Does anyone know the story of King Solomon and the prostitutes in the Bible? It’s an amazing story in many ways, but it is a very personal one for me. God appeared to Solomon in a dream one night and told him to ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom to guide God’s people. (I think that would be a great thing for some of our leaders to ask for!) Because he didn’t ask for wealth and honour, God gave him those things along with the wisdom he had asked for. But that isn’t the story I’m referring to here.
As I have said before, I was married prior to my marriage to Greg. It was an unhappy circumstance, one that I felt I needed to leave. I had no resources and I had a son. He was just over two years old. I didn’t know how to leave or where to go and so I decided to leave without him. He was in no danger. My plan was to find a place to live, get a job, and then go back for my son. It wasn’t very well thought out and I didn’t have much wisdom or anyone to talk to about my options. So, of course, when the time came for me to attempt to take my son, his father put up a fight. He had lost me, he wasn’t prepared to lose his child as well. It was going to get really ugly. I thought about what to do and just what was about to take place between myself and the father and the courts. I realise now that I would have had a very good chance of gaining custody, but at the time, I was young and inexperienced. I had visions of my son being ripped apart by his parents in their struggle to claim him and I just couldn’t do that to him. And so I walked away. I came under the scrutiny of family and friends because of my decision. They could not comprehend how I could give up my own flesh and blood. It wasn’t quite as drastic as it sounds because, once the father knew I wouldn’t go to court for custody, he agreed to let me have visitation rights. But I was tormented inside because nobody could grasp what I had actually done. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, but I was trying to read the Bible. It made little sense to me until I read the following story, paraphrased by me:
Two prostitutes came before Solomon, as many folks did, for judgement. They lived in the same house and both had newborn infants. One of them had rolled over on her baby while sleeping and he had died. She had then switched her dead baby with the other woman’s live baby in the night. In the morning the other mother knew the dead baby wasn’t hers. So, there they were, before the king asking him to decide who should get the live baby. He asked for a sword to be brought and ordered the child to be cut in two and each mother to receive a half. Of course, the real mother pled for her son’s life, saying that the other woman should keep the live child. He then gave the baby to his true mother as he now knew which one she was.
When I read those words it was like God had spoken to me for the first time. He had become more than an abstract object. He was real and He had just told me that He understood. I was filled with a peace that passeth all understanding and it no longer mattered to me what anybody else thought. It was the most profound moment.
My son is now almost forty and is a truly wonderful person. I am happy that he stayed with his father as he was his father’s only biological child. And his father was a loving parent. And boys need their dads. Fortunately, my son doesn’t bear any malice towards me and is an integral part of my family. He has five siblings from my union with Greg. It all worked out the way it was supposed to. And I realise now that I had more wisdom at twenty than I did at fifty-four.
We live in a world full of fractured families, but we do our children an injustice when we argue and fight over them. They suffer so much when coming from a broken home, they don’t need to experience their parents trying to pull them apart. Children shouldn’t have to chose which parent to love. They should be given the freedom to love them both. I admire Gwyneth Paltrow who said that, in order to co-parent with her ex-husband, Chris Martin, “Really the question becomes how much of your ego are you ready to check at the door? And can you let go of spite?”
When things become so dire that the family unit is destroyed then parents absolutely have to put their children first. I had to relearn that when Greg died. I was so angry that I wanted my children to be angry along with me. I wanted them to know how badly he had failed us, but that was such faulty behaviour. They may have felt anger, but not my anger, and it was wrong for me to want them to. They loved their dad, as was right and good. Sometimes we want to be understood so much that we misplace our pain. Our children are not the ones to bear that burden. We must rise above for their sakes. They did nothing to deserve such a disservice. If we can nurture their hearts with compassion and love instead of poisoning them with hatred and malice, they will be better equipped to live their own lives. If we can step aside and allow our children to enjoy wholesome relationships with the other parent in such cases instead of tainting them with our own failures, they will experience those relationships the way children should. They will form their own thoughts as they grow. I am ashamed that I didn’t have a big enough heart to want to allow my children to feel their own pain, instead of mine. If there are situations that are unhealthy, there are ways to communicate these without attempting to destroy the other parent in the eyes of the child. Of course, if there is a danger, we must protect our children, but there is no need to twist the truth to make ourselves look good and the other parent evil.
I never truly grasped the meaning of having a “broken” family until my own one was broken. And it truly was. I used to think that it was me who held my family together, but I discovered that it was both Greg and me. He may have been absent in mind or body or both, but he completed our family and we were lost without him. And even though our marriage had disintegrated, I’m still lost.
I am gradually pulling some sort of a life together, but it seems so empty with nobody to share it with. I’m not the kind of person who was meant to be alone. But, until someone drops out of the sky, ready-made for me, I will battle on. I’m not signing up on a dating site. I’m not willing to play the dating game and put in the work required to find someone, so, as I said, he will literally have to land on my doorstep. And maybe I will adjust to being alone. Who knows?
Now I have to somehow work in the lens I’m thinking of buying so that I can buy it through my blog! I have totally failed to monetize my blog. It’s just too much of a life story to be of any value to anyone. I have little to recommend. I have no following to speak of besides family and friends. But I will put in a plug for the lens. As an amateur photographer, I like taking pictures of wildlife, nature and landscapes. I usually need my 55-200mm lens for birds and such, and my 18-55mm or my macro for flowers and insects. So I find myself changing lenses more than I would like and missing opportunities because I have the wrong lens on. Soooo…..I’m looking at a Tamron 18-400mm lens. I think that would be amazing to just have the one lens and cover all of my bases. As I’m going to Costa Rica in September I would love to have just that lens and maybe my macro to lug around with me. Apparently, there is a bit of a compromise with the quality of the photos at both ends of the spectrum, but perhaps nothing that can’t be fixed by cropping and I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ll let you know how it fares when I have had a chance to use it. The photos in this blog post were taken at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary, an oasis in the middle of the city, next to the Bow River and teeming with a variety of wildlife.
Oh, there is one thing I absolutely love about living alone…….I can walk around my apartment in my undies if I feel like it! What a feeling……