Divorce is Not an End

Better to bend than break.
~Scottish Proverb

It was ten o'clock on Sunday morning when the phone rang. "You guys up for breakfast?" the voice on the other line asked. "I'm going to Peggy's for breakfast and was wondering if you guys want to come."
"Sure," I answered and then turned over to hand Mark the phone. "It's Pop, he wants to go to breakfast," I told him. "I'll go wake Jessica up and get ready. You should too." Mark and Pop spoke for another five minutes, and then Mark also got up to get ready.
In less than an hour, we were at Peggy's for a late breakfast. The conversation turned to the usual topics: our daughter Jessica's drama in high school, her boyfriend, her friends, my family, Pop's family, and Mark's family. When breakfast was over, the waiter came with the bill and placed it on the table. Pop was about to pick up the bill when Mark quickly grabbed it. "I'll get this, Pop," he said and handed the waiter his credit card. "It's your turn next time, Dad," the waiter jokingly told Pop. We all looked at each other and laughed. We knew exactly what the waiter was thinking. This is not the first time that Pop's been mistaken as Mark's father―or mine. He definitely can pass as a father to either one of us. He is sixty-two, Mark is forty-four, and I am thirty-seven. I know there is nothing peculiar about mistaking Pop as our father because of his age―what people find peculiar is when we tell them that Pop is my ex-husband. People find it either amazing that we all get along or they find it totally strange.
For me, it's neither strange nor amazing. Although I cannot say we were free from the grief of divorce, it certainly was amicable. The first few years were the most challenging for both of us. He had a hard time letting go and did everything he could to make me change my mind. I was resistant and not willing to give in at all. It was not until after Mark and I started dating that Pop finally realized it was over between him and me. Although he never blamed Mark for our separation, seeing me with Mark made him believe that I had moved on and there was no turning back.
It's been almost ten years since Pop and I separated. A lot of things have changed since then, but one thing that remains is our successful relationship. I believe the reason for this success stems from having respect and the trust that we will be there for each other, even though we are no longer married. Added to this is our love for Jessica and wanting to make sure she is not affected in any negative way by the divorce. Having Mark for a husband is also a plus. He came into the family with an open mind and accepted Pop as a part of it.
This is what I had envisioned and had asked of God when I made my decision to leave Richard, who we dearly call "Pop." I knew at the time, that even though I wanted a divorce, I still wanted him to be a part of my life and my family. Divorce doesn't need to be the end of a relationship or destroy a family unit. Even after divorce, trust and respect between two people can remain intact as long as both parties are willing to work on it and concentrate on what is good, which in our case is Jessica.

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