therapist originally was working with my daughter, through a program at her school, but eventually became our family therapist when Michael and I decided to combine households. While the kids were originally excited for Dad to find a Mike, their excitement began to wane when we decided to make the big move.

Suddenly the kids became somewhat needy, and feared that all of Dad's attention would be taken away from them. They should have realized how good they had it, as less of Dad's attention can also bring a new found freedom. Well, Michael moved into our home, and they suddenly had not one, but two dads' attention.

Of course Michael was not an instant dad, more like a dad in training. It's hard to believe now, but the transition of accepting Michael into our family, was not so easy. As many of my readers know, my kids are not without their challenges, and Michael was at times a bit overwhelmed. But, at the same time, Michael was wanting a family life, so he jumped right in.

I remember a significantly emotional period, probably around this time three years ago, that Michael began to wonder if perhaps we moved a bit too quickly. We had dated for 9 months prior to his moving in, and only decided to move forward because it became difficult to date more frequently, as he lived 45 miles north of San Francisco. Due to supervision issues, we soon began having more at home dates, cooking dinner together, and including the kids a bit more. And while this was perhaps not as romantic, or exciting, it seemed to suit us quite well.

This was a period of time when Michael asked if I thought he should temporarily move back out of the home due to some discord within the ranks. Instead of making such a drastic change, we chose to work our issues out in therapy. I know this was a challenge for both Michael and the kids. By nature, Michael was a bit of a runner. No, he wasn't into jogging. By his own admission, he had a history of taking flight when the going got tough. I'm glad he toughed it out, and I know the kids are as well.

The only other time that Michael thought of running away, was when he was diagnosed with his brain tumor. He worried about what he would be putting me and the kids through, and came up with a contingency plan in the event that I was looking for an out. I suppose it is only natural to worry that a new relationship might not weather the storm that is a terminal illness. But yet again, we sought out therapy to address these type of issues.

So, back to this afternoon's final therapy session. Our therapist was recently hired by another agency, and will be leaving the agency that provides this service to us. The kids and I have discussed our options, and have decided it was time to venture out on our own. Of course we are mindful that this not only means saying goodbye to our therapist, who has been wonderfully supportive of our family, but also letting go of a place that Michael once occupied.

A couple of weeks ago I thought I was going to feel this as a traumatic loss. I felt like this was another indication that Michael was disappearing from my life. It is one more place where we once interacted as a couple, and now that place will no longer be a part of my life.

This just goes to show how quickly my responses to grief changes from day to day. Because I am currently in a good place with my emotions, I know that I can will handle this well. It is time to close another chapter, and to say goodbye to a place of significance.

1 comment:

  1. i will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as you stalwartly go forth, but know this; you have only to pull the keyboard close and there are people who understand ready to give you a supportive hand. peace.