Thursday, January 28, 2016

A missed opportunity, a regret

When I divorced my first husband, my biggest regret was losing his family. Old-fashioned, more rural and from an earlier generation, there was to be no modern 'staying in touch with the ex-inlaws' as enjoyed by everyone else I knew who'd divorced. Of course, the children continued to visit them all for the first six years but I no longer existed. I was a non-person - she who should not be mentioned! Nevertheless, I sent my ex-mother-in-law a photo of the kids every year on her birthday and although it was never acknowledged, my kids reported back that it had appeared on her wall. Over the years I found my brother-in-law, his wife and my three nieces again and I now talk to them often. I've watched over the years as each of my nieces has added two more children to the family. It was easy to talk to them as they were online. My old mother-in-law was in her 70s and had never used a computer so we never spoke again. I told my niece, her granddaughter, about my life and she spent afternoons telling my old mother-in-law about me, showing her photos of my kids and so on. I always hoped that one day I'd see her again. But time was not on my side and when my brother-in-law texted me at 2am last Saturday, that opportunity slipped away, forever. I know why she felt she had to side with him, even although there never needed to be sides between her and us, but I hope she also knew we still loved her. From my niece's accounts of her meetings with her, I believe she did.

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