Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Personal Epiphany

Ephiphany a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) . (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) . (3) an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b. b a revealing scene or moment

I can count on one hand what I would consider to be a personal epiphany in my life. The first was when, after 50 years of life, I quit battling my mother and our extremely different personalities. It didn't seem necessary anymore to voice my opinions when she was so set in hers. The battles ended. She was well into her 80's. Shortly after that, my child support ended instantly when Megan turned 18. My mom rescued my family. Without her help, I have no idea where we would be living. This was a huge moment of realization for me. Huge! I had battled verbally with my mother from the time I was a child. We are as different as night and day. She wanted me to be a carbon copy of her. Of course, I fought it but how long do you keep it up? I am just thankful my mother is still alive at 89 and has a clear mind. I don't need to prove any points anymore. And to be quite honest, I know my mother loves me. She was angry at me, for some reason, for years after my dad died. We've come full circle in our lives and relationship. Thank the Lord!

The second epiphany was Friday, Megan's graduation day. Lord, this has been a month full of doctors appointments, yucky procedures, and worry/stress. Why I just don't let it go and let the Lord handle it, I'll never know. My BF had some A-fib this past week and had to get it checked out. He couldn't go. My ex's wife didn't go. Of course, my brother and his wife had 100 excuses but I really didn't care. Those who showed up have always been there for my children....except for their dad. Yes, he showed up. I hadn't seen him in 4 years which was fine with me.

Many times, I've sat back and tried to remember just why I married him. I knew I had to have loved him at one point in time but I failed at trying to bring back any good memories. We met in 1975, married in 1978 and separated in 1996. He was ugly and is an alcoholic. He begrudged every single penny that he had to pay in child support. He never paid one cent more than he was ordered to. The children were on my health insurance. He never paid his share of the medical bills. It would cost more to take him to court than he owed. He came to three graduation parties at my home here and contributed nothing, ate like a pig and left. He's said terrible things to the children over the years. When my ex SIL got married, he was invited to the wedding but my son gave her away. My children say that was the beginning of a change I didn't see. Of course, I didn't. I haven't seen or spoken to him in years.

Until Friday, when he came to Megan's graduation. LOL...I had my boxing gloves on. I wasn't going to make a scene but there was plenty of fill in time when I could let him have it. I also budgeted the money for the meal. I had it in my savings. I told Megan not to even bother saying a word to her dad.

We went to a place called Monterey Bay on Mt. Washington. It's a highly upscale restaurant with excellent food. I never could have afforded the dinner menu but was pleasantly surprised at the prices on the lunch menu. It was Megan's first choice. And suprises of all surprises is I noticed a change in my ex. He acted normal. He is drinking again but hadn't drank that day. We acted like a normal family. Weird, what is a normal family? He didn't make the stupid little assinine comments that he is known for. I actually caught a glimpse of the person I married. The man who proudly carried our Becky around like a little princess before he got lost in alcoholism and taunted his little princess and his son.

When the bill came, I took it. He pulled out his checkbook and wrote me a check for over half of the bill. I was speechless. My mother also. He did it with sincerity also. Not showboating. I know him well enough to know the difference. I was more than touched. I still am. I took him aside and thanked him. I have prayed for years for him. I want him to make amends with his children. They will be better for it, as will he. He needs to realize that they are his legacy also. I know he's been thinking back to previous Christmas' when we were a family with traditions. I'm wondering just how happy his marriage is. He needs these beautiful children in his life. I continue to pray. He is drinking again. I continue to pray about that.

I've been away from my computer. I'm not sure why. I haven't had much inspiration to write or create. I need to catch up with reading your entries. I know the next few days will be crazy days for most. I'm just going to sit back, listen to my Christmas music and reflect on my perceptions.

I did do a photoslide of the day. I'm hoping it comes out ok. I have so many problems posting photoslides with pictures. I loved the top picture of Megan and her dad. It looked like something called the winds of change. Love you all!


Joyce said...

Beautiful photos...and a happy time for all...understand your thoughts...and you said it well how you felt. Have a great holiday...wanted to stop by now...due to my week will be busy taking care of my daughter...she just got home late last night...many hugs and love to all..Joyce

lisa jo said...

HUGE congrats to Megan..she is so beautiful..look how happy Joey looks...Becky is shining and you are so beautiful, inside and out. I am so happy happy that this day went so so so happy the ex wrote that check....your mom is and the kids SO deserve all the happiness and love!!!!!
the ex may be getting to that point where a person looks back and worries and thinks about why and how and when's.....i pray he DOES change his tune and tries to be the dad he needs to be. I love you

Sandra said...

