With less than a week left ‘till Christmas, my parents are traipsing into their respective divorce lawyers’ offices today to make it official: their marriage is over. After a year and 9 months of the back-and-forth, could it really not have waited a couple more days, I ask? As much as I wanted the whole thing to be over with, having the reality slap you in the face in the midst of this “joyous” time of year is just too much for anyone involved....my parents, my sister and me, the grandkids.
The timing makes the irony of our holiday plans all the more ironic: all of my dad's relatives will be at the house, but my dad won't. This will be the first in a series of awkward holidays, tinged with the bitter sadness of what is missing.
No one tells you how to deal with this as an adult. There are a thousand books for little kids who have parents that are splitting up, and for grown-ups who survived divorce as kids. But for those of us whose parents have been married for 20-, 30-, 40-odd years ... where’s the manual? How do I keep this from feeding right into my cynical outlook on life and love? Where do I look to see the plausibility of a happy ever after?
It’s gonna be a holly, jolly Christmas: that’s for sure.