It took him a long time (my viewpoint) short time (his viewpoint) to come to terms with the reality of us not finding a way to reconcile. During those agonizing months, he did not handle himself well in front of the kids. The girls were too young to be affected but The Commando was tuning into his dad's pain and turning into his dad in so many respects; including, but not limited to, holding me accountable for the cause of it all.
When Sunshine finally came to terms, to grips, to reality, we were able to begin to reconstruct our friendship and respect for each other as parents. Parents of these three fully functioning, beautiful, astoundingly cognizant souls we had ushered into this world Our relationship continued to recover, ever so slowly; one day he's good, the next day he's the spawn of Satan. Finally, he seemed to get his own slap from Cher and he snapped out of it.
We have since enjoyed one of those seldom accomplished Bruce Willis/Demi Moore type post divorce harmonies. Holidays, birthdays, teacher conferences, kid's plays and concerts - all done together. Most recently he came over unexpectedly with his girlfriend/fiance and sat on the patio with my girlfriend and I talking for hours. Later my friend commented how unusual it was to have such a close relationship. Sometimes it has been too close, as in, watch yourself or he will take advantage.
Nonetheless, my position has always been - let's do whatever it takes to let go of our personal agendas and do what's right for these remarkable kids of ours. With few exceptions and the occasional flare up here and there, it has mostly always worked. We speak respectfully, willingly trade days, plan vacations and other deviations from our court appointed schedules - all with little to no discord whatsoever.
We would often sit down and talk like old friends, sharing stories of family, knowing the other can understand from the historical context in a way that new people in our lives cannot. My favorites were always when he would update me on the continuing scams involving The Anti-Christ. Mr. Sunshine seemed to be doing financially very well. He spoke of paying off debt, saving money, planning to build a home. I was so proud of what we had accomplished.
I was thrilled to learn about the proposal to his girlfriend. The kids spoke highly of her, she seemed to be educated, dedicated and most importantly not a crazy, psycho, fatal attraction kind of bitch. I was happy for them. I embraced them and let the kids know of my acceptance and joy by demonstrating a welcoming atmosphere.
This is the way I envisioned the end of the Mr. Sunshine chapter of my life. It all seemed to be conclusively, definitely and properly solidified. It was, for all practical purposes - a happy ending.
While I have been writing of this chapter of my life, I was elated to know I could end one of these Mr. Whatever series on a high note, with some semblance of hope - letting you all know, anything can be overcome if you keep your priorities straight.
Five years of happily un-married accord. Until just one week ago......
(Artwork entitled, "The Leaving" by Angela Hayden at www.angelahayden.com)