Hi Chris, I`m glad you`ve made your peace with your mother, I wish it could have been the same with me and mine, alas its too late now.

Love Sandra xxxx

Jan said...

Oh Chris ,that was delightful ,Megan looks lovely .both your girls are beautiful ,and Joey a handsome young man ,I am pleased you have come to terms with your Mum ,I am so pleased you all had such a memorable day ,thankyou for sharing the pictures ,Have a wonderful Christmas Jan xx

Yasmin said...

Great entry Chris glad Megab had such a lovely day you must be so proud of her. I understand the relationship with your mother mine was similar, sadly she is no longer here, but I think about her everyday.
At least you ex stepped up and behaved himself for the day, made such a difference on Megans special day.

Take care


cw2smom said...

This is such a wonderful entry on so many levels! How awesome that you made peace with your mom! My mom and I were like that our whole life..and she died without us resolving our differences. I've had to try to do so in prayer. Congrats to your beautiful daughter on her accomplishments and how nice Dad did his part on the big day! What an unexpected gift to you...and the kids. He was blessed by his giving as well. Healing does happen. Blessings, Lisa

Maria said...

Congratulations to Megan! What a great accomplishment! - She did it!
The pictures are beautiful!
I am speechless about your profound entry and happy at the same time. This was huge!Miracles do happen!Have a very Merry Christmas!
Hugs, Maria

Joan said...

It was lovely to meet all your family in pictures. So happy you had such a lovely day. Congratulation to your daughter well done. Love Joan

Joan said...

It was lovely to meet all your family in pictures. So happy you had such a lovely day. Congratulation to your daughter well done. Love Joan

Chrissie said...

OMGosh Chris I was reading with my mouth open saying Holy Shi#. I am so happy that their dad came through without being asked or told to help pay for the celebration meal. I sure hope that means he is finally figuring out what he is missing. You're so right like I am with John. I just hope he is there for them as a father. I was kinda laughing when you said that about your boxing gloves because as divorced parents you never know what is gonna come. I loved all the photos and that top photo is just priceless I'm not you, but it would make me wanna cry just because you prayed for so long and continue to. I'm so happy that you now get along with your mom because in the end none of that stuff really matters. She loves you and you love her period. You are how you are and once everyone accepts that it works. Seems like forever since I've seen you're children, but your heart sure is beautiful and handsome. Congrats to Meg. I loved this entry. I think you got a blessing early for Christmas.
Hugs, Chrissie

Jeannette said...

I'm so pleased that your ex paid his share for teh graduation lunch. Maybe he's changing, it's never too late! Megan and Becky are a beautiful couple of girls and a credit to you. It's nice to know you made your peace with your mum. Jeannette xx Cassie) said...

maybe there is hope for him..glad you had a wonderful day with your beautiful daughter.

Missie said...

Congratulations to Meg! She looks so happy and beautiful!

I can't imagine how proud you must be!

Maybe the ex is finally growing up?

Enjoy your week!

a corgi said...

I'm so thankful to the Lord for answering your prayers about your ex; who knows what is in store for him and his relationship with his kids in this next season of their lives (except the Lord knows); but it is a true testimony to you Chris; you prayed for him; the Lord is faithful; just keep waiting on Him :)

congrats to Megan; she is soo beautiful as well as Becky and Joey is so handsome!! you enjoy Christmas; spending time with them and your mom and just rejoicing in how the Lord is working in all your lives; I think it is awesome!!!!

(loved the pictures)


Hollie said...

CONGRATULATIONS TO MEGAN!! Beautiful slideshow. Just keep praying.... I'm sooo glad that your ex has changed quiet a bit.

Carlene Noggle said...


Tina said...

you did well, Mom. the pics are wonderful and I can tell it was a happy occasion!

Robyn said...

Congrats to Megan!! She looks absolutely beautiful in those pictures. You all do!

I am so happy for you and your children that your ex changed and let her day be her day and that he helped you pay!

I didn't realize you have dealt with alcohol issues in your life, I bet when you read my writings about my mother and all I go through with her you really do understand it more so than alot of people!

You did great mom they are lucky to have you ;) Beautiful and thanks so much for sharing the pictures. I loved looking at them!

Hugs & love, Robyn

It's Just Me ~ Katie! said...

