Thursday, May 8, 2008

Life: New Beginnings and Closure.


Dear Bloggy friends, I am going to share something very personal.

Many years ago, when I wasn't old enough to know better, I fell in love. I fell in love with a deeply flawed man who I thought I could save, simply by loving him enough. It wasn't to be.

Jimmy was a victim of childhood diabetes. He suffered with it all his life.

I married Jimmy when I was 19 and to say it was an idyllic relationship would be the worst of lies. Jimmy suffered. Every day of his life. To compliment his life, or to end it, Jimmy self medicated. Alcohol and drugs were his medication.

But, let me tell you about this man: He was so charming. He had the most beautiful green eyes and black, straight hair. He always knew what he wanted life to be, but he could never quite achieve it. He had a heart of gold and a body that refused to cooperate.

He couldn't will his life to be normal. He couldn't self medicate his life to be normal and his diabetes was resistant to most synthetic insulin. Jimmy had a very hard life.

But, he did have a way.

Jimmy died on October 19th 2004.

I just recently found out.

You see, Jimmy was a horrible abuser. Physically and emotionally. I lived with him for less than three years before I ran.

I ran (and hid) for over 20 years. I never divorced him.

Hence, I am a widow. (I will explain why I have children out of wedlock later......one thing at a time please).

Last Thursday, I got a call, out of the blue.........after 20 years, from my sister in law. She was just 8 years old when we got married. It was the worst, and best, phone call I have ever gotten in my life.

At first I was so scared..........I had hidden for years, had he found me? What about my children........I was panicked.


I demanded to know why she called me, why after all these years, why couldn't I just stay gone from that families life.

I was told that Jimmy had died four years ago, that he died from complications of diabetes. Diane (my SIL) just wanted to reconnect with me. Still incredulous, I questioned (rather aggressively) her to death.

I wasn't happy. It was a part of my life that I fought for years to escape and forget.

One week later, and many phone calls (including speaking to my mother in law) I am ok with it.

I still can't find the tears for Jimmy, but I have Diane, Eric and the twins.

I always have made my own decisions about life, this one was out of my hands. It overwhelmed me, but............something good is coming out of something really bad.


I spoke with my mother in law (after 20 years) and she forgives me for leaving. I spoke with my Sister in Law after 20 years, and she wants me as part of her children's life..........

I have a nephew and a niece..........one of each, one year old.

It is time to put the past behind us.

Jimmy suffered with diabetes every single minute of his entire life, he lost an eye and a foot. I can forgive him anything if it means I get to be an aunt to Evan and Laura, A sister to Diane.

Almost like the Phoenix, out of the ashes of failed lives comes a golden creature.

That is worth celebrating and embracing.

So, all of you that have a sip of wine this week, toast to pasts being put behind and new beginnings!

4 comments:

hippochick said...

MIchelle,

It was really courageous of you to write this post. I'm sure it wasn't easy, as your life hasn't been easy. Forgiveness is so important; something I struggle with every day. How wonderful that you have a chance to reconnect with this family. God is really good and gracious.

Hugs.

DidiLyn said...

oh. my.word.
How bizarre that must have felt to get that phone call! Like universes colliding. Wow. I am still reeling just from reading it.
It makes me think of the verse :"he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,a joyous blessing instead of mourning,festive praise instead of despair."
I am glad for you, friend.

Diane said...

One door closes and God opens another...

You have forgiven and that must bring an inner peace. You have gained an extended family too!

Hugs,
Diane

Anonymous said...

Forgiving my brother for everything he did to you, to my mom, and to me, is something I just don't know that I can do. I can't even say that I'm sorry my children will never know him. But I wanted very badly for them to know my sister in law, who was my childhood idol--the most fun, smartest, and best part of my early teen years. And I wanted to know her two BEAUTIFUL girls because I know she's one heck of a great mom and are fantastic kids.

Inner peace is something I don't have but I do feel something good and right has come from reconnecting with you and knowing that my precious twins will know one of the best, strongest, and most beautiful human beings I've ever been so lucky to know.

Much Love,
Diane