Family life is full of major and minor crises — the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce — and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.
— Thomas Moore
July 17, 1999 – After a great friendship and courtship, I jumped the broom, married Theresa and became a father to Briana. The Carter’s were formed! A beautiful family unit if I may say so myself.
The marriage, like many others, had it’s smooth and rough spots, which the family dynamic followed, but for the most part all was well and soon after we added another to our crew…a black and brown big pawed puppy we named Rusty. Things were good.
As time went on, inside and outside influences began to crack the foundation of our marriage. Personally I had been living all my life with ADHD, but I had no clue. It wasn’t until the end of Take 1 that I began to deal with and be treated for ADHD. Neither Theresa or I knew what we were dealing with, but we knew it was hurting our relationship. Because of those inward issues, outside influences began to have a bigger voice to our situation. A mistake we have both learned to keep a deaf ear to in the future.
In Take 1 we bought a house as a family. A home we lost in foreclosure because of a business deal gone bad, coupled with job layoffs. During this time we also celebrated the arrival of Joseph. His arrival brought a new focus and joy to our family. The addition also brought subtraction. Take 1 took away Theresa’s brother, uncle, father and grandmother, all within a year and a half. It was an extremely difficult time, but the family pressed though the best we knew how.
Take 1 gave us more happy and unhappy times but the stress of the internal and outside influences took it’s toll and both Theresa and I mutually decided to part ways and separate.
The separation gave us time to both work on issues personally. We did our best to keep the family close and our relationship calm, always leaving the door open to reconciling or formally divorcing. Basically we took it one day at a time.
Theresa became a foster parent during Intermission and added an infant to our family. Foster care isn’t always permanent unfortunately, and our little bundle only stayed with us for about 5 months. (I say “us” because we practically called or saw each other on a constant basis) Loosing our foster baby was very hard, but not to soon after we received another infant child, who at the time of this writing is still with us, that we were thankful to be entrusted with his care. Following the pattern of addition and subtracting within our family after 14 years we lost our four-legged family member.
Our intermission came with a great deal of conversation and reflecting on our past and unseen future. That dialog was more open and honest than ever before. Our fears were shared and we were tackling our problems trying to come to a conclusion if the unseen future was worth experiencing together or on separate paths.
Editors Note: This post was written sometime ago, and was put on hold because one of my past issues resurfaced. Take 2 almost ended as soon as it stated. But in my eyes our relationship is worth fighting for…so I fought. The outcome…you’re reading this post.
September 5, 2016 – Our decision was made during Labor Day Weekend. Over that weekend we announced to our families that we were reconciling and getting back together. Everyone was excited and basically everyone’s response was generally the same “Took you two long enough!”
Take 2 has started off very different. Unrealistic expectations aren’t there, outside influences are muted out and we both recognize how freighting this move is. We still are working to continue and improve as individuals and as a couple while keeping our family structure in tact.
This is a one day at a time process that will take tons of work, but the work is welcomed. In relationships nothing is given and everything is earned (see what I did there? Lol). We both believe “we” are worth working for. Will there be bumps and chuck holes in our rebuilding road? Absolutely! But at least for now we’re driving on that road with heavy duty shocks to absorb them better than before. Our past 17 years of ups and downs also gives us a virtual “how to” in this new area of our lives. Life teaches us many lessons, and the past has taught us quite a bit. So it’s time to put what we have learned into practice.
Our family is in its second act! We’re not looking for a reboot of the first…we’re looking to see our familiar characters in new and exciting situations.
To that I say…
THE CARTER’S – TAKE 2!