I'm happy peace and wonderful things now fill your life and only the best are yet to come. Take care and Merry Christmas to you and yours my friend,
P.S. A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Megan!!! Way to go!

Shelly said...

Yayyy!!! Congrats to Meghan!! What a huge accomplishment for her and I know you are so proud and you should be. You raised a beautiful, intelligent, and successful child. May the rest of her days be easy. And that is great that her dad came through on her special day. Love ya Chris!! Merry Christmas to all of you. Shelly

Pamela said...

Hi Chris! Congrats to your beautiful daughter for her accomplishment! I loved the pics of your family. Yes, you are blessed to still have your Mom around. We have to pick our battles in life. Sounds like you are coming to terms with a lot regarding your Mom.
Maybe your ex is reflecting on his life and realizing how much he has missed. He can't get that time back that he lost with the kiddos and he knows it. I hope he continues to be involved with your children.
Love ya!

Terri said...

Congrats to Megan!!!

Love love loved all the pics in the all look wonderful! Your girls are beautiful and your son is handsome and you my dear look fabulous!!

So glad your Ex wrote that check...that is awesome...maybe he really is trying to turn his life around...

Your mama looks so sweet :)

Merry Christmas!

Lisa said...

Chris, wishing you a very Merry Christmas, I got today off work, nice early gift, I'm glad your ex wrote that check, congrats to Megan, Hugs Lisa

Bethe said...

Amazing entry, Chris. Congratulations Megan! I noticed the top photo right off. Megan and her Dad have the same profile. Bearutiful pics of the gradutaion and lunch...think you so much for positng them.


Sharon said...

You have a beautiful family Chris. And what a great gift from Dad....a "normal" gathering. You have come a long way baby!

nan said...

Chris what a beautiful family you got there. The whole family gathering for your daughter's graduation. Sorry, I haven't written. Have a beautiful New Year.Take care. Nancy

Barb said...

Beautiful. Your entry, your words, your children, your family & YOU. The slide show is amazing. Congratulations to Megan. I wish her all that's good in the world.
Incredible that their Dad gave you a check and didn't showbat it. What a wonderful day.

My fight wasn't with my Mother. She was my ally. Against my alcohol, abusive Father. For some reason I was the on he took most of his rage out on. He verbally abused my Mom, my brother to some degree-but he was his "golden child" even though I made the good grades...he was the popular jock. I took his abuse and even as an adult it was his thing to bring ne to tears and guilt. While my mother was dying he quit drinking so he could help her,he just couldn't quit picking on me. I begged my Mom to tell me how to stop it. She said let it roll off your back. STOP TAKING THE BAIT. I did. Things changed. Sometimes I had to verbally tell him he was full of it & change the sunject, but that's when I grew up--at 33.
So I'm glad you got your epiphanys.(sp?)BTW NY son, Tom thinks your daughters are realllllly pretty.
Have a blessed & joyful 2009. I'm keeping you all in my prayers. I hope your BF will be fine.
Love N Hugs, Barb *queenB

Janie said...

I was an only child. Mom had 3 grandchildren. Terry Ann she could control more than the rest of us. I tried not to say mean things to my mother.. but she said some mean things to me?? lol I have a few regrets with my mother but I can live with them. It took me a long time to realize that we can not change anyone other than ourselves. We can not control what they say or do. We have to be responsible for ourselves. Without God I don't think I could have made it throught a lot of things in my life!
You have beautiful children Chris. I also have an ex that I wonder about. Never looked up kids, wrote, or called?? Your mother looks great for her age too. :) Hope your New Years is very blessed. Love, hugs, and prayers, Janie

Nelishia said...

Hi Chris;
I am so late to catch up on these entries. I am just flabbergasted at the first miracle of Christmas here, the transforming of the heart of the father of your children. I know how stressed you were about this dinner and I know why. My prayers were going up along with yours for this dinner and I just want to shout with joy over the result.
Your children are so beautiful and you've been told that hundreds of thousands of times in their lives I'm sure. I mean it. After seeing their Dad, I don't mean to be rude and I know it's going to sound crass but they take after your side of the family.
I loved this slide show. Your Meg looks so happy, Becky still has sadness in her eyes when she smiles, just a touch and your son looks like he could be a preacher. That probably strikes your funny bone but that's what I thought when I saw him. I believe deep in my heart because of the love you gave them and showed them your strength, they are going to be and do very, very well in this world.

You have my admiration and respect, your daughter has my congratulations,